Sports injuries in the Fort Worth and Weatherford area are treated by the orthopedic team of specialists at The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute (OSMI) utilizing the most advanced diagnostic treatment methods available in the sports medicine field. Sports injuries are typically grouped into two categories: acute injuries and overuse injuries. Acute sports injuries are those which are most often the result of one traumatic event, such as a sharp blow or fall.
Common acute sports injuries include:
- Broken bones/fractures
- Sprained or torn muscles, ligaments, or tendons
- Dislocated joints
Overuse sports injuries are different from acute injuries in several ways. Overuse injuries generally occur gradually over a period of time, and therefore are more subtle and less noticeable at their onset. Because overuse injuries can seem minor, athletes may attempt to play through the discomfort, which can worsen the injury.
Common overuse sports injuries include:
Overuse injuries are the most common type of sports injury, yet are more difficult to diagnose and treat due to their subtle nature. Being aware of changes in how your body feels and responds can help you get needed orthopedic treatment, as well as physical therapy, in a timely manner which can significantly lessen your time off the playing field.
Signs of a Sports Injury
While pain is the most immediate and obvious sign of a sports injury, you can suffer from a serious injury that only presents as tenderness upon applying pressure. Swelling or inflammation, another common sign, occurs when the body responds to the injury and the immune system begins the healing process. Swelling after a sports injury is uncomfortable but is not necessarily bad as long as it is limited.
Types of swelling include:
- Edema: Soft tissue swelling
- Effusion: Joint swelling
- Hematoma: Swelling caused by bleeding into the soft tissue
Other signs that you have a sports injury include:
- Stiffness: Lack of mobility is often a symptom of an overuse injury.
- Instability: When a joint feels as if it may give way or buckle, this can indicate ligament damage.
- Redness: Inflammation, allergy, and infection can cause an injured area to become red.
- Tingling or numbness: Nerve damage or injury, as well as swelling around the nerve, can cause numbness, burning, or tingling.
Sometimes a sports injury exists that does not present with traditional symptoms, especially in cases of overuse injuries that gradually occur. You may have an undiagnosed sports injury if you are experiencing these symptoms:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Headaches during and/or after participating in athletic activity
- Weakness, especially in arms or legs
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath during activity
- Trouble sleeping
- Favoring one side of the body
- Irritated or blistered skin
Preventing Sports Injuries
Most sports injuries are a result of:
- Improper training or technique
- Equipment inefficiency or failure
- Athlete’s biomechanical or anatomical issues
While not all sports injuries can be prevented, especially those that are acute or sudden, many overuse injuries are preventable. One of the best ways to keep a sports injury from escalating is to stop the activity if you are experiencing sharp, stabbing pain or feel dizzy or sick. Pushing through the pain can result in a much more serious sports injury. Remember, the sooner your injury can be diagnosed and properly treated, the sooner you can safely resume activity.
Tips for preventing sports injuries include:
- Wear only properly fitted protective gear
- Keep adequately hydrated to minimize cramps, help prevent heat exhaustion, and maintain health
- Undergo a preparticipation sports physical examination to identify any health concerns
- Always utilize a warm up (to prepare the body) and a cool down (to help the body recover) routine
- Incorporate stretching and core strength training
- Play various sports and positions if possible to avoid overusing specific muscles
Properly caring for your body is one of the best ways to prevent sports injuries. Overdoing it with training or exercising seldom benefits any athlete. Returning to play before an injury is healed is a common cause of sports injury recurrence, so be sure to get your orthopedic specialists release before resuming athletic activity.
The Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Institute treats orthopedic injuries, diseases and disorders and provides physical therapy, surgery and arthroscopic minimally invasive joint surgery.
If you have suffered a sports injury, or even mild discomfort that you would like to relieve, contact the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute today to see what our specialists can do for you. On our campus we have Orthopedics Today, an urgent care walk-in clinic devoted exclusively to the treatment of non-emergency orthopedic injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, sports injuries and other acute musculoskeletal injuries.