Exercise and participating in sports are good for you but sometimes they lead to injury. Jumping into sports and physical activities without a proper warm-up is the cause of most sports injuries. The muscles need to warm up before exercise to help prevent injury and to give your body a chance to adjust to the increased activity as you ramp up your efforts.
Unfortunately, sports injuries may happen even if you take precautions. Americans over age 5 sustain an average of 8.6 million sports injuries per year.
At Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center, our team offers comprehensive sports medicine care for sports injuries fractures. Our Fast Track Clinic is equipped to provide same-day urgent care services, including acute sports injuries, in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada.
Common sports injuries
You’re at a greater risk for sports injuries if you play contact sports, haven’t been active in a while, or fail to warm up properly before you start the activity.
The most common sports injuries we see at Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center include:
Sprains and strains
Sprains and strains are similar, but sprains involve overstretching or tearing ligaments, while strains involve overstretching or tearing muscles or tendons. Our knowledgeable orthopedic team assesses your sports injury and offers treatment for sprains and strains as necessary, which may include a conservative approach called the RICE method — rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
If your sprain is severe, you may need surgical intervention to repair the damage.
Achilles tendon injuries
The Achilles tendon runs along the back of your ankle, linking your calf to your heel. During sports and exercise, the tendon can break, or rupture, causing severe pain and difficulty walking. Overuse of the Achilles tendon can cause tendonitis and pain along the back of your leg and heel. If you experience problems with your Achilles tendon, the RICE method is a good initial treatment option, but like a severe sprain, it may need surgery. Schedule an appointment or use the Fast Track Clinic for evaluation.
Knees commonly become injured during athletic activities. Overstretching the knee or tearing a muscle or the tissues in the knee all result in knee injuries and pain, and may affect how the knee joint moves. The Nevada Orthopedic team treats sports-related knee injuries as well as other conditions affecting the knee, like arthritis or ACL injuries.
Depending on your type of knee injury, we may be able to accelerate your body’s own healing process using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, a type of regenerative medicine.
Rotator cuff injuries
Your rotator cuff is in the shoulder and consists of four muscles that work together to allow your shoulder to move in all directions. Tearing one of these muscles weakens the rotator cuff and can limit your range of motion or cause pain. Our experienced team treats all kinds of shoulder injuries, often by performing arthroscopic surgery, which requires only a few tiny incisions.
How to prevent sports injuries
The most effective way to prevent sports injuries is to give your muscles a chance to warm up and stretch before you become active. Warm muscles have better flexibility and are less likely to tear or overstretch.
Warming up before exercising helps your muscles absorb quick movements. Other tips for preventing sports injuries include:
- Learning the proper movements for your sports or exercise activities
- Using proper equipment
- Wearing appropriate fitness protection and shoes
- Easing into exercise if you’ve been sedentary for a while
- Follow every workout with a cool down to stretch your muscles
If you do experience a sports injury, give your body time to recover before jumping back into your sports or exercise activities. It’s never a good idea to work through the pain on the ball field or in the gym.
Call Nevada Orthopedic if you get injured and there are signs of swelling, or it hurts too much to put weight on the affected area. Take extra precautions for sports injuries in children, as their skeleton isn’t fully developed yet, and their bones are weaker than adult bones.
To learn more about sports medicine and our Fast Track Clinic, book an appointment online or over the phone today.