7 Common Sports Injuries to Avoid

Posted August 18, 2022 by in Health + Fitness
crop of woman touching painful shoulder

If you regularly partake in a physically active sport, it’s important to take steps against injuries. While sports can be a brilliant form of exercise, you could end up doing more harm to your body in the long run if you don’t wear the right equipment or warm up the correct way. This post lists a few of the most common sports injuries and how to prevent them.

Crop of woman's shoulder in a black sports bra

Sprains and strains

Sprains are typically caused by a joint twisting , whereas strains are caused by overextension or overuse. Ankles, knees and wrists are the most common places for these injuries to occur. In serious cases, ligaments may tear and weeks of rest may be required.

Stretching and warming up is a great way to prevent these injuries – this helps to loosen up ligaments and joints so that they’re less likely to get injured. When it comes to ankle sprains, wearing the right shoes can also make a big impact (always invest in proper running shoes when running).

Tennis elbow

Repeated overextension of the elbow can lead to an injury known as ‘tennis elbow’. This causes pain in the elbow in the forearm, which can usually only be alleviated by resting the elbow for a long period until the injury is healed. 

As the name suggests, this injury is most common when playing tennis, however it can occur in other sports too. Warm ups and stretches can help to prevent this injury. Using the right technique and using the right sized equipment (make sure your racket isn’t too heavy) can make an impact too. 

Shin splints

Shin splints are a form of inflammation around the tibia, usually caused by repeated stress from running or jumping. Treatment usually requires resting the leg for a couple weeks.

You can avoid shin splints by wearing the right shoes and training on the right surfaces (avoid running on uneven ground). Stretching and warming up your legs can also reduce the risk of this injury.

Shoulder rotator cuff injury

Pain in the shoulder could be due to a rotator cuff injury in which the muscles and tendons tear. Repeated overhead arm actions (such as catching a ball) or lifting heavy weights can cause this injury. This injury can take a while to heal and may even require you to put your arm in a sling.

The injuries are more common with age. You may be able to prevent a shoulder rotator cuff injury by strengthening the shoulder and by using good posture. Avoid lifting weights above your head that are too heavy. 

Back injuries

Back injuries can occur in sports for all kinds of reasons. Many lower back injuries develop because the spine cannot support the weight of the upper body, while upper back injuries may be caused by poor posture or an impact injury. 

Exercising and developing strong muscles in your back can help you to support more weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can help. You should also avoid lifting weights that are too heavy. When heavy lifting, always use the right form to minimize back injuries. 

Tooth damage

Injuries to the teeth are almost always caused by blunt force trauma such as a hockey stick or kick to the face. In serious cases, a dental surgeon may have to carry out reconstructive surgery. 

When partaking in sports that contain a high risk of such injuries, you should always wear a mouthguard. A custom-fitted mouthguard is the best option. 

Bone fractures

Another common injury is bone fractures. These injuries can also be caused by blunt force trauma, but are more commonly caused from falling awkwardly or from overexertion. Bone fractures can require a long recovery. Without proper time to heal, they can become a permanent problem.

How can you avoid fractures when playing sports? The first thing you can do is wear the right equipment. The second important thing to do is to listen to your body – do not keep running if you start to experience ankle pain as you could cause a stress fracture.