7 Most Common Sports Injuries
- Soreness, tightness, and stiffness of the muscles which increase with further exertion
- Pain is localised to the injured region and does not radiate to other parts of the body
- Resisted movements of the limb will cause a sharp increase in pain (e.g. a resisted knee bending movement when your hamstring is injured)
- Grade I – There is mild pain and swelling which lasts less than 7 days, and your daily functions are not affected much. You can still walk or lift things without assistance.
- Grade II – Pain and swelling increase, with some visible bruising. The injured area is tender to touch, and resisted movements to the affected joint will be painful.
- Grade III – Walking or using the injured joint may not be possible, and there is significant pain and swelling. The joint will feel ‘unstable’.
- Ligament injuries – Depending on the force and direction of the injury, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) are the knee ligaments that can be involved. A severely torn ligament will cause knee instability.
- Meniscus injuries – The knee meniscus acts as a shock absorber whenever you walk, run, or jump. Torn menisci can feel like your knee ‘catches’ or ‘locks’, and twisting motions are painful.
- Bursa injuries – The fat pad underneath your kneecap helps the knee to glide smoothly during bending movements. Injury to this bursa usually happens from repetitive bending motions or a direct impact on the kneecap.
- Spondylosis – This is the degeneration of the spine, which happens naturally during ageing but is also accelerated by heavy sports. Similar to osteoarthritis in other joints, the common symptom is stiffness and pain
- Spondylolysis – A fracture of part of the vertebrae called the pars interarticularis occurs. This happens especially in sports with repeated hyperextension movements like gymnastics.
- Spondylolisthesis – Spondylolisthesis occurs typically as a result of the above two conditions when one of the spinal bones slips out of position due to spinal instability, usually going forward from its initial position. Although not fatal in most cases, it can cause pain and tingling or numbness down the legs.
- Hairline fractures – These fractures are also sometimes called stress fractures. These small cracks in the bone occur due to a buildup of load and stress on a particular bone. This includes hairline fractures to the shin bone in long-distance runners. MRI scans are often needed for diagnosis
- Open fractures – Open fractures occur when the bone is broken to an extent that it breaks through the skin. Such fractures require immediate medical attention due to the high risk of infection.
- Closed fractures – These fractures are usually only visible with X-ray imaging, although some may have a visible deformity under the skin.
- Worst Pain with the first few steps out of bed in the morning.
- Pain first decreases with progressive movement but then increases throughout the day.
- Tenderness when applying pressure to the heel and the arch of the foot.