Exercise is important to good health, but people often get hurt when participating in sports or other physical activities. A sports injury involves damage to part of your body due to sports, exercise or athletic activities.
A sports injury can be acute (sudden) or chronic (develop over time).
What are the most common parts of the body injured?
Sports injuries can affect any part of your body. They most often affect:
Achilles tendon: The Achilles tendon is a thick cord that connects the back of your lower leg (calf) to your heel. It helps you walk. But the tendon can become swollen, inflamed and stiff. It can even tear. This is called Achilles tendinitis or Achilles tendon rupture.
Ankle: Your leg and foot join together at your ankle. It contains three joints, as well as several bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Ankle pain is often caused by a sprained ankle.
Elbow: Your elbow is the joint that acts as a hinge between your upper and lower arm. People often experience pain in their elbow from repeat motions and overuse (for example, tennis elbow and Little League elbow).
Head: Your head includes your face, skull and brain. One of the most common head injuries is concussion.
Knee: Your knee is a complex joint that acts as a hinge between your thigh and lower leg. It contains bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. Knee pain can be caused by jumper’s knee or runner’s knee. Other common injuries include meniscus tear and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear.
Shoulder: Your shoulder connects your upper arm to the trunk of your body. It contains your rotator cuff, a group of muscles and tendons that keep the upper arm in your shoulder socket. Rotator cuff tendinitis and rotator cuff tears are common sports injuries.
What are the most common sports injuries?
There are many types of sports injuries. Some of the most common are:
Broken bone: A broken bone (bone fracture) can happen when sudden force is applied to a bone.
Cartilage tear: Cartilage is a tough but flexible shock absorber that covers and protects the ends of some bones. Cartilage injuries can occur in joints such as your knee and shoulder.
Concussion: A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump or blow to your head.
Dislocation: Dislocation occurs when the end of a bone moves out of its normal position in a joint. For example, if your shoulder pops out of its socket, it’s dislocated.
Tendinitis: Tendinitis occurs when your tissues that connect muscles to bones (tendons) become swollen and inflamed. It’s caused by repetitive movements over time. An example is jumper’s knee (patellar tendonitis).
Sprains: A sprain happens when a ligament stretches too much or tears. Ligaments connect bones and stabilize joints. These injuries can be mild or severe, and they’re common in your ankle, knee and wrist.
Strains: A strain occurs when you overextend a muscle and it stretches or tears. Examples include hamstring strain, back strain and abdominal strain.