Every athlete and active person understands that an injury can happen at any moment. Regardless of the health benefits of an active lifestyle, intense physical activities put your body at risk to serious injuries. Whether you’re a football player or a competitive triathlete, anyone who participates in high-intensity activities is susceptible to injury all the time.
Depending on the severity of the sports injury, you may be out of commission for a long time. So, it is always important to safely train and play and to be as prepared as possible. If you feel serious resistance or tension in a muscle or joint, don’t push it. If there is any sort of sharp or excruciating pain, it could be time to see a doctor.
Everything you need to know about the most common leg sports injuries
Sometimes, sports injuries are just a part of playing the game. While there are ways to prevent and avoid them, oftentimes they happen accidentally, regardless of planning ahead. If you feel like you may be having symptoms of one of the injuries outlined here, please consult an orthopedic doctor for further information and to discuss treatment options to proactively avoid further damage.
1. Sprains: High-intensity sports can require a dangerous amount of joint rotation. Ankle sprains occur more than any other leg injury since all of the strain of motion is centered on the ankles and knees. Quick shifts in direction and speed can lead to an over-stretching of these joints.
Stretching is important, but an ankle can easily be stretched too far, causing ligaments to tear. A simple sprain should heal over time, but without rest and recovery, you could be at risk for developing a long-term problem.
2. Tendonitis of the Achilles: The Achilles tendon, small as it is compared to other body parts, is particularly susceptible to injury. It is the most important tendon for all leg activity; after all, it’s the connector between the leg and the foot. Overuse of the tendon, however, can lead to tendonitis.
Tendonitis causes inflammation around the Achilles, making it nearly impossible to run or jump. Treatment for tendonitis requires the assistance of a reliable orthopedic specialist. Anti-inflammatory creams and medications can help relieve pain, but physical therapy is the main catalyst to full recovery from Achilles tendonitis.
3. Runner’s Knee: Bending of the knee is a good way to strengthen leg muscles and joints, but like tendonitis, overdoing it could lead to injury. Runner’s knee happens when the knee joint is bent too frequently, and the strain causes severe pain in the muscles surrounding the kneecap.
Chronic runner’s knee can lead to bone displacement, which causes the kneecap to move in ways it should not. Once the kneecap is capable of becoming displaced, it is much more vulnerable to a recurring injury.
4. Splints: Fast-paced sports, like basketball, can lead to splints. These occur when the legs are overworked. Runners can experience shin splints regularly, which is an inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around the tibia. Pain from splints usually occurs where muscles attach to the bone.
The best way to prevent splints is with quality running shoes that provide good support, as well as making sure you are using correct running form. Stretching and icing the muscles can also prevent splints and reduce the pain caused by existing problems.
5. Fasciitis: Many sports put pressure on the legs, but the heels often take much of that strain first. This leads to an inflammation of the heel, otherwise known as fasciitis.
Even walking with fasciitis can be wildly painful, so it is imperative to keep your heels safe with supportive shoes. Proper heel stretching can help relieve pain, as well as anti-inflammatory medications.
Don’t let sports injuries keep you down
Leg injuries are a common part of any intense sport or activity. As frustrating as they may be, these conditions are treatable, but the key is paying attention and treating them early.
Untreated or poorly treated injuries can lead to life-long problems. Call us today at 956-686-2663 if you have a sports injury you’d like looked at, and to discover more about your treatment options.