Sports and injuries often go together. It’s unfortunate, but it’s very much a part of being active. When we play sports or exercise, we expose our bodies to some potential injuries and dangers. Luckily, sports medicine is constantly improving. Treatments for common sports injuries are faster, safer and more effective than they’ve ever been.
Two of the most commonly injured areas of the body are the shoulder and the knee. Generally speaking, these are some of the most fragile joints of the body, but both are heavily involved in most movements when it comes to playing sports.
Most problems in the shoulder involve the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, rather than the bones. For athletes, shoulder problems often develop over time. Repetitive, intensive training routines are often to blame for these kinds of injuries.
Playing through a shoulder injury, which only aggravates the condition, may possibly cause more problems. In our practice, we’ve seen that people also may underestimate the extent of their injury because steady pain, weakness in the arm, or limitation of joint motion will become almost second nature to them. They often say they simply have a bad shoulder, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
Our knee is an intricate joint with many components. This makes it vulnerable to a whole range of injuries.
A tear in the meniscus is a common sports injury to the knee. Tears often occur when twisting, cutting, pivoting, or being tackled. Meniscus tears don’t just affect young athletes, though. Even an awkward twist while standing up out of a chair may be enough to cause a tear, if the menisci have weakened with age.
Other common injuries include ruptures or tears to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) or the Medial or Lateral Collateral Ligament (MCL or LCL). A direct blow to the outside of the knee usually causes injuries to the MCL. Blows to the inside of the knee that push the knee outwards may injure the LCL, although LCL tears occur less frequently than other knee injuries.
Many athletes who play in high demand sports like soccer, football, and basketball are more likely to injure their ACL’s. Cutting, changing direction rapidly or landing from a jump incorrectly are all common ways ACL is torn.