Practicing a sport is a healthy way to keep your body healthy and strong and the mind active in the long run. Plus, there are a ton of health and mental benefits to staying active, especially as you advance in years.
But poor training practices, too much effort, lack of shape, or improper gear can sometimes lead to accidents that may result in injuries. When this happens, it’s important to keep in mind that most sports injuries are fixable, if addressed in time.
The most common injuries are strains and sprains, meniscus tears, knee injuries, fractures, and dislocations. Moving forward, we’ll have a quick look at how each of these injuries presents and what’s the recovery course.
1. Strains and Sprains- May Require Immobilization
Strains appear when we use a muscle or a tendon too much or when something moves in a way it shouldn’t. When this happens, you’ll feel pain in the affected area (usually hamstrings, quads, or the groin area), but if you rest and avoid effort for a few days, the tissue will heal naturally.
Sprains are the strains of the ligaments (the connective tissue between bones) and they also present as pain when you try to move the joint. A tear can happen if you make a wrong step or use your arm incorrectly which forces the bones and tissues to move out of their natural range of motion.
The most common type of sprains is in the ankle, knee, wrist, and elbow. In this case, recovery takes longer and you may have to put the affected area in a cast to avoid movement. Also, sprains weaken the affected ligaments which leaves players susceptible to more sprains in the future.
2. Meniscus Tears: May Require Surgery
The menisci are two small pieces of cartilage that help your knee joint perform its functions whether you walk, run, or dance. The job of the menisci is to absorb the shock of movement and maintain the joint working in perfect conditions.
However, there are situations when the meniscus can get damaged, and the most common injury is a horizontal meniscus tear. This type of injury will present with pain and swelling, but you’ll also have the sensation of a locked knee (or a knee that catches).
If the situation requires, you will have to get meniscus repair surgery (not very invasive) and go through a recovery period that includes rest and physical therapy.
3. Knee Injuries: Most Likely Will Require Surgery
The knee is a complex joint, with many moving parts without which it cannot function. Also, walking alone puts a lot of pressure on your knees, and practicing a sport just gives your knees more work.
Of course, this shouldn’t stop you from being active – knees are also capable of enduring a lot of effort. Still, there are a few common injuries (besides the meniscus tear) you should be aware of. For instance, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is often the problem, but the knee can also get dislocated or suffer fractures.
In most situations, a knee injury will require repair surgery and a longer period of rest and physical therapy. Also, you may not be able to practice a sport that puts a lot of pressure on the knees.
Sports injuries can be avoided or, at least reduce their occurrence, with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Also, proper warm-up, good posture, and stretches before and after physical activity play a crucial role in the health of your body and joints.
Playing sports is a lot of fun, but if you want to keep it that way, you have to make sure you are ready for the extra effort and strain on your body.