Sports Injuries
Sports injuries can happen anywhere in the body. The most common tend to be fairly minor bruises, sprains, and strains. However, more serious i...

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What Are Sports Injuries?

Sports injuries are injuries that occur during exercise or while participating in a sport. People who are out of shape or who do not warm up properly before exercise, athletes who play contact sports, and children are most at risk.

Types of Sports Injuries

Most sports injuries result in damage to the limbs, including:

  • broken bones
  • strains and sprains
  • dislocations
  • torn tendons
  • knee injuries

What Are the Risk Factors for Sports Injuries?

Children are particularly at risk for sports injuries because they often do not know their limits. Sometimes, serious injuries start off as small ones. Many injuries that result from overuse, such as tendonitis and stress fractures, can be recognized early by a doctor.

Children or adults who plan to begin participating in sports should first have a physical.

How Are Sports Injuries Diagnosed?

Many sports injuries cause immediate pain or discomfort, but others, such as overuse injuries and tendinitis, make themselves known only after long-term damage. These are often diagnosed during routine physicals or checkups.

People who regularly engage in physical activities with a high risk of injuries should have regular checkups with their doctor.

How Are Sports Injuries Treated?

A common treatment regimen for sports injuries is known as “RICE,” which stands for “rest, ice, compression, and elevation.”

Numerous medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, also exist for treating sports injuries. Most of them provide relief from pain and swelling.

Serious sports injuries can require surgery and/or physical therapy.

When to Call a Doctor

Call a doctor if there are signs of swelling or if it hurts to place weight on the affected area. If the problem is in the location of a previous injury, seek attention right away.

If there is no improvement after two days of RICE, see a medical professional (University of Rochester Medical Center, 2013).

Sports are an important part of a child's physical and emotional health. It's important for a child to get back into the swing of things as quickly as possible. A child should see a doctor when an injury does not improve after rest and home treatment (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013).

It is estimated that 35 million youths nationwide participate in sports. It is a widely celebrated American pastime, and children are driven to do well in it. A child’s immature skeleton has weaker bones than an adult’s, so take extra care with a child’s injuries. What looks like a tissue injury may in fact be a more serious fracture (Merkel, D., et al., 2013).

Preventing Sports Injuries

The best way to prevent a sports injury is to warm up properly. The body needs to be conditioned for the exercise it is expected to handle.

Learn the proper way to do your sport or activity. Different types of exercise require different stances and postures. For example, in some sports, bending the knees at the appropriate time can help to avoid an injury.

Have the proper equipment. Wear the right shoes and the proper athletic protection.

Don't overdo it. If you do get hurt, make sure you are healed before you dive back into the pool or return to the field. Do not try to 'work through' the pain,

Remember to cool down. Usually, this involves doing the same stretching and exercises involved in a warm up.

Written by: David Heitz
Edited by:
Medically Reviewed by: George Krucik, MD, MBA
Published: Jan 28, 2014
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.
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