Sports injuries vary in severity from minor sprains to more severe neck or head injuries. Despite all the different injuries that can occur, there are some essential treatments for the most common sports injuries that every athlete should be aware of.

Here are five treatments for the worst sports injuries that can help you get back on your feet and back in the game as soon as possible.

1. A Sprained Ankle

Sprains are very common sports injuries, but they can be extremely painful. Many happen when you twist or roll your foot, and the ankle joint is forced out of its normal position.

Treatments include:

• Icing

• Manual adjustment (popping the ankle back in place)

• Wearing supportive orthotics

• Doctor-prescribed stretches to aid healing and blood flow

2. Tennis Elbow

It may be called “tennis elbow,” but this sports injury isn’t restricted to only tennis players. Tennis elbow causes pain on the outside of the elbow and forearm.

It occurs with over-use or strenuous use of the elbow and forearm muscles and tendons.

The best ways to treat this at home are:

• A supportive sling

• Icing and heating

• Rest

• Doctor-recommended stretching

If prescribed, manual needling or other procedures can also relieve the pain.

3. A Pulled Muscle

A pulled muscle can be a tricky sports-related injury. Depending on the size and location of the muscle and the severity of the pain, treatment options will vary.

Before trying any method of sports injury treatment, it’s wise to consult with a sports injury clinic. They can tell you if at-home treatments are sufficient. Just be aware that stretching could worsen symptoms if done too soon after the injury takes place.

Common at-home treatments are:

• Rest, rest, and more rest

• Icing the injured muscle

• Using a heating pad

• Taking warm baths or showers to soak the injury

• Use of a supportive sling

4. Shoulder Pain

Often, shoulder pain is the result of rotator cuff tendinitis. This happens when your tendons swell, and you feel pain in your upper arm and shoulder.

Shoulder pain can occur with participation in many different sports but is especially common to activities such as swimming, baseball, tennis, dance, and any other where your arm’s full range of motion is used.

Common treatments include:

• Applying heat or cold

• Using a supportive sling

• Dry needling

• A manual friction massage

However, if the pain is severe, it’s essential to consult a professional as some forms of treatment could worsen the injury. Experts at can assess the severity of your injury and help you know what’s best for treatment.

5. Runner’s Knee

Patellofemoral syndrome, or “runner’s knee,” frequently happens to avid runners. Repetitive use of the tendon below the knee cap causes inflammation.

The best way to treat this is through:

• Rest

• Again, icing or heating the injured tendon

• Specific stretching and strengthening exercises to adjust knee alignment while running

If the pain persists, a physiatrist (a doctor specializing in sports-related injuries and pain) can assess your gait. Physiatrists can recommend ways to run or change your routine so you can keep doing what you love.

More On Common Sports Injuries

Even the most experienced athletes suffer from common sports injuries that require ports injury treatment. Getting regular check-ups with your family or sports injury doctor can help you stay in peak condition while exercising.

For more helpful tips and info, visit the Lifestyle portion of our website. Happy playing!