Sports Injury refers to the kinds of injuries that occur during sports or exercise activities, but not necessarily limited to athletes. Generally, sports injuries refer to those that occur in active individuals. We will cover the most common types of sports injuries, those that affect the musculoskeletal system.

Sports injuries are commonly caused by overuse, direct impact or the force applied, that is greater than the body part can structurally withstand.

There are two types of sports injuries: Acute and Chronic. An injury that occurs suddenly, such as a sprained ankle caused by an awkward landing, is known as an acute injury.

Chronic injuries are caused by overuse of muscle groups or joints. Poor technique and structural abnormalities can also contribute to the development of chronic injuries. Medical investigation of any sports injury is important, because you may be hurt more severely than you think. For example, what seems like an ankle sprain may actually be a bone fracture.

Causes of Sports Injuries

Anyone can suffer a sports injury, but several factors increase the risk of sustaining injury. The type of sports injury you are most vulnerable to depends on the activity you participate in, fitness, your age and your sex.

The risk factors that can be the causes of sports injuries include:

  • Poor exercise techniques.
  • Overtraining, either by training too often, too frequently or for too long.
  • Changing the intensity of physical activity too quickly.
  • Running or jumping on hard or unsuitable surfaces.
  • Wearing shoes that do not have proper support.
  • A prior injury.
  • Having anatomical features specific to each joint or poor flexibility.
  • Taking certain medications, such as fluoroquinolones, a class of antibiotics linked to tendinitis and tendon rupture.

Common sports injuries

Some of the most common sports injuries are:

  • Ankle sprain.
  • Bruises.
  • Concussion.
  • Cuts and abrasions.
  • Dental damage.
  • Groin strain.
  • Hamstring strain.
  • Knee joint injuries.
  • Nose injuries.
  • Stress fractures.

prevention of sports injuries

You can reduce your risk of sports injuries by following below:

  • Warm up thoroughly before the physical activity.
  • Wear appropriate footwear.
  • Tape or strap vulnerable joints, if needed.
  • Use the appropriate safety equipment, such as mouth guards, helmets and pads.
  • Hydrate, during and after the game.
  • Try to avoid intense physical activties in the hottest parts of the day, between 11AM and 3PM.
  • Maintain fitness levels, particularly in the off season (if you are an athlete).
  • Cross-train with other sports to ensure overall fitness and muscle strength.
  • Do not exert yourself beyond your level of fitness. Gradually increase intensity and duration of activity.
  • Cool down after sport with gentle, sustained stretches.
  • Allow adequate recovery time between sessions.
  • Have regular medical check-ups with your doctor.

how to treat sports injuries

Treatment depends on the type and how severe the injury is. You should see your sports doctor, if pain persists after a 48 hours. You may think it is a minor sprain, but it may actually be a fractured bone.

Physiotherapy can help rehabilitate the injured site and depending on the injury, may include exercises to promote strength and flexibility. You should not return to sports activities after injury until your sports doctor and/or physiotherapist advices.

Trying to play before the injury is properly healed will only further damage affected area and delay recovery. The biggest single risk factor for soft tissue injury is a previous injury.

As an experienced Sports Medicine Doctor in Nairobi, Dr. Miano provides conservative, minimally invasive and surgical solutions for sports injuries to both athletes and non-athletes alike.

When to see Sports Medicine Doctor

If your sports injury looks or feels severe, make an appointment to see your orthopaedic sports doctor. You should seek emergency care if the injured area shows signs of:

  • Severe swelling and pain.
  • Visible lumps, bumps or other deformities in the affected area.
  • Popping or crunching sounds when you use the joint.
  • Weakness or inability to put weight on the joint.
  • Instability.

Serious sports injuries may require orthopaedic surgery and/or physical therapy. If the injury doesn’t heal within two weeks, contact your orthopaedic doctor right away.

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