When most people think of a sports injury, they tend to think of something sudden, such as a pro football player getting hurt during a tackle. While this certainly qualifies, the term “sports injury” can include so much more. It includes any type of injury that occurs while performing an athletic activity. It can happen by lifting heavy weights at the gym, running in ill-fitted shoes, swinging a bat too aggressively, or rolling your ankle on the soccer field.
One of the most important aspects to rehabilitating a sports injury is treating it as soon as possible. Your treatment plan and duration of recovery will vary depending on how severe the injury is, your health history, and whether or not the injury requires surgical intervention.
There are a number of different injuries that can occur while performing an athletic activity. Some of the most common include:
- Sprain – Your ligaments connect one bone to another. A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched beyond its limits. Once a sprain occurs and a ligament is stretched, it is more likely that it can occur again.
- Strain or pulled muscle – Your tendons connect your muscles to your bones. A strain, or pulled muscle, occurs when a tendon or muscle tissue is stretched beyond its limits. Much like a sprain, once the tissue is stretched, it is more likely that it will be strained once again.
- Knee injuries – Your knee is the most complex joint in your body. Because of this, it is also one of the most commonly injured body parts. Knee injuries can include repetitive-use injuries that make it difficult to move the knee, dull aches that run from your hip to your knee, or more severe injuries such as an ACL tear that require intensive rehabilitation and have a higher probability of needing surgical correction.
- Shin splints – Shin splints, medically referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome, is a pain that is felt in the shin bones. This pain is typically caused by stress placed on the shinbone and the connective tissues surrounding it. Shin splints often leave you feeling debilitated and limited due to the harsh impact they have on your shins; however, they can be avoided by strengthening your core and leg muscles, wearing proper footwear, and warming up before exercise.
Your treatment plan will typically include manual therapy, stretching, and strengthening exercises. Manual therapy is used to increase your range of motion and reduce scar tissue, stretching is used to improve balance and mobility, and strengthening exercises are used to support the injured and surrounding areas. These are all done in order to help you recover after your sports injury and to prevent further injury from occurring.