Common Sports Injuries for Athletes
When you or a loved one is out on the field, accidents can happen. Some of the most common sports injuries include strains, sprains, and concussions. These injuries are caused by falls, impacts, or the improper use of gear. Other injuries like cuts, fractures, and dislocations are also prevalent. Keep reading for some helpful information and prevention tips for common sports injuries!
Sprains and Strains
A sprain is when a ligament is stretched or torn. These injuries often occur in the ankle or wrist but can present elsewhere in the body. Pain, swelling, bruising, and the inability to move the joint make up the general symptoms. A strain is when a muscle or tendon is over-stretched. Hamstring and back muscles are common strain locations. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, muscle spasms, and difficulty moving. At ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care, you can schedule a virtual visit or stop by one of our centers to be evaluated by one of our exceptional providers. They will have you back on your feet in no time! Typical treatments for sprains and strains involves the RICE technique. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Prevention tip: Know when to stretch! Typically stretching is recommended before and after physical exercise. However, a more dynamic warmup may be more beneficial for intense sports such as sprinting and track and field.
Concussions are a form of brain injury that occurs from an impact to the head. The symptoms of a concussion include headaches, nausea, and blurred vision, or sensitivity to light and noise. Symptoms can also be problems with balance and memory and difficulty concentrating, and feeling sluggish or foggy. Signs of a severe concussion include slurred speech, weakness, and decreased coordination. It can also include the loss of consciousness or the inability to wake up. If you or someone you know are displaying these symptoms, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. A medical provider will need to assess the concussion and determine the recovery progression. The care and recovery protocol is defined and managed by healthcare providers on an individualized, case-by-case basis. Our friends at the CDC have extensive resources regarding concussions, click here to learn more.
- Prevention tip: Always wear a helmet when recommended. There are different types of helmets recommended for various activities. All need to be well maintained and certified for use.
Scratches and Cuts
Exposed skin is prone to scratches and cuts. It is essential to treat these quickly to avoid the risk of infection. Scratches or minor cuts can be treated easily from home by cleaning the wound and keeping it bandaged. However, if the wound is long or deep, stitches may be necessary. You can walk into any of our ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care centers for quick, professional service.
- Prevention tip: Shin guards are protective gear that provides shock absorption and guard the lower legs against scrapes and cuts.
Stress fractures are small cracks in the bone that can also arise from overuse in sports. Fractures require immediate medical care. X-rays will determine the details of the broken bone and the treatment necessary. Treatment could include wearing a cast or splint.
- Prevention tip: Try guided training to strengthen the core and leg muscles to help increase balance and prevent falls. In the case of stress fractures, make sure that you’re consuming the recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D.
Dislocations are joint injuries that occur when the ends of one’s bones are out of place. These are common in contact sports after an impact or fall. Symptoms include swelling, pain, the inability to move the joint, and visible signs that the bone is out of line. Seek medical care if this occurs. A medically trained professional can use manipulations to reposition the bone. Additional treatment includes pain medication, a splint or sling, as well as rehabilitation.
- Prevention tip: Wearing protective sports gear can reduce impact at joint locations.
ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care is always ready on standby if you or a loved one experiences a sports injury. Click here to find the center closest to you or schedule a virtual visit!