Athletes work hard on the field and off to build strength and agility, so when a sports injury occurs it can really affect the ability to compete. Some sports injuries can even have you sidelined from playing at the level you’re used to because of how sports injuries can temporarily hinder mobility. While contact sports like football and wrestling are well-known for causing injuries, you might be surprised at other sports and activities that lead to common sports injuries. In order to stay competitive and in shape, you may want to visit a physical therapy clinic to help you through the healing process after a sports injury.
Here are four common sports injuries and how a physical therapy clinic can help.
Some of the most common sports injuries are sprains that affect the ligaments that connect bones to joints. Many people are familiar with the ankle sprain and you don’t even have to be a competitive athlete to suffer one of these. One wrong step can have you rolling your ankle and overstretching the tendon that connects the leg bone to the ankle joint. An orthopedic doctor can assess your ankle sprain and also rule out a more serious injury. For most ankle sprains, your doctor will recommend you stay off the ankle as much as possible and apply ice and heat to help with swelling.
You may also want to work with an Atlanta physical therapist to learn exercises and stretches that can help you maintain your flexibility and strength, and also to help avoid re-injury.
If you’ve ever felt pain on the front of your lower legs that was tender to the touch then you may have experienced shin splints. Shin splints are common with runners and athletes who train or play on hard surfaces. This type of injury can result due to overuse and affect the tissues that connect your lower leg muscles to your shin bones. People who have flat feet, weak ankles, and weak core muscles are also more susceptible to shin splints. Athletes who experience shin splints should make sure they have supportive shoes that fit well when they participate in the sport.
An orthopedic doctor would recommend rest and taking time away from activities that are causing the pain and inflammation. Giving your legs enough time to rest allows the swelling and pain to go down. A physical therapy clinic may also work with you to gently stretch the muscles that support your shin and even utilize therapeutic massage.
Racquet sports like tennis tend to involve repetitive arm motions that can cause pain and discomfort with overuse. Tennis elbow refers to an injury that affects the tendons on the outside of your elbow that become aggravated and inflamed. This type of pain can radiate into your forearm and wrist, which can affect your ability to participate in the sports you love. These muscles and tendons can become overloaded from common twisting motions like with tennis or baseball, or even from poor technique in these sports. An orthopedic doctor may want to get a clearer picture of the area with an X-ray or CT scan and rule out any potential fractures. Your doctor may recommend a combination of resting in between activities and icing the area until the swelling goes down.
A physical therapy clinic can also recommend physiotherapy stretches and exercises that can help improve flexibility and mobility in your elbow. This can also help you build muscle strength in the area to better support your elbow and wrist joints.
The knee joints bear all our body weight and are susceptible to wear-and-tear and overuse injuries. Injuries to the muscles and ligaments that support the knee can also affect the knee’s ability to function properly. Common knee injuries are typically caused either by overuse or from an acute event, like a sudden impact or fall. Basketball, cheerleading, football, and gymnastics can lead to knee injuries because of the high impact and stress put on the knee joints. Runner’s knee is a common sports injury that affects athletes in a variety of sports. This is a type of overuse injury that causes pain in the front of the knee because of how the kneecap rubs against the thigh bone.
An orthopedic doctor will want to assess your knee joint for any tissue damage due to the injury. You may also work with your orthopedic doctor at a physical therapy clinic to try low-impact stretches and exercises to avoid weakened muscles while the area heals.
At AICA Orthopedics, our team of multi-specialty doctors knows how to diagnose and treat sports injuries so you experience lasting pain relief and get back out on the field stronger than ever!