Overview of Sports Injuries

Overview of Sports Injuries

Athletes of all types love to perform their best. Whether you’re a football player trying to bring home the state title or a runner who wants to improve your time, your ability to do what you love is important to you. For this reason, an injury is quite an upset that keeps you from participating in your favorite activities and pushing your limits.

Athletes of all sports and all levels are at risk for injury when they put their bodies on the line. Many of these injuries require professional treatment for a full and quick recovery.

If you’re an athlete who has been hurt, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Ignoring the pain or trying to be tough can result in more pain and may lead to permanent disability.

Continue reading to learn more about sports injuries and their common causes and symptoms and what you can do for treatment:

Common types of sports injuries

Since there are many types of sports and many types of athletes, there are many types of sports-related injuries. Many athletes take measures to prevent injuries, such as training and warming up, but they can still happen.

Here are some of the most common sports injuries and their causes and symptoms of which all athletes should be aware:

Sprained ankle Your ankles are made up of many tough ligaments that connect your leg bones to your feet. If your foot rolls or twists in an awkward way, the ankle ligaments can stretch or tear, which results in pain and loss of mobility.

Symptoms of a sprained ankle include:

  • Swelling and bruising
  • Severe pain and sensitivity to touch
  • Stiffness
  • Discoloration

Pulled hamstring — Your hamstring is the group of muscles that make up the back of your thigh. A pulled hamstring is an injury in which these muscles are strained from overuse. Athletes who participate in sports that require a lot of running are at higher risk for a pulled hamstring.

Symptoms of a pulled hamstring include:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Sudden burning pain in the back of the leg
  • Popping or tearing feeling in the back of the leg
  • Weakness and instability in the back of the leg

Pulled groin — A pulled groin affects the muscles on the inside of your thigh. These muscles can be strained or torn from overexertion from motions like kicking or jumping or suddenly changing direction.

Symptoms of a pulled groin include:

  • Pain in the inner thigh
  • Swelling
  • Loss of strength and stability
  • Popping or tearing feeling on the inside of your thigh


Patellofemoral syndrome — Your kneecap, known medically as the patella, is in charge of protecting the ligaments in your knee from harm. Patellofemoral syndrome is a condition related to overuse that causes damage to this kneecap. It’s sometimes known as runner’s knee since it is common in athletes who run a lot.

Symptoms of patellofemoral syndrome include:

  • Dull and achy pain in the front of your knee
  • Difficulty kneeling or squatting
  • Difficulty keeping your knee bent
  • Difficulty walking up or down stairs


ACL injury — The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is responsible for keeping your knee stable and from twisting in the wrong direction. An ACL injury occurs when the knee is forced to twist or bend in an unnatural way. This causes the ACL to stretch or tear.

Symptoms of an ACL injury include:

  • Severe pain in the knee
  • Swelling
  • Loss of motion
  • Instability and weakness
  • Feeling a pop when the injury occurred


Tendinitis — Your joints can only bend or straighten because of the tendons that connect them to your bones. These tendons can become inflamed and irritated from overuse, which is known as tendinitis. Tendinitis can affect all joints but is more common in the elbow. It’s often called tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow because of its connection with these sports.

Symptoms of tendinitis include:

  • Pain around the affected joint
  • Pain is dull and achy
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Swelling


Fracture — Any bone can be fractured if an impact strikes you in just the right way. Athletes who participate in contact sports are at higher risk for a fracture, though athletes of all types of sports are at risk.

Symptoms of a fracture include:

  • Severe pain
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Deformed appearance of the affected area
  • Loss of strength and mobility
  • Inability to support weight

All of these conditions are serious and require professional treatment. Please contact your health care provider if you notice any of the symptoms in the conditions above.

Diagnosing a sports injury

An accurate diagnosis of your injury is crucial for getting an effective treatment. To accurately diagnose the cause of your pain, your health care provider will examine your symptoms, ask you some questions and perform some tests, which may include:

  • CT scan
  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • EMG (electromyography)
  • Ultrasound

These tests help your health care provider see images of your bones and soft tissue to help reveal the source of your pain that needs treatment. These tests will provide images of your bones and soft tissue that can show your physician the source of your pain.

Treatment for sports injuries

Treatments will vary depending on your injury and other factors like your age and medical history. Many treatments are minimally invasive, like medication and physical therapy.

Physical therapy is a top choice for many athletes because it helps reduce pain and restore strength and flexibility to get you back into the game quicker. Many physical therapy treatments include:

  • Stretching and exercising
  • Massage
  • Cold and hot therapy
  • Ultrasound
  • Controlled movements

If your injury is severe enough to require surgery, you should still talk to a physical therapist. Physical therapy can help your body prepare for surgery and recover quicker afterward.

Schedule an appointment for a sports injury at Advent Physical Therapy

The team at Advent Physical Therapy has been treating physical conditions for more than 20 years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists to find out how we can help you.