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Seven common sports injuries and how to avoid them

In an effort to have more active lifestyles, each year more Americans become involved in sports activities. However, being a weekend warrior who only is active occasionally can have some negative aspects. Throwing yourself into the game without taking precautions can lead to injury. A study by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 2014 found that there were  8.6 million episodes of injuries related to physical recreation activities. Here are seven of the most common sports injuries according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Achilles tendon injury
Along the back of your lower leg there is a thick, corded tissue that connects your calf muscle to your heal. This is the largest tendon in the human body and is crucial for being able to walk. Achilles tendinitis occurs when this this tendon is irritated and inflamed from overuse. Usually this condition is brought on by a sudden increase of running but it also can occur from other factors like wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. The tendon may swell or be warm to the touch. Pain is often felt in the heel or the calf.

Broken bones
When sudden force is applied to a bone, it can fracture. This injury can happen in nearly any sport. The affected area usually feels painful, numb or tender. Swelling is also a symptom. It may be difficult or impossible to move the broken bone.

When the ends of a bone move out of their normal position, it is a dislocation. It can be hard to tell the difference between a broken bone and dislocation since the symptoms of pain, swelling and limited movement are the same. Dislocations  happen most frequently in contact sports like football or basketball.

Jumper’s knee
Technically, jumper’s knee is patellar tendinitis and occurs when there is inflammation in the tendon  that connects your kneecap to your shin bone. Playing sports with jumping like basketball most often trigger this injury but playing on a hard surface or being overweight can also cause jumper’s knee. The pain is usually felt in the knee, just below the kneecap. The knee may also feel weak or stiff when moved.

Rotator cuff injury
The rotator cuff is a series of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and keep it in place. These muscles and tendons injure easily because they are in a tight space. When similar actions are repeated continuously during activities like swimming or playing tennis, this injury can occur. The symptoms may include swelling in your back and pain when you lift your arm.

Runner’s knee
Running, walking and biking are the three most common repetitive activities that cause runner’s knee but it can also be brought on by a hard blow to the knee. There is usually swelling and a pain behind the kneecap when you try to bend your knee.

Sprains and strains
A sprain is a common sports injury that occurs when a ligament near a joint like the ankle is torn or stretched too far. Pain, swelling or bruising are the symptoms. A strain occurs when a muscle is torn or overextended. Strains usually occur when running or jumping are more likely to occur in cold weather. The symptoms include pain and a limited range of motion.

Avoiding injury
One of the best ways to avoid sports injuries is to stretch before and after you become active. Be sure to wear appropriate protective gear and stay hydrated. If you feel pain, stop playing to avoid a more serious injury. Minor injuries can be addressed with R.I.C.E., which refers to rest, ice, compression and elevation. By resting the injury, applying ice, wrapping it with a compression bandage and elevating it, many injuries are better within a day. If the injury is very swollen, or obviously looks deformed, see a doctor.

The fine line
It can be challenging to know when you are overdoing it, especially after surgery or a medical event. Physical therapy is crucial to recovery but needs to be done in a controlled manner to avoid additional injury. Choosing to recover in a short-term care facility where there is the expertise and equipment to safely return to an active lifestyle is a wise decision.

Whitehall of Deerfield has been given Medicare’s highest rating in its five-star quality rating system of rehabilitation facilities and is accredited by The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading and most respected health care accrediting authority making it an excellent choice for recovery

Guests at Whitehall receive high-quality medical and personal care. Well-appointed rooms feature many amenities including high-speed wireless internet, daily delivery of Starbucks coffee and newspaper and dozens of cable channels with a 24-hour channel of newly released movies. Guests select meals from menus and enjoy them in attractive dining rooms. There are also complimentary fresh-baked treats and ice cream available at an onsite ice cream parlor and coffee shop.

See for yourself if a short-term stay at Whitehall of Deerfield answers all your needs by requesting a private tour. After meeting the team of professionals and seeing the elegant surroundings, it will be clear that Whitehall of Deerfield is the ideal choice for short-term care.

To learn more or schedule a tour, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-945-4600.

300 Waukegan Road Deerfield, IL 60015 | 847.945.4600