How common are sports injuries? 

How common are sports injuries? 

Sports and injuries go hand-in-hand; which is why it is always a good idea to know the Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Lahore. The benefits of playing sports are many, and the idea of injuries should not deter one from playing. Read on to know more about the common sports injuries and how you can prevent them:

Muscle strains

The muscles and tendons we employ in sports are many, and when we stretch them farther than we should, or move them wrong, we can end up damaging or straining them. In normal circumstances, the muscles and tendons are stretched like a spring, but return back to their normal length. However, when pulled way too far, they become strained and damaged, just like a spring that pulled too much.  

Muscle strains, like pulled hamstrings, strained quads and pulled groin muscles are, the commonest injuries in sports. 

How to avoid muscle strains: proper warm-up before playing, and stretching exercise prevent muscle injuries. According to director of athletic medicine Dr. Margot Putukian, at Princeton University, warm-up decreases the risk of injury through increasing the blood supply to the muscles and improving flexibility. The ability of the muscle to stretch, thus, would be increased and it wouldn’t be strained. 

Sprains

Like the muscles stretched too far result in strain, the ligaments turned wrong result in sprain injury. Ligaments are tissues that join bone to another bone. If damaged during sports, they can take longer to heal, and are more painful to deal with. For proper healing, immobilization is sometimes needed to keep the bones still and protect against further injury. Common sprains include those of: ankle, wrist, elbow and knee. 

How to prevent sprains: sprains should be seen to, by proper professionals to make sure the bones did not separate. The healthcare provider will also prescribe certain exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of the ligament, and reduce the risk of re-injury. 

Knee injuries

Knee injuries such as the tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can occur due to sudden stops while playing, or getting a hit from the side. Often, the tear of ACL is heard as a ‘pop’ sound. The probability of these injuries being pretty serious is very high. Such individuals often need surgery to re-gain movement. 

Apart from ACL, dislocations are common knee injuries, along with cartilage tears and fractures. 

How to prevent knee injuries: knee injuries can be prevented by properly warming-up before playing and working out to strengthen the muscles. The importance of proper gear for sports like proper padding and guards, should not be underestimated. These guards and pads reduce the risk of fractures and other serious injuries. 

Upon impact, it’s important to stop playing and assessing for injuries. Pain is the body’s way of asking for attention. If one plays through the pain or ignore it, the bone can become vulnerable to fracture and irreversible injuries can occur. 

Fractures

Bones—of the arms and legs—break often while playing most contact sports.  Fractures do not often become apparent immediately, especially hairline fractures. They are only caught on x-rays when pain and swelling doesn’t subside. 

How to prevent fractures: wearing proper protective gear and padding protect the joints and bones from impact injuries. Warming up and playing with good form also play a protective role and reduce the risk of possible injuries. For contact sports, bracing and padding should be worn. 

Most orthopedics including the Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Karachi recommend the RICE method for the common treatment of sports injuries. This includes: R for rest, I for icing, C for compression and E for elevation. RICE, if followed correctly during the first 24 to 36 hours can reduce the swelling and progression of injury.  

Johny Louria

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