Whether it’s football in the fall or baseball in the spring, sports injuries occur year-round. Although many of these injuries can be prevented with proper stretching and technique, not all can be prevented. Below are the five most common sports injuries across all sports:
1. Strains or Sprains
Ever go running and twist your ankle? Welcome to the world of sprains and strains. Sprains or strains are when a muscle or ligament becomes overstretched or tears. How do you know whether you’ve strained or sprained a part of your body? Here’s an easy way to tell: A strain refers only to muscles such as your quadricep or hamstring, and a sprain would occur in a ligament such as your ACL, which is a ligament in your knee.
There are two types of fractures that affect athletes. Acute fractures occur when a bone breaks (think falling out of that tree your parent told you not to climb). Stress fractures occur over time and aren’t necessarily caused by a particular event. Not all fractures can be prevented, but if you use proper technique in your particular sport, you can reduce your risk of fracture.
3. Shin Splints
Common with a lot of runners, a shin splint is pain to the tibia bone. It is usually on the front side of the leg and can be found in runners who run mainly on hard surfaces for a long period of time. A good way to avoid shin splints is to change up where you run in an attempt to find softer surfaces. Try taking a nature trail instead of the road outside your house.
A dislocation is when a joint, such as your shoulder or knee, becomes misaligned. Proper tackling technique in football or throwing mechanics in baseball are great ways you can reduce your chance of dislocating a joint.
5. ACL Injuries
Knee injuries are one of the most common injuries in general, not only just in sports. In addition to the all-too-common ACL injury, there are a number of conditions that affect the knee. These include runner’s knee (a tender feeling on your knee cap), tendonitis (an inflamed tendon), or tears to one of the four main ligaments in the knee (PCL, ACL, MCL, and LCL). You can prevent ACL and other knee injuries by performing exercises that strengthen your balance and agility; consider plyometric exercises that revolve around jumping.
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