Anyone who’s ever played a sport or participated in other athletic activities knows firsthand how easy it can be to sustain an injury. Many sports involve dynamic movements that put a lot of stress on the body. Even some exercises, such as non-competitive running or swimming, can cause significant injury. As orthopedic sports medicine specialists, we’ve seen a full spectrum of sports injuries and have helped many athletes, weekend warriors, and recreational enthusiasts get back into the game after experiencing an injury. Here are some of the most common sports injuries we’ve treated.
1) ACL Tears & Injuries
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a band of tissue in the knee that connects the shin bone to the thigh bone, providing support for the joint and keeping it from popping out of place. When the ACL tears, it suddenly feels like something has popped inside your knee. It also can cause instability and make it difficult to walk or even stand. This type of injury is often caused by sudden jerks of the knee or a hard impact from a jump. We commonly see this type of injury in football players, basketball players, runners, and gymnasts.
2) Rotator Cuff Tears & Injuries
The rotator cuff refers to a group of muscles and tissues in the shoulder joint. Its function is to keep the humerus firmly placed within the socket of the shoulder. Because of its involvement in a wide range of dynamic movements, it’s particularly susceptible to wear-and-tear and damage. Symptoms of a torn rotator cuff often include muscle weakness and a dull ache buried deep in the shoulder. In sports, rotator cuff injuries are typically caused by repetitive overhead motions. We commonly see this type of injury in baseball players, basketball players, and swimmers.
3) Torn Meniscus
Within the knee, between the thigh bone and shinbone is a C-shaped piece of cartilage known as the meniscus. The meniscus protects the knee by acting as a shock absorber during high-impact activities. Because the knees are one of the most dynamic joints of the body, meniscus tears are common both in and outside of sports. Any activity that puts a lot of strain on the knee, especially quick, twisting movements can injure the meniscus. We see this type of injury a lot in various sports, including soccer, running, basketball, and even weight lifting.
Preventing Sports Injuries
While it’s not always possible to prevent sports injuries, there is a lot that athletes can do to protect themselves. Whether you’re playing a sport professionally, playing for fun, or simply trying to stay active, one of the most important things to keep in mind when engaging in physical activities is to always use proper protective equipment. Using padding or support braces can help reduce the impact that high-intensity activities can have on the knees.
It’s also important to always properly warm up before exercising and cool down afterward. Warm-ups and cool-downs consist of simple exercises and stretches that help prepare and heal the body before and after physical activity, which can reduce the risk of injury.
Get Advanced Sports Medicine Care in Hudson County, NJ
If you’ve recently experienced a sports-related injury, The Orthopedic Health Center can help. We provide athletes of all levels and ages with the personalized sports medicine care they need to get back to the game they love. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our offices in Hoboken and Jersey City.
Appointments available now.