Do you like watching sports? Not only are they entertaining, but they also provide a sense of community when everyone around you is rooting for the same team.
If you’re an athlete, you know the feeling of accomplishment, and the road that’s full of frustrations, that are part and parcel of an active lifestyle.
In the same way that sports are in a league of their own, so is the treatment necessary to get an injured athlete back on the field (or the track, pool, or court).
The Top 3 Most Common Sports Injuries and Treatments
Here’s an overview of the most common sports related injuries and treatment options.
1. ACL Tears
What Does ACL Stand For?
ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament. An ACL tear is an injury to one of the ligaments around your knees, and it is one of the most common knee injuries seen in athletes.
What Causes an ACL Tear
When playing high demand sports, such as soccer, football, gymnastics, or basketball, there are several movements that could result in an ACL injury. Some of them are:
- Sudden rapid movements to one side (especially when pivoting while leaving your feet firmly planted on the ground)
- Landing incorrectly from a jump
- Trauma (such as bumping into another player or getting tackled)
- Landing on your knees (such as when playing volleyball)
Treatment for ACL Injury
ACL injuries do not heal on their own. Once an athlete suffers from it, they will likely need ACL reconstruction surgery. The patient would undergo general anesthesia and the doctor would remove the damaged tendon and replace it with new tissue.
Treatment of ACL injuries is necessary to get the athlete back to playing their sport and to prevent joint instability, cartilage damage, and post-traumatic arthritis. Once surgery has been completed, the athlete will undergo physical therapy.
2. Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons that hold your shoulder in place. When they get injured (whether by impingement or tear), a person will experience pain, tenderness, swelling, and a limited range of motion that will affect how the athlete plays their sport, and their overall quality of life.
Causes of Rotator Cuff Injuries
Rotator cuff injuries may happen either from trauma:
- Falling on your side
- Bumping hard into another player
- Getting tackled
It’s also often the result of repetitive movements while playing a sport, such as when:
- Pitching a baseball
- Throwing a basketball into a hoop
- Playing tennis
Because of its location, the pain may get aggravated while sleeping, if you put your body weight on your shoulder.
Treatment for Rotator Cuff Injuries
Unlike an ACL injury, it’s possible for a rotator cuff to heal by icing the shoulder, taking over-the-counter painkillers (or steroid injections), and physical therapy. There may still be the need for surgery if the scope of the injury is severe, and this can be either open surgery or arthroscopic.
3. Achilles Tendon Injuries
The Achilles tendon is the strongest and largest tendon in the human body. It connects the muscles in your calf to your heel bone.
Causes for Achilles Tendon Injuries
Achilles tendon injuries are common in the following circumstances:
- Not stretching properly before exercise
- Not exercising frequently enough and suddenly increasing your level of activity
- A bad landing after a jump
- High intensity sports, such as gymnastics, basketball, or football
- Significantly increasing speed or duration of runs without a gradual buildup
Treatment for Achilles Tendon Injuries
If the injury is on the milder side, such as Achilles tendon tendinitis, it may heal with home treatments, such as icing the area, stretching exercises, and avoiding putting weight on your heel during the healing process.
However, if a person suffers a significant tear or rupture, it will require surgery. This type of injury comes with intense pain and difficulty when walking. You also wouldn’t be able to stand on your toes.
Schedule an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic for Sports Medicine Treatment
Being able to play the sports you love is essential for an athlete’s overall well-being and emotional health. In the case of professional athletes, it’s also crucial for them to do their jobs.
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.