Common Sports Injuries and How to Treat Them
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Common Sports Injuries and How to Treat Them

Staying active is a necessary and fun way to stay healthy. But when it comes to sports, it’s important to know the risk of injury that you and your family face. Knowing how to prevent common sports injuries is an important way to lower your risk. If these measures fail, however, you’ll need to know how to proceed. Be on the lookout for these common injuries if you or your child get hurt during a practice or game, and learn how to handle the situation like a pro.

Strains and Sprains

Ankle sprains and strains are some of the most common sports injuries. According to one statistic from the organization Safe Kids Worldwide, out of 1.35 million children who visited an emergency department for a sports injury, 451,480 of them were diagnosed with a sprain or strain.

Sprains and strains are a type of minor cartilage injury. Further damage can result in a tear of the cartilage. If you feel swelling or tenderness in your ankle and experience stiffness or a decreased range of motion, you may be suffering from an ankle sprain or strain. To prevent greater damage to the cartilage, be sure to rest and elevate your foot. Applying an ice pack to the affected area and taking NSAIDS like acetaminophen can help prevent further swelling until you can see a doctor. Your doctor will be able to offer further treatment, likely after taking an x-ray of the injured ankle.

Stress Fractures

Many bones in the body may sustain a stress fracture due to overuse. Shin splints are a common type of stress fracture, particularly for runners. A feeling of tenderness and sharp or throbbing pain is a common symptom of stress fractures.

It may be tempting to ignore a stress fracture, but rest and compression are important for the bones to be able to heal. If you are experiencing a stress fracture in your shins, finding supportive shoes and doing flexibility exercises can be a great way to reduce stress on your shins. If stress fractures continue to bother you after a few weeks of rest, your doctor will be able to help you decide if more extensive treatment is needed.

Tendonitis, Tendon Tear or Tendon Rupture

The Achilles Tendon and Posterior Tibial Tendon are commonly injured areas in the foot and ankle. A severe force or fall may cause one of these tendons to tear or rupture, resulting in severe pain, bruising, and swelling in the foot.

A repetitive strain injury, Achilles Tendinitis is not caused by a single fall or force, but by prolonged stress on the tendon. Achilles Tendinitis can also weaken the tendon, making it more prone to tear or rupture.  Rest is very important in treatment of both tendinitis as well as tears and ruptures. If the tendon has ruptured or torn, surgery may be necessary, although conservative treatments are also used. There are a variety of treatments for Achilles Tendinitis, including non-invasive procedures that reduce inflammation and minimally invasive procedures.

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