Common Sports and Activity Injuries and How To Treat Them

  • By Premier Family Medical
  • 27 Jan, 2017
If you participate in sports or other physical activities long enough there is a good chance, at some point, you will get injured. When you push the physical limits of your body or are involved in contact sports you put yourself at risk. There are many types of sports injuries, but some body parts are prone to get injured more than others. Here are some of the more common injuries and how to treat them.


A concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head. It does not necessarily involve unconsciousness, and for this reason, it is easy for a person to assume that it was just a minor injury. Some of the concussion symptoms are amnesia, dizziness, vision disturbance, headache, nausea, disorientation, concentration difficulties and loss of balance. A concussion can be sustained from an injury from any activity. Multiple concussions can lead to permanent damage.


If you have a head injury you should stop participating in the activity immediately and be evaluated by a physician.

Sprained Ankle

A sprained ankle is excessive stretching of a tendon or ligament around the ankle. It is caused by twisting the ankle beyond the normal range. Some of its symptoms include ankle pain, restricted movement, and swelling. It is most common in sports that involve running, jumping and quick turnings like basketball, soccer, and volleyball.


RICE therapy is the best ankle sprain treatment. It includes Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

  • R est - Involves resting and avoiding restraining the injured part. You should refrain from stressful activities to reduce pain
  • I ce - Apply a cold pack or ice on the strain for 10-20 minutes a day to prevent swelling
  • C ompression - Wrap the injured part with a piece of cloth or an elastic bandage to reduce swelling. You should not wrap it very tightly as it could cause swelling on the part below the swelling. Here is a quick video on how to wrap a sprained ankle 
  • E levation - You should try and keep the injured area at a higher level when sitting or lying down to prevent swelling

Torn ACL

The Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the ligament on the outside of the knee that connects the shin bone and the thigh at the knee. Damage to the ligament can be more severe than other ligaments because of the stability the ACL provides. An ACL injury typically requires serious medical attention. Some of its symptoms include hearing a popping sound at the time of injury, swelling, pain, instability and reduced range of motion.


RICE treatment is recommended in the first instance to reduce pain and swelling. If the tear is severe, it may require surgery to repair. After surgery, there is a long recovery process of limited activity and physical therapy. Full recovery is usually between six and nine months.

Shoulder Separation

A separated shoulder is easy to confuse with a shoulder dislocation. A dislocation happens when the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder socket. A shoulder separation occurs when there is damage to the ligaments that connect the collarbone to the shoulder blade. Shoulder separations typically occur when you fall on a hard surface or are hit in the shoulder. A separated shoulder will feel pain at the top of the shoulder near the collarbone. You may experience a limited range of motion in the shoulder as well.


Keep the shoulder still and apply a cold pack or ice to reduce inflammation for the first instance. Seek medical attention from a doctor to determine the best course of action. X-rays may be needed to evaluate the severity of the injury and determine a treatment plan. Keeping the shoulder immobile by using a sling will help prevent further injury and reduce pain from movement. Taking an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) will help reduce the swelling and reduce pain.

Jogger's Heel or Plantar Fasciitis

Jogger’s heel affects athletes who engage in a lot of jumping. It is inflammation of the connective tissue near the heel on the base of the foot, known as fascia. Its symptoms include pain in the heel after standing for a long time or in the morning.


RICE method is the best recommendation treatment for jogger's heel. Many also feel relief from taping and stretching the foot. You may also want to look at the type of shoes you are wearing and consider an insole or orthotic to treat the condition.

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It's estimated that  one in five high school athletes will suffer a concussion  during sports season. Younger athletes have the highest rate of concussions. While more perceived contact sports like football are thought to be the highest risk for a potential concussion, all sports carry a similar risk and demand similar precaution and treatment.  As a parent, your first instinct might be to ban your child from playing sports altogether. But is that really necessary? No. Why do we say this?

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