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Sports injuries


Sports injuries

This can happen due to sports activities and exercises. Sports injuries can happen due to lack of conditioning or warmup, contact sports, improper posture, and position in doing the activities. Common types of sports injury are sprain, strain, tendonitis, and tear that varies depending on the mechanism of injury.

Sprains/ligament Tear

is a partial or complete tear of a ligament, a tough band that connects two bones and stabilizes the joint, in which it is forced to its normal range of motion that causes the ligament to overstretch. The most common area that is prone to sprain is the wrist, knee, and ankle.

Strain/muscle or tendon Tear

is an injury to the muscle or tendon in which overuse, force, and overstretch to the muscle happened that leads to a partial or complete tear of the muscle or tendon. This is more common with sports such as football, soccer, boxing, long jumping, throwing, sprinting, gymnastics, and other contact sports or sports that can cause overstretched to the muscle.


is an inflammation of the tendon that usually due to repetitive motion and overuse, this most commonly secondary to sports activities such as swimming, tennis, badminton, golf, basketball, baseball, runners, and other sports that have repetitive joint movement, it can happen also when doing daily living activities in the wrong position when moving.


Common sports injuries

Rotator cuff injury – this injury is more common in sports with repetitive overhead arm movements such as swimming, tennis, and badminton. Several causes of this injury include tendonitis, impingement, and tear. Physiotherapy has a special test to rule out each condition.

  • A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that helps in moving the shoulder individually with their specific actions and together they serve to stabilize the shoulder joint.
  • Symptoms include pain that can aggravate with shoulder movement, swelling, stiffness, popping, or clicking sound when moving, weakness and limits or loss the mobility of the shoulder joint.
    • Tendonitis – inflammation of the rotator cuff tendon
    • Impingement – this happens when the rotator cuff tendon trap in between two bones and the pain will feel when doing overhead activities.
    • Tear – most tears happen in the supraspinatus tendon; it can be a partial or full tear of the tendon. This can be a cause of fall on an outstretched hand during the game, or repetitive stress in the tendon such as rowing, baseball, and weightlifting.

Epicondylitis – It is a painful condition in the sides of the elbow depends on the tendons of the group of muscles affected. It can be on the lateral side which is called lateral epicondylitis or on the medial side which is called medial epicondylitis. Epicondylitis can happen with the sports that have repetitive wrist, hand, and forearm movement and forceful gripping, which side will be affected depend on the wrist position while doing the movement.

  • Lateral Epicondylitis – also called tennis elbow, from the name itself, it is most common with the tennis players. It is an inflammation of the tendons of the wrist extensors attached to the lateral side of the elbow. Usually occur with the activities of the wrist that involve repetitive wrist extension movements.
  • Medial Epicondylitis – also called golfer’s elbow, from the name itself, it is most common in golfers but it can happen also with the sports that use most of the wrist flexions such as bowling and baseball. It is an inflammation of the wrist flexors’ tendon attached in the medial epicondyle of the elbow.
  • Symptoms include pain, inflammation, and tenderness on the medial or lateral side of the elbow, pain during grip and wrist movement, grip and wrist weakness, and elbow stiffness.

Hamstring strain/tear – Hamstrings is a group of three muscles at the back of the upper leg, this group is two jointed muscle that functioned as hip extensor and knee flexor.

  • Hamstrings strain usually occurs in the sports that have more on jumping and running such as long jump, high jump, sprinting, football, basketball, and in other sports in which overstretch or pulled muscle is happening. This can happen due to a lack of warm-up and stretching exercises before doing the activity.
  • It can be classified into three according to the severity,

Grade I or mild: overstretched or minimal damage in the muscle fiber, stiffness, muscle pain, swelling, can be able to walk.

Grade II or moderate: partial tear to the muscle fiber, swelling, muscle stiffness, severe pain, Bruises, decrease muscle function.

Grade III or severe: complete tear of the muscle fiber, it can be both the muscle and the tendon, visible swelling, pain, loss of muscle function, huge bruises, inability to walk.

  • Hamstrings injury will remain a challenge for an athlete, the main objective for physiotherapy treatment is to restore the functions on the highest possible. Treatment for grades I & II can be done by conservative management such as physiotherapy, for grade III surgery might be needed first. Physiotherapy treatment session includes pain and inflammation management, strengthening and flexibility exercises on the affected area and its surrounding structures, joint range of motion and mobility exercises, stability, balance, and walking retraining. Proper phases of progression for the treatment should be done depending on the patient condition and capability.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear – ACL is one of the ligaments in the knee specifically in front that provides stabilization to the knee joint.

  • An ACL tear happens secondary to sports that can forcefully push the upper or lower leg forward that can cause the upper part or lower part of the ligament to forcefully stretch. Movements such as sudden stop while feet flat on the floor, rapid change in position, incorrectly landing from jumping activities, and direct contact. Sports such as basketball, volleyball, football, soccer, and skiing are more prone to this injury.
  • ACL tear can be classified into three based on the severity,

Grade I: ligament sprain or overstretched, minimal pain, swelling and tenderness, still stable and can stabilize knee joint.

Grade II: partial tear of the ligament, swelling and tenderness, decrease joint function or movement, unstable during activity, increase anterior translation when walking.

Grade III: complete tear of the ligament, unstable joint, marked swelling, and tenderness, less pain, the ligament has no control in knee movement.

  • Physiotherapy has a special test to confirm and to rule out other injuries, treatment for grades I and II can be done by physiotherapy management, this includes pain and inflammation management, specific exercises designed for ACL tear base on the severity, stability, balance, and walking retraining. For grade III or complete tear, ligament reconstruction surgery might be needed before the physiotherapy treatment.

Inversion ankle sprain – it is the most common injury in sports, the ankle joint is one of the weight-bearing joints that carry the balance of the body, lateral side of the ankle has three ligaments that can be involved in the sprain, but the most frequent one is the ATFL or anterior talofibular ligament because of its anatomical position and usual mechanism of the injury. An ankle sprain can usually happen when the foot twist or rotate inward causing the lateral ligaments to overstretched or tear.

  • An inversion ankle sprain can happen secondary to lack of warmup and stretching, poor training, recurrent minimal ankle sprain without proper treatment. Most common in sports that involve running and jumping.
  • An ankle sprain can be classified into three based on the severity.

Grade I: overstretched of the ligament, no tear, minimal pain, and swelling, can still be able to walk.

Grade II: partial ligament tear, possible bruises, marked swelling and tenderness, pain in weight-bearing and walking, mild joint instability, decrease joint mobility, and range of motion.

Grade III: complete ligament tear, massive swelling, bruises and tenderness, joint instability, loss of movement or joint function, inability to walk.

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