According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, just last year, nearly 8 million kids participated in sports. As football returns to our normal weekend routine this fall, so will sports-related injuries. It’s important to prepare properly for sports season, and we’ve listed a few of the common fall injuries and ways to treat them in this blog post, helping to make this season one of the best yet.
The most common fall sports include football, cross country, soccer and tennis, to name a few. With sports like these, cardiovascular training and precision is extremely important to perform at the highest level. Around 1.35 million children suffer from a sports-related injury every year, with fractures, sprains and strains among the most likely to occur.
When considering fractures, you may think of a broken ligament, but broken bones can happen in the fingers and toes as well. While not all broken bones need a cast, many will require a recovery period away from the sport. There are several types of fractures that can occur. For instance, an open fracture happens when the bone pokes through the skin, and a committed fracture is a bone that has been broken more than once. Since sports cause rapid movement and contact with other players, it’s easier for injuries such as these to occur.
Sprains happen when the ligaments are torn or stretched, and occur when the body is in a twisted position. Take soccer, for instance. Sprains can take place when landing on the side of the ankle instead of the foot when kicking a ball. Sprains can happen in a variety of places, such as the ankles, knees, elbows and hands. The best way to heal and treat most sprains is by getting plenty of rest, as well as icing and elevating the affected area. On the other hand, an ACL injury is a sprain that requires surgery and months of rehabilitation.
When the body moves in an abnormal way as a result of sudden movements, a muscle strain can occur. Athletes that play sports like football, soccer and field hockey are prone to back and leg strains, while those that play sports such as tennis, volleyball and golf are more likely to experience arm, elbow and neck strains. When a muscle strain occurs, you may experience symptoms such as swelling, cramping and muscle spasms. This can best be treated with plenty of rest, ice and elevation, as your muscle works to repair itself.
In order to prevent these injuries from occurring, be sure to warm up properly before engaging in any sport, cross-train to prevent injury and allow yourself plenty of time to rest.
This article was adapted from the Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania. Read more here.
If you have any questions about fall sports injuries, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician.