Sports Medicine

Sports injuries often occur when playing indoor or outdoor sports or while exercising. They can result from accidents, inadequate training, improper use of protective devices, or insufficient stretching. The most common sports injuries are sprains and strains, fractures and dislocations.

The most common treatment recommended for a sports injury is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE).

  • Rest: Avoid activities that may cause injury.
  • Ice: Ice packs can be applied to the injured area, which canl help reduce swelling and pain. Ice should be applied over a towel on the affected area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day, for several days. Never place ice directly over the skin.
  • Compression: Compression of the injured area can also help reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Elevate the injured part above your heart level to reduce swelling and pain.
     

Measures to help prevent sports-related injuries include:

  • Follow an exercise program to strengthen the muscles.
  • Gradually increase your exercise level and avoid overdoing the exercise.
  • Ensure that you wear properly-fitted protective gear such as elbow guards, eye gear, facemasks, mouth guards, pads, comfortable clothes, and athletic shoes before playing any sports activity.
  • Make sure that you follow warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after the sports activity. Exercises will help stretch muscles, increase flexibility and reduce soft tissue injuries.
  • Avoid exercising immediately after eating a large meal.
  • Maintain a healthy diet, which will nourish the muscles.
  • Avoid playing when you are injured or tired.
  • Learn all the rules of the game you are participating in.
  • Ensure that you are physically fit to play the sport.

Common Sports Injuries Include:

Foot & Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are common in athletes across a variety of sports. Common sports injuries to the foot and ankle include sprains and strains, ankle fractures, and Achilles tendinitis. Treatment for these conditions may include orthotics, braces, physical therapy, injections or surgery.

Shoulder Injuries

Severe pain in your shoulders while playing your favorite sports, such as tennis, basketball and gymnastics, may be caused by a torn ligament or dislocation of the shoulder bone. These may result from overuse of your shoulder while playing sports. Simple pain or acute injuries may be treated with conservative treatment, while chronic injuries may require surgical treatment.

Hip Injuries

Fractures of the femur bone, labral tears, and hip dislocation are common sports injuries affecting the hip. Hip injuries require immediate medical intervention to avoid further complications. Rehabilitation programs and physical therapy is often recommended following medical intervention.

Knee Injuries

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a major stabilizing ligament in the knee, which may tear with over use while playing sports. The ACL does not heal easily on its own and may cause instability. Other common sports injuries in the knee include cartilage damage and meniscal tears. Knee injuries resulting from athletics may require surgical intervention. If so, your surgeon may recommend physical therapy to strengthen your muscles, and improve elasticity and movement of the bones and joints after your procedure.

 

Additional Sports Medicine Topics

Click on the topics below for more information from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.