Whether you’re a competitive athlete or someone who hits the basketball court or jogs on occasion, you run the risk of a sports injury. In fact, among kids in the United States alone, 3.5 million sports injuries are reported each year. Thankfully, most sports injuries are quite treatable, regardless of your age, especially if you seek effective care early on.
The expert team at Johnson Medical Center in Venice, Florida, applies an integrative approach to diagnosing and treating sports injuries. Read on to learn about some of the most common sports injuries, including how they’re best treated.
Common sports injuries
The type of sports injury you’re most susceptible to depends on several factors, such as the type of activity you engage in, whether or not you use proper form and equipment, and your overall health.
Among specific sports, football injuries are one of the most common, followed by biking, baseball, softball, and hockey. But you can also develop a sports injury during a brisk walk, if your legs or feet are stiff to begin with or if you walk over uneven or icy ground.
Eight of the most common sports injuries include:
- Sprains and strains, particularly in your ankle, back, or thigh
- Tendinitis, including tennis elbow
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus tears
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
- Rotator cuff injuries
A sprain affects the bands of tissue that connect two of your bones. A strain is a muscle injury in the tissue that attaches your muscle to your bone. Rotator cuff tears are among the most common tendon injuries, affecting an estimated 8-20% of people at some point.
Treatment for your sports injury
Treatment for sports injuries varies, too, based on the type and severity. For sprains and strains, the most common sports injuries by far, and for other tendon issues, we often recommend conservative treatments, such as:
- Immobilization in a brace
- Rest, ice therapy, compression, and elevation
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Laser therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Sedative stretching
You may also benefit from over-the-counter medications to reduce pain and inflammation. If you have a fracture, particularly a severe one, you may need surgery and a cast. Casts and braces help keep your injured body part in a proper position as it heals, while guarding against additional injury.
Johnson Medical Center also offers regenerative medicine treatments for sports injuries, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and mesenchymal stem cell therapy. Regenerative medicine aims to help you recover faster, drawing on your body’s natural healing mechanisms.