How to Avoid These 8 Common Sports Injuries

While exercising is a healthy activity, you can hurt yourself when exercising or engaging in sports. Various preventable factors contribute to multiple sports injuries. Injuries limit you from engaging in sporting activities; thus, preventing them is crucial. This article highlights various sports injuries and some preventive measures to avoid them.

two basketball players on a court

The 8 most common sports injuries 

Athletics puts wear and tear on the body. And the longer you play – the more likely you are to get hurt. There are eight particular types of injury that come through the orthopedist’s office again and again.

1. Various sprains and strains

A sprain is a torn or stretched ligament, often affecting the ankle and wrist areas. A strain is a torn or stretched tendon. Pain, bruising, swelling, and the inability to move the joint are all symptoms of sprains and strains. When the injury occurs, you may feel a pop or tear. 

Sprains and strains are usually treated by icing the injured part, resting it, and using a bandage or device to compress the affected area. Medication may also be prescribed for this condition. During the treatment process, your physician may recommend exercise and physical therapy. 

2. Knee ligament damage

Bone, fluid, cartilage, and ligaments form your knee joint. In addition, muscles and tendons assist in knee joint movement. Knee problems occur when any of these parts is injured. 

A tear in the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a common sports injury. An unexpected twisting motion triggers ACL injuries. The underlying cause determines the treatment. 

If you land awkwardly, perhaps after a jump, you could hyperextend your knee. This can result in the partial or complete tear or stretching of the PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament).

Injury to the MCL (medial collateral ligament) can be particularly painful, as the ligament spans the distance from the thigh to the shin bone. This is typically caused by a hit to the outside of the knee joint, pushing it inward and tearing the ligament. Injury to the LCL (lateral collateral ligament) is much the same, though the knee is pushed outward rather than inward.

3. Myositis

Myositis is the inflammation of the muscles. Myositis can occur in anyone at any age, including children. The primary muscles it affects are the hips, shoulders, and thighs. 

Myositis symptoms differ from person to person. They can include tired and weak muscles that make you unable to carry out daily tasks like combing hair, climbing stairs, brushing hair, and going in and out of cars. You may also experience difficult muscle pain and tenderness, and sometimes muscles swell. 

4. Achilles tendon pain or stiffness

The Achilles tendon is a fibrous band made of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel. This tendon’s flexibility and strength are essential for jumping, walking, and running. Unfortunately, your Achilles tendon is subjected to a lot of pressure and stress in your daily activities, and even more so during athletic and recreational activities. Tendonitis occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed, irritated, and swollen. 

Achilles tendon injuries frequently result in stiffness, pain, and swelling near the heel in the back of the leg. You can treat the injuries through exercises, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery may also be recommended to repair the tendon. 

5. Shin splints

Pain along the shinbone, or “tibial stress syndrome,” is also known as shin splints. This is the big bone on the front side of the lower leg. Pain along the shinbone often affects dancers, military workers, and runners. They are common in athletes who have recently increased or changed their training routines. Increased activity strains the bone tissue and tendon muscles, tendons, and bone tissue. 

Most shin splints can be treated at home with rest, ice, and other self-care measures. In addition, wearing the right footwear and changing your exercise routine can prevent shin splints. But if you’re ever in severe pain, or have limited mobility, you should see an orthopedist. 

6. Rotator cuff pain or tearing

The rotator cuff is a collection of tendons and muscles that secure the top of your upper arm bone in the shoulder socket. It forms part of the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff maintains the arm’s stability when the arm is moved in any direction. 

Rotator cuff injuries occur most often in people who perform repetitive overhead movements, like athletes, painters, and carpenters. Physicians often recommend physical therapy, as it improves flexibility and strengthens the surrounding muscles over time. This is a comment treatment path for ongoing pain, but if a rotator cuff tears as the result of a single injury – more common in athletes – it may require immediate surgery.

7. Fractures and breaks

A fracture occurs when there is a break in the bone. For example, you could get a compound and open fracture when a broken bone penetrates the skin. Fractures mainly happen due to sports injuries, car accidents, or falls. Osteoporosis and low bone density are two other causes of bone weakness. Additionally, you can have stress fractures, which are very tiny bone cracks due to overuse. 

8. Dislocations

This is a condition where bones are pushed to leave their normal positions. It is mainly caused by trauma from a car accident, fall, or collision during contact sports. Some areas affected by dislocations include elbows, jaws, fingers, knees, and shoulders. 

Which sports cause the most injuries?

A 2014 study on sports injuries showed that injuries occur at higher rates when playing these three sports:


Basketball is a popular sport worldwide, with millions of players between the ages of 12 and 17. Unfortunately, the sport is among those that cause the most injuries. Major sports injuries caused by basketball include sprains and bruises. You can avoid such injuries by wearing the right protection gear, including a mouth guard, eye protection, and kneepads. 


Football injuries are common among professional, college, and teen players. Ankle sprains, knee injuries, and shoulder dislocations are common. Protect yourself and your child from football injuries by wearing all the required pads, warming up, and reminding your child of the rules of safe play.

Ice hockey 

Around 10,000 hockey players each year suffer injuries in the rink. One major injury that is associated with ice hockey is concussions. Avoid ice hockey injuries by limiting head contact while playing and wearing the right protective attire. Also, encourage your child to inform you in case of any injury – a crucial part of concussion treatment.

3 Ways to Prevent Sports Injuries 

Injuries can’t be avoided, but there are measures you can take to minimize the risk. You can prevent sports injuries in the following ways: 

1. Be ready, stretched, and warmed up.

You should train properly before participating in any sporting activity to reduce the risk of injury. Understand that even the greatest player can be injured. Be sure you’re in the proper physical condition to participate and that you sit out when you need to protect an injury. Stretch and warm up before games to minimize muscular injuries. Plenty of sleep, water, and nutrients are also essential to helping the body protect itself.

2. Follow the rules.

Every sport has a complex set of rules, and facilities have their own policies. And many of them are directly related to safety. Be sure you’re listening to referees and umpires when they’re giving information – and follow all safety measures for your sport (even if they seem too strict). 

3. Wear your gear.

Every workout regimen has its gear, and so does every sport. And it’s there for a reason. This includes things like helmets, gloves, mouth guards, knee and elbow pads, and goggles. These are important to protecting your body from impact. Don’t leave home without it.

Sports injury treatment at Alexander Orthopaedics 

At Alexander Orthopaedic Associates, we provide innovative, patient-focused care using the latest orthopedic devices and new surgical techniques. Our customized treatment plans ensure that all athletes – from pee wees to pros – get back on the field in no time. Schedule an appointment with Alexander Orthopaedics today.