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How to Treat the Most Common Types of Sports Injuries

A sports injury can include any injury sustained while participating in sports, exercise, or other physical activities. Everyone from professional athletes to pee wee soccer players experience them, and they range greatly in type and severity. Sometimes sports injuries are caused by poor training or inadequate gear, sometimes they are caused by equipment malfunctions, and sometimes they are the result of sheer accidents.

One thing that is true of all sports injuries, however, is that they require swift and specific care. Read on to learn the best treatment options for the most common type of sports injuries, and contact QualCare Rehabilitation for all your physical rehabilitation needs.  

Common Sports Injuries and How to Treat Them

  • Sprains: Athletes frequently experience sprains of the ankle, the wrist, and in other sensitive areas when extra strain is put on a ligament, causing it to stretch or tear.  Use ice and compression to prevent swelling and discomfort, and keep the injury elevated if possible. While it is a good idea to take a break from physical activity for a bit following a strain, particularly if you are playing an intense sport, in most cases you will not want to rest the injury for too long. Movement helps sprains heal, and if you do not begin using the injured body part again soon, you could lose flexibility or strength in it.  
  • Knee Injuries: The level of treatment your knee injury is going to require is likely to depend on the nature of the injury itself. Mild knee injuries like tendonitis, iliotibial band syndrome, and patellofemoral syndrome will usually heal on their own through rest, and by regaining strength gradually with exercise. More serious knee injuries, however, like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, and medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears, may require surgery and rehab to fully mend.  
  • Pulled Hamstrings: When the three muscles in the back of your thigh are over-stretched through large movements, like hurdling or kicking, a pulled or strained hamstring is likely to be the result. Unfortunately, hamstring injuries often take up to 12 weeks to heal, and require standard icing, compressing, and elevating. That said, you may also be able to improve a pulled hamstring by taking anti-inflammatory medication and practicing doctor-recommended strengthening and stretching exercises, once your muscles feel up to it. Most critically, avoid jumping back into exercise too soon, as pulled hamstrings will not heal under excessive strain.
  • Tennis Elbow: Tennis elbow, known in the medical profession as epicondylitis, is an elbow injury sustained during repetitive movement, such as in golf or tennis swings, or through weight-lifting. As with all repetitive strain injuries, you will want to take a break from the motion causing the injury so your elbow can heal, in addition to icing it and using limited anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen and aspirin. It may also be a good idea to use an elbow strap for a few weeks following this type of injury. If your tennis elbow does not get batter after that point, you may want to ask a doctor about a steroid prescription, coupled with physical rehabilitation.
  • Shin Splints: Pain that runs down your legs and along your shin bone, usually after intense running on paved roads, is commonly known as shin splints. Rest, ice, and over-the-counter medicine will all work fine in treating this condition, although another smart treatment method is to purchase insole or orthotic shoe inserts, to prevent your arches from collapsing and flattening, thus causing further pain.
  • Dislocations: When the bone in a joint is pushed out of alignment, it will become dislocated, potentially causing serious pain. It is possible to put, or “pop” a dislocated bone back into its place, however, it is important to be careful, as this can damage the connective tissue around the joint if attempt it improperly. Keep as still as possible following a dislocation injury, and try to position the body part to stay in the same place. Apply ice, and seek the help of a doctor before trying to realign the injury. In some cases, surgery may be necessary, if you have weak ligaments and joints with a tendency to dislocate.
  • Fractures: Fractures, or broken bones, as they are commonly called, require emergency medical attention, and cannot be treated on your own. If you suspect you have experienced a fracture, don’t move the injured body part, and visit a doctor immediately.  A cast will usually be set, though you may need surgery as well in more extreme cases. Either way, physical therapy or chiropractic services may be required to return the broken bone to optimal function

Get Back on the Field Again, With QualCare Rehabilitation

As a Houston injury rehab center known for exceptional patient care, our goal is to return you to your normal life as soon as possible. Sports injuries can feel debilitating, but with the help of our experienced team of chiropractors, physical therapists, and pain management professionals, you may be back out on the field or the court sooner thank you think. Contact QualCare Rehabilitation today, and achieve victory against your injury.

Our providers are here to help. Call (713) 588-0042 for more information, or click here to fill out our contact form online.