Injuries can happen to anyone whenever their bodies take abrupt movements, falls or get overused. Sports people, more often than not, suffer injuries than other groups in a society due to the constant and rigorous body exercises they do as well as getting hit by objects and or fellow players. Common sports injuries occur in joints, bones, spinal cord, head, brain and muscles. Knees, back, arms, thighs, elbows, feet, shoulders, head, lower legs and wrists often become recipients of trauma, and injury.

Common sports injuries

Common injuries include broken, or fractured bones, dislocated joints, open wounds, contusion/ internal tissue injury, strains, sprains, concussions and spinal cord injuries among others. A general classification of sports injuries is that of catastrophic and noncatastrophic injuries. Brain, spinal cord and head injuries comprise catastrophic injuries as they can be fatal; causing instant death or mental/ physical disability. Other injuries such as broken bones, inflamed tendons and bursa, can be managed and even treated.

Types of sports injuries and proper treatment

Head and brain injuries

These injuries occur during a fall or blow. A sudden body movement might also cause the head to snap backwards, forward or sideways. Bruises and bleeding on the head’s skin indicate head injury while loss of consciousness, confusion and amnesia among other symptoms, can be signs of a concussion. Ample physical and mental rest should be allowed of the patient and further medical attention sought. Further tests, that can verify the magnitude of the brain and head injury include physical assessment of the person’s alertness/ mortal coordination and CT scans or x-rays. NSAIDS ((non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may be used, sparingly, for pain management. Patients should not return to play before complete healing has taken place as further incidents can cause more injuries; resulting to a longer period off the pitch/ field, while recuperating, amnesia, Alzheimer’s disease and even death. To prevent head and brain injuries, sportsmen/ women should wear protective gear/ caps at all times, and avoid playing on slippery grounds.

Fractures and stress fractures

Fractures refer to broken bones. Minor fractures, such as stress fractures (appearing on the surface of the bone) should be treated through minimal bone movement and protection of the affected bone. Major fractures, such as a broken femur or crushed bones, should have the body part rested and covered to prevent infection, especially if the skin and surrounding tissues got injured. A qualified doctor should clean the area and try to restore the bone. Surgery might be inevitable, but it is better than waiting for the whole bone to heal out of shape and limit the chances of the player returning to play.

Sprains and strains

Sprains refer to tearing of ligaments while strains refer to muscle or tendon tear. In addition to pain, tendons (that join bones to muscles) and sprains (ligaments that join bone to bone) can result in a dislocation of a joint. A dislocated joint, whether knee, elbow, shoulder or hip, can be very painful, not to mention it cannot function. Proper care treatment should be sought; otherwise, the joint may heal in the wrong position and disable the person from playing effectively. Proper treatment, to curb the situation, involves the use of painkillers (NSAIDS), fixing the dislocated joint and resting the joint. Compressing the joint ensures limited movement of the joint; increasing comfort, and in-place healing.

Spinal cord injuries

Sudden body twists and strenuous exercises may injure the spinal cord; dislocating or compressing the discs. Spinal cord injuries list among catastrophic injuries as severe injury can cut off nervous system communication between the brain and some body parts; causing paralysis. Prevention of these injuries is very necessary, but should a person experience persistent back and neck aches, he/ she should limit exercises that involve these parts. Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible and tests such as physical examination and x-rays conducted. Physiotherapy may be able to fix some levels of spinal injury, but in some cases, surgery is imminent in ensuring the affected discs get realigned and prevent lifelong disability.


Even such simple treatments as RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) can prevent sports and exercise injuries from becoming serious problems. If active people treat their small injuries correctly, they may save themselves from more severe conditions. Simple precautions can keep athletes from more painful injuries and expensive treatments.

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