A runner holding their leg after an injury

What Sports Injuries Are the Most Common?

If you are an active person, the chances are that you will have encountered one of the most common sports injuries. This could be a result of misfortune, not preparing properly or training sufficiently for the exercise you do. Fatigued and being out of condition, can also play a factor, leaving you susceptible to sports injuries.


We’ve pulled together some research and found some of the most common sports injuries, and with this, you can see their causes and how to treat them.

Calf Tear

Calf tears can be pretty uncomfortable and can happen as a result of all of the previously mentioned reasons. Tears are graded in three categories; minor, moderate or severe.


Causes of a Calf Tear

The predominant causes of a calf tear usually come in the form of running, accelerating, pushing off or sharp changes of direction.


If you have had this issue before and haven’t effectively carried out rehab then you are leaving your calf at risk of the injury reoccurring as it can break down more easily


How to Treat a Calf Tear

The simplest treatment is to follow the guidelines of PRICE, as we’ve mentioned in previous articles. If you’re unfamiliar with the PRICE acronym, it stands for;


  • Protect from further injury
  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation


Additionally, taking anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, can help you on the road to recovery.


For minor cases, you should see the issue repair in seven to fourteen days, if left to recover. The more major injuries typically require physiotherapy treatment. Seeking professional advice is advisable if the injury feels like it is more serious.


ACL Tear

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a ligament in the knee that plays a significant role in allowing our legs to function properly, notably for changing direction. Impact sports, such as American football see ACL injuries quite frequently and usually a complete tear.


Causes of An ACL Tear

ACL tears are prevalent in sports that feature quick/sharp directional changes, along with deceleration or jumping, for example, football, skiing, hockey, American football, or netball.


How to Treat an ACL tear

Injuries should initially be treated with PRICE.


This is an injury that will require diagnosis and treatment as quickly as possible, especially with the rapid arrival of a swollen knee following the injury. There will be some people who are able to recover through physio sessions alone, but this injury often needs reconstructive surgery to the ligament to achieve recovery.


Runner’s Knee

Pain from the patellofemoral joint at the front of the knee, also more commonly referred to as runner’s knee, is injury runners and other impact-based sports athletes suffer from.


Runner’s knee is usually felt in the front of the knee, but it can be felt anywhere around the knee, which includes the front of the shin too.


Causes of Runner’s Knee

The patella, or kneecap, often becomes overloaded as a result of substandard biomechanics; a prime example of this is inadequate footwear being worn.


Additionally, runner’s knee can lead to relative weakness in some muscles around the trunk and lower limb as well as/or tight muscle groups that may well be overloading the patella or modifying the pattern of movement.


How to Treat Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee can be mistaken for other issues, such as a meniscus tear, so having an accurate diagnosis is vital here.


Physiotherapy is the best treatment for this injury, and periods of rest always help for runner’s knee recovery. However, issues involving runner’s knee can sometimes be particularly convoluted, meaning it doesn’t settle well, which means surgery has to be called upon, occasionally.


Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is an injury that inflicts significant pain on the outside of the knee that builds up during exercise and inhibits training.


This is one of the easier common injuries to self-diagnosed. Pain, tightness and general discomfort on the outside of the knee, outside of the calf, foot, thigh and hip/glute areas are telltale signs of ITBS.


Causes of ITBS

Having ITBS can be as a result of issues with footwear and foot position, depending on your chosen sport, problems with general style, how you are set up to ride a road bike, for example. Weakness around the hip area can also bring ITBS to the fore.


How to Treat ITBS

Depending on the severity and how long it’s left untreated, ITBS is typically treated using PRICE, stretching and physiotherapy if needed.


For the higher end cases where the usual treatment isn’t effective, steroid injections may be considered and some cases need a small operation in order to divide the band.

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