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The most common sports injuries - how to prevent and treat them

Physical activity is highly preferable for maintaining the healthy organism. However, sports injuries are very common. Whether you do sports professionally or as a hobby, you should be aware of types of injuries and how to prevent them from happening. Here is the list of the most common ones, with tips on how to prevent and heal them.

Sprains and strains

Although they sound similar, these are completely different types of injuries. Sprains are caused by repetitive use or overuse of the muscle, making it painful and difficult to use. Overuse injuries occur when there's a repetitive impact of a specific part of the body and they result in a chronic pain. They are usually mild, but they can sometimes be extremely painful and prevent you from normally doing everyday activities. Strains, on the other hand, represent stretched or torn ligaments causing swelling and pain. They come as a result of improper landing and can be very painful and hard to heal.

Knee injuries

One of the most common and durable sports injuries is the knee injury.  It is basically stretched or thorned knee ligament. It can occur acutely after a quick directional change or a direct hit. It can also happen due to overuse in sports that include a lot of jumping, like basketball. A way of preventing knee injuries includes maintaining an ideal body weight to release the pressure of your knees, as well as improving the strength of leg muscles that support the knee.

Hamstring injuries

Hamstring strain is the common injury for most of the sports, but the accent is on runners, sprinters, gymnasts and football players. It occurs during the running and jumping or starting and stopping. This injury is hard to heal since hamstring is in constant use and motion during our everyday activities. The general way of prevention is maintaining a strong balance and flexibility, as well as warming up properly.   

Shoulder dislocation

This painful injury occurs when the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder socket. It can be caused by a hard fall or collision and it is most likely to happen in sports like football, hockey, and rugby but also during surfing, yoga or weightlifting. When this happens, immediate medical attention is needed to set the bone in the socket properly. Since this is more of an accidental injury, you can only prevent it by strengthening rotator cuff muscles and wearing shoulder support or brace.

Elbow injuries

This injury, also known as Tennis Elbow, occurs among tennis and baseball players. It can hardly be treated completely. Most of the time it happens as a result of overuse, but it can be caused by trauma as well. When this happens, the first thing to do is to rest by taking a few days off. It can be prevented through wrist flexion and extension exercises, practicing a proper hitting technique, or wearing a brace as prevention.

Treatment

The first aid with any kind of injury is following the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Rest is a key component to body reparation. Ice will suppress the inflammatory response which is followed by heat generated by increased blood flow or loss. Compression will reduce the edematous swelling and the elevation will make the blood flow again and reduce oedema.

This is very useful self-help method, after which you should seek medical attention for the information about further therapy and advice.

Some of the repetitive injuries of body parts we use daily can be very hard to cure. Oftentimes doctors suggest physical therapy. Under a constant professional surveillance, physiotherapy can do wonders for a reasonable amount of time. So don't hesitate to reach for help from professionals in physiotherapy in Northern Beaches, for example, or the ones in your local area.

General prevention

Overall, the most important prevention form any kind of injury is a proper warm-up of your whole body, especially the group of muscles you plan on using the most. Being in a proper physical condition is crucial for avoiding injuries in any kind of sport. Knowledge of the correct mechanic of your sport and abiding the rules is very important. Protective equipment is always a plus when it comes to rough sports like soccer and ice hockey.

With general exercise, the most important thing is a proper use of the equipment. If you are new to some kind of sport or recreation, it is for the best that you practice under a professional surveillance, until you learn to handle the equipment properly on your own. Avoid exercising and playing sports when you are in pain. Excessive training isn't always good for you. Your body and muscles need time off to rest and repair. If you have the history of a certain injury, it is most likely to harm that part of your body again.

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