At Dynamic Health, we provide the same level of sports performance services for the recreational and the elite athlete alike. We recognize the complex nature of sports-related injuries and combine all of our pain treatment protocols to create a systematic plan to correct the cause of your injury.
There are hundreds of different sports injuries, but there are certain parts of the body that are more prone to damage than others. In our continuing effort to educate pain sufferers, this blog will follow-up last week’s entry with the top five most common sports injuries, as well as ways to prevent and treat these ailments.
5) Pulled Muscle
The most commonly pulled muscles are hamstrings and calves. The hamstrings are the muscles behind your thighs; pulling them is painful and can even cause bruising. While these are the most common, you can pull many different muscles depending on the sport you are performing. For example, a baseball pitcher can strain or pull their triceps while an offensive line can pull a pectoral muscle while blocking.
Prevention and treatment: The best way to prevent pulling a muscle is to stretch properly before and after exercising. As with most injuries, RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful, as well as gentle stretches. When the injury has begun to heal, you can begin exercising again, but stop every so often during your workout to stretch until you are completely healed.
4) Tennis / Golf Elbow
Elbow injuries account for 7% of all sports injuries. Tennis elbow consists of tendon degeneration in the elbow due to repeated backhand strokes in tennis. It causes pain on the outside of the elbow. Golf elbow, on the other hand, usually affects the inside of the elbow. The pain experienced is a result of an inflammation of the epicondyle, the area on the inside of the elbow where the forearm-flexing muscles attach to the upper arm.
Prevention and treatment: The best way to prevent these ailments is to perform forearm-strengthening exercises, such as wrist curls, reverse wrist curls and squeezing a soft rubber ball. Also, improving your swing technique and wearing an elbow brace can be very helpful. Treatment can be as simple as RICE and anti-inflammatory medications, but in some cases physiotherapy and a prolonged break from the sport may be necessary.
3) Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprains are very common among soccer, hockey, basketball and volleyball players. They are almost inevitable in sports that involve jumping, running and turning quickly; these movements can lead to twisting the ankle and even possibly tearing a tendon or ligament. An X-ray can rule out the possibility of a fracture.
Prevention and treatment: Strengthening your ankles by doing exercises such as ankle lifts on stairs, as well as taping the ankle or wearing a lace-up brace can help, but these measures do not guarantee you won’t be injured if you fall hard or make a false movement. Treat an ankle sprain with RICE and anti-inflammatory drugs, but don’t rest it excessively for more than a day. To help your ankle heal faster, you should try to move your ankle gently to get the circulation going and reduce swelling.
2) Shoulder Injury
About 20% of sports injuries involve the shoulder, including dislocations, sprains and strains. Shoulder injuries are most common in tennis, swimming, weightlifting, baseball and volleyball — basically, any sport that involves a lot of overhead movement. These problems are generally due to overuse, which loosens the rotator cuff — the group of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder. Symptoms include pain, stiffness and weakness and slipping in the shoulder.
Prevention and treatment: Shoulder injuries often occur when you haven’t been using your shoulder muscles for a while. If you do injure yourself, RICE and an anti-inflammatory medication are your best treatment options.
1) Runner’s Knee
Knee injuries comprise about 55% of all sports injuries and approximately one-fourth of all problems treated by orthopedic surgeons. Although torn ligaments and cartilage are the most common injuries, many knee problems are grouped into the category of “runner’s knee,” which includes a variety of aches and pains related to the kneecap. Runners are not the only victims of such injuries; they also strike cyclists, swimmers, people who practice step aerobics and football, basketball and volleyball players. Runner’s knee occurs when overuse leads to irritation of the tendon below the kneecap or when the region underneath the kneecap is worn or afflicted with arthritis.
Prevention and treatment: Replace shoes and insoles regularly; choose a softer running surface such as an indoor track rather than hard pavement; strengthen your quadriceps through weight training; take more rest days between workouts and cross train to prevent overuse. If you injure your knee, don’t exercise for at least two days and take an anti-inflammatory medication. When you resume your workout, make sure to warm up properly and apply ice to your knee for about 20 minutes afterward.
Charlotte Sports Performance
Remember: the best way to avoid sports injuries that keep you out of the game is to stretch adequately before and after your workout. It’s important to pace yourself according to your level of skill and experience in the sport.
If you are suffering from a sports-related injury, Dynamic Health provides sports performance treatments and programs. We offer new client appointments within one to three days, and we are one of the only pain management clinics to provide imaging-guided injections without a long wait.