Common Sports Injuries and When to See a Specialist
Athletes of all ages, from youth to adult, can get injured. For those living an active lifestyle, this can be disheartening, but through proper treatment, training, and recovery, you can avoid the sidelines and strengthen your game.
While sports injuries can happen to everyone, youth and adult age groups often experience different sports injuries. Additionally, treatment for injuries can differ between these groups, and it may not be always clear when to see a specialist.
By knowing the injuries each age group is prone to and identifying warning signs, you can be proactive in treating your injury and preventing them in the future.
Common Youth Sports Injuries
According to Stanford Children’s Health, approximately 3.5 million children ages 14 and younger get hurt playing sports or participating in recreational activities.
Not all of these injuries are serious, but many of them can be and cause long-lasting damage.
Some of the most common injuries in youth are:
- Joint Sprains
- Pulled muscles
- Bone fractures
- Head injuries (including concussions)
- ACL tears
There are a wide variety of factors that can increase the risk of youth injuries. Improperly sized sports equipment is a common culprit, especially when it comes to safety equipment.
It’s important to make sure all padding, helmets, shoes, and braces fit snugly, yet comfortable, as they are the first line of defense against heavy impacts and slippages.
Another often overlooked risk factor is a lack of fundamental training, especially early in the season.
Learning how to properly perform movements and exercise will make sure you gradually build up strength and mobility for the rest of the season and will help you compete better overall.
One last variable that’s harder to control is the sport itself. With each sport comes a unique set of risks.
For example, high-impact sports like football and hockey will have more impact-related injuries, while sports like baseball and golf tend to have more tendon and ball-related injuries.
Adjustments to equipment and protocols in every sport are constantly being updated, so stay informed on the current research around the sport can help you take the proper precautions and decide if it’s right for you.
It’s critical to have a proper diagnosis for these injuries and to be cautious in returning to play. Left undiagnosed, major trauma can wreak havoc on your body and lead to a more serious injury and increase the likelihood of permanent damage.
Common Adult Sports Injuries
While adults are at risk for the same injuries that youth are, there are some special considerations to keep in mind when trying to prevent injuries.
Over years of use, tendons, cartilage, and joints can exhibit natural wear that makes you more susceptible to injuries such as strains, tears, and breakages.
For adults, lower body injuries are especially common when exercising, with Achilles tendon ruptures, meniscus tears, and ankle fractures among the most frequent.
To avoid these injuries, you should make sure you are properly stretching before you exercise and make sure to pay special attention to areas where you had a previous injury.
Furthermore, being mindful of your athletic ability will help you avoid overexerting yourself and causing damage to your body.
When to See a Specialist
Oftentimes, many people will put off professional treatment and stick to icing and resting without ever seeing improvement or good results.
If you are continuously getting injured, need surgical repair, or want to prevent future injuries, seeing a sports medicine specialist can help you improve your health.
At CNOS, our specialists are trained to help with all types of sports and exercise-related injuries.
From training and physical therapy to orthopaedics and neurosurgery, our clinics are ready to help you improve your performance.
If you want to improve your athletic health with CNOS, contact one of our clinics near you.