More than 3.5 million sports injury cases in children and teenagers happen annually. This figure inflates further when it includes athletes and adults who play recreational sports.
While some expect injuries when engaging in sports activities, there are proper ways to protect players from getting injured. Some conditions may also have long-term complications, underscoring the need for prompt and effective treatment for injured athletes.
Knowing the difference between various injuries and learning to recognize them can protect everyone on the playing field. Let’s talk about how you can recognize the most common sports injuries and where you can go in Baltimore for comprehensive orthopedic care.
Sports injuries can be acute, resulting from a single incident, or chronic, from repeated trauma. Between activity sessions, your body repairs and rebuilds tissue to make you stronger. If there isn’t enough time for breaks or you overtrain, an overuse injury may occur.
Overuse injuries cause persistent inflammation impacting your mobility. For instance, tendinitis occurs when tendons in the joints you often use, like the shoulder or knee, become inflamed. It can cause visible redness and swelling, pain that worsens on movement, and instability.
Symptoms of overuse injuries can take time to emerge. Sometimes, a sudden motion can inflict enough trauma to already-damaged tissue and trigger symptoms. Fortunately, extended rest and lowering activity intensity may resolve symptoms.
Strains involve damage to muscles and tendons that attach muscles to bones and transfer force during movement. Forceful contractions or external forces during motion can cause the soft tissues to stretch or tear, causing a strain.
Strains are painful and cause symptoms, such as swelling, redness, and noticeable warmth.
Fortunately, most mild cases can resolve with rest and ice application. Recovery is usually swift for minor strains.
Your joints have fibrous bands of connective tissue called ligaments that connect adjacent bones to secure them and enable movement. Sports activities can force them, sometimes causing the tissues to stretch or tear.
Common symptoms include pain and inflammation, usually with visible swelling and redness. The injured athlete may hear or feel popping while trying to move, indicating joint instability.
A sprain may make your legs buckle as the injured joint can’t support any weight.
Since tendons are less metabolically active than muscles, they take longer to heal. Conservative treatments such as rest and medications are still effective in most cases.
Despite bones being strong, they can still break with enough force. Falls or collisions are usually the main culprits behind most fractures, so contact sports like football carry a higher risk of broken bones.
In some cases, fractures cause visible bending and twisting of the affected body parts. Overt signs usually occur for bones that require extreme forces to break, such as the thighbone.
Broken bones usually come with intense pain and inflammation, especially if the injured person attempts to move. Fractures disrupt blood supply and cause bruising.
More severe cases may have visible deformities. Compound fractures involve visible bone fragments that break through the skin. In these cases, prompt treatment is necessary to avoid further injury and stabilize the patient.
Unlike other common sports injuries that involve the musculoskeletal system, concussions happen due to injuries to the brain. Blows to the head or sudden movements can cause the brain to hit the skull, causing inflammation. The inflammation pressure brain tissue and cause issues since the skull cannot expand.
Some symptoms occur shortly after the incident. Affected players might have headaches, nausea, vomiting, balance difficulty, and mood changes. They might find it hard to move or have persistent ringing in the ears. Confusion and disorientation are also common symptoms.
Doctors Who Treat Sports Injuries Near You in Baltimore
If you are looking for doctors who treat sports injuries near you in Baltimore, the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland is here for you. We provide multiple physician offices and physical therapy clinics to deliver comprehensive orthopedics in Baltimore. Learn more by calling us at (410) 644-1880 or by using our online appointment form