Springtime is a wonderful season for many individuals, as it provides an opportunity to finally embrace the warmer weather and engage in outdoor activities such as sports. However, it's not just the blossoming flowers and sunshine that spring brings; it also brings with it an increased risk of sports injuries. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or just starting out, sports injuries can affect anyone, and they can range from minor sprains to more severe conditions that require medical attention.
For those suffering from a sports-related injury, the physical therapy services at OAA Orthopaedic Specialists are available to provide you with comprehensive care that will get you back on track and playing the sport you love. Ready to get back in the game? Schedule an appointment with us today.
Here are the top 6 spring injuries every athlete should avoid this season:
1. Overuse Injuries
Overuse injuries are some of the most common spring sports injuries and can affect individuals of all ages and skill levels. These injuries are typically caused by repetitive motions and stress that are placed on specific parts of the body, such as the hands, wrists, elbows, and knees. One common overuse injury is tennis elbow, which is a strain or tear in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the elbow. It's caused by the repetitive motion of hitting a tennis ball and can cause pain and discomfort when lifting objects or extending the arm. Overuse injuries are common in spring sports where repetitive motions are used such as in baseball or golf.
Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate pain, but it's important to consult with a doctor or healthcare provider before taking any new medication. Physical therapy may also be recommended, as it can help improve range of motion, strength, and flexibility in the affected area. Ultimately, the key to treating overuse injuries is to rest, perform stretching exercises, allow time for healing, and gradually return to activity once the injury has healed.
2. Runners Knee
Runner's knee, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, is a common sports injury that affects many athletes during the spring sports season. This injury is particularly common among runners due to the repetitive impact that running places on the knees. The injury is characterized by pain and swelling around the kneecap, which can worsen during and after physical activity. Runners who abruptly increase their mileage or intensity of their training are particularly susceptible to this injury.
Additionally, running on uneven surfaces, running downhill, or running on hard surfaces can also increase the likelihood of developing runner's knee. To prevent or manage runner's knee, it's important to engage in proper stretching and warm-up exercises before any physical activity and to gradually increase the intensity and duration of training. Choosing proper footwear, and running on level surfaces can also help prevent injuries.
If runner's knee is suspected, it's important to rest the affected leg and reduce physical activity, and to seek medical advice for appropriate treatment such as physical therapy.
3. Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries, especially for spring athletes who engage in running, soccer, basketball, and other high-impact sports. The injury can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility around the ankle, which can make it difficult to walk or engage in physical activity. Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that hold the ankle joint together are stretched or torn, usually as a result of sudden twisting or rolling movements.
To prevent ankle sprains, athletes should engage in proper warm-up exercises and gradually increase the intensity of physical activity or sports. Wearing appropriate footwear with good ankle support can also help reduce the risk of sprains. Finally, it's crucial to take any ankle sprain injury seriously and seek appropriate medical attention to ensure proper treatment, avoid surgery and guarantee a speedy recovery.
Tendonitis is a common spring sport injury due to the increase in intensity and duration of physical activity as the weather gets warmer. When a tendon becomes inflamed or irritated, it can lead to tendonitis, which is characterized by pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected area. Many spring sports such as tennis, golf, and baseball require repetitive motions that can cause tendonitis in the wrist, elbow, or shoulder. Additionally, sports that involve jumping or sudden stops and starts, such as basketball or soccer, can cause tendonitis in the knee or ankle.
Tendonitis can be a chronic condition, and if left untreated, can worsen over time and lead to more severe injuries. To prevent tendonitis, it's important to engage in proper warm-up exercises, gradually increase the intensity of physical activity or sports, and use proper technique and form. Additionally, stretching and strengthening exercises can help prevent sports injuries and the occurrence of tendonitis by improving the strength and flexibility of the tendons and muscles.
Concussions are a common spring sports injury due to the increased popularity of outdoor contact sports such as lacrosse, soccer, and softball. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs when the head is jolted or hit, causing the brain to bounce against the skull. Sports that involve high-impact collisions, such as tackling, heading a soccer ball, or being hit with a ball or bat, can increase the risk of concussions. Symptoms of a concussion can include headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, or loss of consciousness. It's important to note that while some concussions can be mild, they can still be serious and require prompt medical attention. Athletes who suffer a concussion should be evaluated by a healthcare professional and should not return to physical activity until they have fully recovered.
Additionally, preventative measures such as wearing helmets, following proper technique and form, and adhering to safety guidelines and rules can significantly reduce the risk of concussions and other injuries in spring sports.
If you are suffering from a sports-related injury or are interested in consulting with a member of our highly-skilled team, contact OAA Orthopaedic Specialists or schedule an appointment directly from our website today.