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5 Common Sport Injuries: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

What are the most common sports injuries?

Sports injuries happen, and they usually occur when engaging in sports or exercise. Sports injuries can occur due to overtraining, lack of conditioning, and improper form or technique. Failing to warm-up increases the risk of sports injuries.

Common sports injuries:

  1. Concussions
  2. Hamstring strain
  3. Ankle sprains
  4. Shoulder injury
  5. ACL injury


Sports concussions are a mild traumatic brain injury caused by either a direct blow to the head, face, or neck with an impulsive force transmitted to the head. It may result in neuropathological changes resulting in a disturbance in the brain’s equilibrium and its synapsis.

Recognizing concussion and providing proper treatment is especially important for younger athletes because it typically takes them longer than adults to recover fully.

Treatment of a Sports Concussion

These are the ten key components to help manage sports-related concussions:

    • Inner ear balance physical therapy idahoRecognize
    • Remove
    • Reevaluate Rest
    • Rehabilitation
    • Refer
    • Recover
    • Return to the sport
    • Reconsider
    • Residual effects and sequelae
    • Risk Reduction

These are key areas that need to be addressed when managing an individual with a concussion to help them safely and quickly return to their previous functional level of activity.

Hamstring Strain

Hamstring strain injuries commonly occur during sporting activities at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. Participants in track, football, baseball, soccer, and rugby are especially prone to this injury given these sports’ sprinting demands.

Treatment of a Hamstring Strain

Four common mistakes people make when rehabilitating their hamstring:

    1. Stretching the hamstring too early
    2. Leaving eccentric exercises out of the picture
    3. Omitting dynamic hamstring exercises
    4. Return to sports too early

Sport Sprains

You can sprain almost any area of your body.

The most common types of sports sprains happen in the:

  • Wrist
  • Thumb
  • Ankle
  • Knee

Wrist and Thumb Sprains

Wrist and thumb sprains happen when a force pushes the hand or finger backward.

Athletes at risk for thumb sprains are those that play:

    • Basketball
    • Football
    • Baseball

Ankle Sprain

In an ankle sprain, you can tear the ligaments:

Treatment of Sport Sprains

To regain proper levels of function, your therapist should do a proper diagnosis before prescribing treatment. Wright Physical Therapy (WPT) uses the clinical findings of the level of function, ligamentous laxity, hemorrhaging, point tenderness, total ankle motion, swelling, and pain to classify a patient with an acute ankle ligament sprain.

    1. Kinesiology tape: Kinesiology tape is an adhesive sports tape designed to be wearable for several days. The tape facilitates the body’s natural healing process while supporting muscles, soft tissue, and joints without restricting the range of motion.
    2. Manual therapy: Manual therapy procedures, such as lymphatic drainage, active and passive soft tissue, joint mobilization, and anterior-to-posterior talar mobilization, can be very useful for healing.
    3. Therapeutic exercises: Implementing rehabilitation programs that include high-skilled and progressive therapeutic exercises for patients with severe sprIsokinetic Testing located inIdahoains.
    4. Return to sport (RTS): Before considering RTS, the athlete needs to show proper progress and tolerance for dynamic and sport-specific exercises along with proper stability and control. RTS protocols and testing need to be followed to ensure the athlete safely returns to sport with reduced risk factors for additional injury.
      • Isokinetic testing can test shoulder, knee, hip, and ankle strength.  We use this in our protocol for proper discharge to know the appropriate time to allow patients to return to their sport.

Shoulder Injury

Shoulder injuries are a source of pain for individuals, especially for athletes. Shoulder injuries cover many sports injuries like dislocations, misalignment, strains on muscles, and ligaments’ sprains.

Treatment for Shoulder Injuries

For dislocations, separations, and fractures, you need a doctor’s help to get your shoulder back in the right position, a sling to hold it in place while it heals, and the right treatment plan for continued care.

For many other issues, heat or ice and medicine will reduce the pain and swelling.

Your treatment plan will probably include exercises provided by a physical therapist to help you stretch and strengthen the joint and improve your range of motion with any problem in your shoulder.

ACL Injury

An ACL injury is a tear or sprain of the major ligaments in your knee. ACL injuries most commonly occur during sports that involve sudden stops or changes in direction, jumping, and landing.

Common sports:

  • Football is a common sport that can result in an acl injurySoccer
  • Basketball
  • Football

Treatment for an ACL Injury

At Wright Physical Therapy, our expert physical therapists promote a more effective way of healing tissues damaged by injuries such as ACL strains and trains. The P.O.L.I.C.E. method (Protect, Optimal Load, Ice, Compress, Elevate) is the most effective healing approach for this type of injury.

Your doctor will more than likely recommend surgery if you’re an athlete and want to continue in your sport.

How to Prevent Sports Injuries?

1. Proper education and supervision: Athletes, parents, and coaches should know the warning signs and symptoms of potential injuries; WPT can offer advice and training at no cost to your schools

2. Pre-participation physical exams (PPEs): Athletes should undergo a PPE before beginning a new sport (or before the start of a new sports season) to screen for potential risk factors, including:

  • Previous injury
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Inflexibility
  • Muscle weakness
  • Instability
  • Conditioning

3. Rule changes and participation limits. Studies suggest that the most consistent predictor of injury is the sheer volume of sports activity, whether measured as several throws/pitches or the quantity of time participating.

  • Athletes should limit sports to no more than 16 to 20 hours a week.
  • Athletes should take at least 1 to 2 days off per week from competitive practices,
    competitions, and sport-specific training.

4. Training and conditioning programs. Proper training and conditioning, both before and during the season, may prevent overuse injuries.

5. Delayed sports specialization: Youth athletes should be encouraged to participate in multiple sports and recreational activities throughout the year to enhance general fitness and aid in motor development.

Physical Therapy and Sports Injuries

Sports medicine specialists such as our Doctors of Physical Therapy will create a more detailed treatment plan for your specific condition. This may include a thorough review of your training program and an evaluation for any predisposing anatomic or biomechanical factors.

Physical therapy services are a great solution for keeping optimal load and conditioning of the athlete while healing the condition more rapidly. Most overuse can be prevented with proper training and a dynamic movement assessment screening.

For more information on our treatment of injured athletes, find a Wright PT location near you.