The 5 Most Common Injuries and How to Avoid Them
Injuries are always an obstacle to practicing any sport because they represent a forced interruption of your training sessions. For this reason, we want to talk about the most common injuries and the best ways to prevent them.
Whenever we start working out, it’s inevitable that we’re exposed to a greater risk of different ailments. They don’t necessarily have to be serious; as a matter of fact, they usually heal within a few days. Learn about the most common injuries for athletes in this article.
Even though sports are always linked with a higher risk of injuries, it’s always possible to reduce that risk with prevention and by using the proper techniques. Also, it’s undoubtedly better to take that risk of injury than to expose ourselves to the risk that comes along with a sedentary lifestyle. In the following paragraphs, we’ll list the five most common injuries and general measures you can take to avoid them.
The most common injuries
Some injuries are more common than others, and we tend to experience them more frequently. They’re usually mild injuries that don’t keep us from doing sports for a long time. But it’s still important to pay attention because they can evolve into more complex and serious conditions.
However, other injuries can be more severe. For this reason, we should avoid them at all costs by planning our training routines correctly.
1. Overload injury
This is the most common type of injury that we can suffer from. It happens when we put our muscles through an overly intense effort, something for which they’re not prepared.
When we experience an overload injury, we feel a pain that’s similar to what we experience with muscle soreness. It’s also normal to lose some mobility if the injury affects certain areas of your body, such as the neck. These injuries usually disappear by themselves with a few days of rest. You can also take analgesics to alleviate the pain.
Sprains are also some of the most common injuries. An ankle sprain usually happens with runners and in sports such as soccer and basketball. They’re usually caused by rough and quick movements in which our feet don’t land correctly on the floor. This produces a stretch or tears in the ligaments of the joint. There are several sprain grades, depending on how damaged the ligament is.
It’s also possible to sprain your wrists, but these types of sprains usually happen due to falls or trauma. To treat a sprain, you’ll need to stop all physical activity for a few weeks and immobilize the joint so that it heals correctly.
This happens when a bone comes out of its joint due to an over-extension. These injuries usually affect joints such as the knees, shoulders or elbows.
Dislocations require urgent treatment. A doctor must put the bone back in its place manually. It may be a painful procedure, but it’ll prevent us from losing joint mobility in the future. After our bone is back where it belongs, we must keep the area immobile for a few weeks or even months. You can take analgesics to alleviate the pain.
4. Fractures, some of the most common and severe injuries
Fractures usually occur due to continuous stress or trauma. Greenstick fractures are a special kind of fracture in which the edges of the bones don’t separate, instead, the bone experiences cracks or erosions on its surface.
The treatment for these injuries will greatly depend on the type of fracture and how severe it is. Very serious fractures in which the bone completely separates will probably require treatment from an orthopedic surgeon.
5. Torn muscles
A rupture of the muscle fibers (or muscle tear) happens after a very intense effort for the muscle. Minimal or moderate efforts can also cause a muscle tear in people with sedentary lifestyles.
The main characteristics of muscle tears are the localized pain and reduced contraction ability they cause. After a few days, muscle tears can also cause bruises in the area. Depending on where the muscle tear is and how many fibers it affects, the needed rest period may vary.
How can we avoid the most common injuries?
Injury prevention is a huge part of sports medicine, which is why we won’t dwell on specific measures to avoid them. Instead, we‘ll talk about habits that we should always keep in mind when doing sports:
- It’s very important to warm up our joints and muscles properly, before practicing any physical activity.
- We should give our bodies proper recovery periods after our training sessions. To ensure this, we’ll require a balanced diet and the necessary hours of sleep during the night.
- It’s a good idea to avoid taking unnecessary risks when training, such as taking your body to its limits too often.
- Learn to recognize when your body is severely fatigued so you can stop whatever you‘re doing. This will help to prevent further damage.
Finally, we also recommend reading about the most common injuries that are specific to the sport you practice; be up to date with the best ways to prevent and treat them. This will help with the technical aspects that are the most important when preventing injuries, such as the right stepping technique for a runner or lifting techniques for a weightlifter.