Whether you’re a professional athlete, a high-school ball player or a weekend warrior, your passions drive you to push your body every time you hit the court or field. Participating in sports is fun and a great way to stay healthy, but certainly is not without risks. There’s always a chance that you may incur an injury. Sports such as football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis and more are high-intensity activities on any court or field. If you’ve incurred a sports injury, turn for help from a physical therapist to get on the road to recovery. Here’s a list of some common sports injuries.
Patellofemoral Syndrome Injury
Approximately 55 percent of sports injuries are knee injuries. Running, football, cycling and basketball are the most common sports where patellofemoral syndrome occurs. It’s a knee injury that is caused by the kneecap moving against the leg bone. It’s the repeated movement that damages the kneecap tissues. It can take as much as six weeks to recover from patellofemoral syndrome.
Injury to the Shoulder
Any sport that requires overhead movement like basketball, tennis, and swimming can cause a shoulder injury. The injury may be a strain, sprain or dislocation. Many sports overuse the shoulder, and it’s often overuse that causes a shoulder injury. As a matter of fact, shoulder injuries are the culprits that cause 20 percent of all sports injuries.
Tennis or Golf Elbow
Also known as epicondylitis, tennis elbow is due to repetitive use of the elbow and causes about 7 percent of all sports injuries. The repeated use of the elbow causes tiny tears in the elbow’s ligaments. Pain is often felt in both the outside and inside of the elbow. It’s a common condition for those who are 30+.
A strain can occur to a tendon or muscle when an athlete over-uses or over stretches the muscle. There are three muscles behind the kneecap that make up the hamstring. Often, there is pain and some bruising with a hamstring strain. Waterskiing is a common cause of this type of injury, and it can take a long, long time to heal a hamstring strain.
The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the human body. It’s often due to improper stretching before participating in sports activities like baseball, running and cycling. Pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause extreme lower-back pain that radiates down to the toes. Back spasms often accompany pressure on the sciatic nerve.
A concussion occurs when it there is a significant hit to the head. Sports like soccer, football, hockey and boxing are common for concussions. Symptoms of a concussion include amnesia, headaches, nausea and difficulty concentrating. It can take from two weeks to a month for a concussion injury to heal.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) attaches the leg bone to the knee. A hard impact to the knee or a sudden change of direction can cause a tear or strain of the ACL. It’s a severe sports injury.
Physical Therapy and Sports Injuries
Physical therapy is crucial to sports injury recovery. Depending on the type of sports injury, a physical therapist will devise a treatment plan that is specific to the injury. It may include manual therapy, exercise prescription, electric muscle stimulation and thermotherapy. Manual therapy is a hands-on technique to treat soft tissues and joint structures. It improves the healing process and reduces pain. Exercise prescription is a specific set of exercises designed to accelerate the healing process. Electric muscle stimulation sends electrical signals to the muscles to decrease pain and to re-educate the muscles. Thermotherapy may be part of a physical therapist’s treatment plan to reduce pain and speed up healing.