Top sports injuries and how to treat them

18 April 2013

Brits get more active in the summertime, frequenting the tennis court, track and trails. Along with increased activity comes increased risk of injury.

Some common complaints among athletes include excess wear and tear on joints and excessive fatigue. If you suffer from runner’s knee, consider running on trails or a softer surface than concrete pavement. In extreme cases, orthopaedic treatment like knee arthroscopy surgery may be required to determine the cause of inflammation, as well as treat the source of pain.

If you suffer from chronic fatigue, consider an iron level test to determine whether or not you need to take vitamin supplements.

Whatever sport you partake in, always be mindful of how you feel and how your body is reacting to increased activity. Take preventative measures to keep from wearing muscles, joints and cartilage out.

Here are several of the most common sports-related injuries athletes suffer from, and how to  treat them to ensure you’re back on your feet in no time.

Achilles tendinitis

Overuse of the Achilles tendon, located at the back of the ankle, can result in inflammation. This painful condition is known as acute tendinitis and will worsen over time if left untreated. Runners are especially susceptible to Achilles tendinitis, as the repetitive motion puts excessive strain on ankles.

How to treat it

Stretching and calf-strengthening exercises are effective methods of prevention. If you should develop tendinitis, use the rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) method to treat it. In addition, anti-inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen can help.


A severe blow to the head can easily cause a concussion. Symptoms include blurred vision, headache, dizziness, disorientation, amnesia, lack of coordination and balance, difficulty concentrating and nausea. Footballers are at an increased risk for concussions.

How to treat it

Get plenty of rest and use acetaminophen to treat headaches. Do not return to gameplay for a while - the length of time off depends on the severity of the concussion.

Groin strain

Sudden changes in direction that often occur in football or racket sports put extra strain on abducator muscles located in the upper thigh. Groin strain causes sharp, severe pain, swelling and bruising.

How to treat it

Stretch before exercising to prevent this injury. RICE and Ibuprofen are effective treatment methods for groin strain. Take a couple weeks off before you jump back into action.

Shin splints

Shin splints are a plague on runners everywhere. Increasing exercise intensity too quickly is the most common cause of pain on the inner side of the shinbone. They can also happen to people who aren’t accustomed to strenuous exercise.

How to treat it

Wear quality shoes that suit the shape of your feet as well as your natural gait. Cross train, stretch and increase intensity of exercise slowly. Treat shin splints with ice, stretching and Ibuprofen.

Lower back pain

Many athletes can suffer from lower back pain. Running, cycling, tennis and cricket can cause spasms and pain in the lower back due to improper form or inadequate stretching, or simply because of repeated motion.

How to treat it

Prevent lower back pain by stretching and warming up before strenuous exercise. Again, use the RICE method to treat it along with anti-inflammatory medication. In the case of severe, chronic back pain, runners may want to get x-rayed - the problem may be due to a difference in leg length. If that’s the case, a podiatrist may recommend the use of orthotic lifts to eliminate the discrepancy in height.

Posted by Philip Briggs

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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