common sports injuriesHampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine knows participating in sports can promote good health, as well as teach you how to compete and be a contribution to a team.

Each year, many people are injured from playing sports and suffer from orthopedic issues. Even when safety precautions are taken, accidents still happen. While some injuries are minor, others can be severe. Orthopedic injuries involve the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, ligament,tendons, joints, nerves  and muscles. Here are some of the most common orthopedic problems people can experience from playing sports.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains rank at the top of the list of sports-related orthopedic problems.

  • Sprains involve the tearing or stretching of ligaments, which are the fibrous, tough tissues that connect bones. Consider that ankle sprains occur more than any other type of sprain.
  • Strains, which are also known as “pulled muscles”, occur when muscles or tendons become stretched. Usually, strains involve the lower back, as well as the hamstring muscle, which is located in the back of the thigh. Using or stretching a muscle too much can lead to a tear in tendons or muscle fibers.
  • Usually, minor sprains and strains can be effectively treated at home by resting, using anti-inflammatory medication and icing the affected area. In severe cases, surgery may be needed for repairing torn muscles, tendons or ligaments.

Bone Fractures

Broken bones or bone fractures are another top injury from playing sports. The two main types of bone fractures are acute fractures and stress fractures.

  • Acute fractures involve one-time bone injuries that happen suddenly and are typically traumatic.
  • Stress fractures, which are tiny cracks in bones, entail recurring stress on a bone over a period of time. Often, stress fractures occur in the feet or legs from playing sports that involve repetitive impact from jumping and running.
  • Most fractures are considered as emergencies, requiring surgery.

Shin Splints

Shin splints mostly occur in running and involve a sharp pain that shoots down a person’s leg. It often happens when people haven’t exercised for a long time. It can also be caused from a stress fracture in the bone.

Minor cases can be treated by resting, applying ice packs and using over-the-counter pain medication. If these treatments don’t bring relief, you’ll need to see an orthopedic specialist. One way to prevent this problem is by wearing shoes that fit properly.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, also known as epicondylitis, is the result of excessive use of the elbow and involves tiny tears in the ligaments of the elbow. Although pain is usually on the outside of the elbow, it can also be felt on the inside. It mostly occurs in people in the 30 to 60 age bracket.

For minor injuries, anti-inflammatory medications, icing the injury and rest are effective treatments. For more serious cases, a doctor’s care may be required. One way to prevent tennis elbow is by wearing an elbow brace and doing stretching exercises that involve the forearm.

Prevention Guidelines

  • Before working out, always do a warm-up routine as this helps in flexibility because more blood flows to the muscles. As a result, it’s less likely you’ll be injured.
  • After you exercise or participate in a sport, take time to cool down.
  • To prevent lumbar sprains, practice proper lifting techniques.

If home treatments have been unsuccessful, don’t hesitate to call Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. Our highly skilled and experienced orthopaedic specialists diagnose and treat a wide range of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, using corrective mechanical devices, physical therapy and surgery when necessary.  For an appointment, contact us at (757) 873-1554.