Sports injuries are typically caused by either overuse of a certain part of the body (such as strains/sprains) during physical activity or from a traumatic physical event that can result in more serious injuries (like bone breaks, concussions and deep lacerations). There are two main types of sports injuries: acute and chronic.
Acute sports injuries occur suddenly and are usually the result of a single traumatic event. Often, acute injuries are easier to treat because the injury is not compounded from pre-exiting injuries and those injured usually seek treatment after the event so the healing process can begin. Chronic sports injuries develop over time; usually from repetitive motions or previous injuries that don’t heal up entirely. Chronic injuries can be more difficult to treat because the injury is usually compounded by previous damage and injury to that specific part(s) of the body. Sports injuries can be painful and debilitating, but with effective, timely treatment, most people make a full recovery.
Sprains and fractures are two of the most common types of sports injuries that cause severe pain and discomfort. Sprains occur when the ligaments that connect bones are stretched or torn, while fractures happen when the bone itself is cracked or broken. Both types of injuries can be extremely painful and may require weeks or even months of recovery time.
If you think you may have suffered a sports injury, it is important to seek treatment right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help the healing process and reduce recovery time and risk of further complications.
If you or a family member is injured during a sporting activity and need immediate, on-demand healthcare, just walk-in to any Prime Urgent Care center. We provide comprehensive treatments for sports injuries, and offer same-day appointments, X-rays on-site, prescription medications (if needed), and some of the lowest self-pay rates for treatment in the greater Houston area. At Prime Urgent Care, we are focused on getting you comfortable and on a path to healing as quickly as possible. We operate urgent care clinics in Pearland, Missouri City, and Sugar Land that are open 7 days a week and offer online check-in so you can wait for your appointment in the comfort of your own home or car – or just walk in!
Most Common Sports Injuries & their Causes
There are many types of injuries that can occur when participating in sports. Common sports injuries include:
- Sprains & Strains – A sprain is a torn or stretched ligament, while a strain refers to a torn or stretched muscle/tendon.
- Bone fractures – A break in a bone due to a traumatic event. Fractures can be minor (hairline fracture) or major (compound fracture)
- Contusions – Occurs from a direct and powerful impact to a part of the body. It causes damage to the skin surface and deeper tissue damage.
- Lacerations – A deep cut caused by a sharp object that can require stitches.
- Concussions – A type of traumatic brain injury caused by a severe impact to the head or neck.
- Dislocations – Occurs when a bone(s) is forced out of its usual alignment.
Top Causes of Sports Injuries
- Overtraining – Many sports injuries occur when athletes train too hard, too frequently, or for too long without adequate rest and recovery. As a result, their bodies become fatigued which can cause a decrease in performance and an increased risk of injury as muscles, ligaments, and tendons are put under consistent stress and get weak and vulnerable to injury. Common symptoms of overtraining include fatigue, soreness, tightness, acute pain and discomfort, and sometimes immobility.
- Coming back from a previous injury too quickly – The body needs time to heal and rebuild after an injury, so rushing back into physical activity before the body is ready can result in re-injury or further injuries.
- Skipping rehabilitation – When muscles, tendons, and ligaments are not properly healed, they are more susceptible to injury. Scar tissue can form which can cause a joint to become unstable and can lead to sprains, strains and dislocations. Not properly rehabilitating an injury can also lead to injuries that can take longer to heal or turn into chronic conditions with chronic pain.
- Overexertion during training – This usually results when people participate in physical activities that their bodies are not physically prepared for – resulting in injury.
- Ignoring a sports injury – Sports injuries can occur, or get even worse, when they are not addressed and given time to heal. Ignoring the pain and continuing to participate when injured can lead to further damage and a longer recovery time. It’s vital to listen to your body and give an injury the rest and attention it needs to heal properly.
Sports Injury Prevention Tips
Many sports injuries can be prevented by following these tips:
- Maintain muscle flexibility and strength – When muscles are strong and flexible, they’re able to effectively absorb the impact of sudden movements or impacts and are less likely to get strained or sprained. With strong, flexible muscles, you reduce your chances of suffering from an injury during (or after) a sporting-related event. A good stretching and muscle building routine should focus on all the major muscle groups, including your legs, arms, back, and neck.
- Strengthen your core – The muscles in your core help to stabilize your spine and pelvis while maintain good balance and body alignment.
- Let a previous injury completely heal – Take the time to rest and allow your body to recover while undergoing any recommended physical therapies or exercises. Letting an injury completely heal is essential to preventing sports injuries from occurring again. Depending on the severity of your injury, this process can take a few days to a few months. Listen to your body (and your healthcare provider).
- Take time to rest – Allowing your body to rest after strenuous physical activities will help prevent injuries as it gives your body a chance to recover and repair itself from the physical stress of the activity.
- Use proper technique – Athletes who participate in contact sports, should use proper techniques to minimize the risk of stress on their bodies which can cause injuries. Properly warming up and stretching beforehand and using the proper equipment and techniques during the activity is important in keeping you safe and healthy.
Prime Urgent Care Treats Most Sports Injuries
Prime Urgent Care’s team of medical professionals are experienced in treating a variety of acute sports injuries. If you are injured and need treatment – just walk-in! We offer on-demand healthcare for a variety of sports-related injuries in our state-of-the-art clinics in Pearland, Missouri City, and Sugar Land