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Sports injuries happen, whether you’re a casual sports player or a highly-trained athlete. When you’re experiencing a sports injury, it can be difficult to tell what exactly has been hurt or tweaked and what the best treatment is. Here are the top five most common sports injuries, their typical causes, and treatment options. 

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Knee Injuries

Most sports involve impact and duress on the knees. This is why the majority of sports injuries involve knee sprains or knee muscle imbalance. The kneecap should move within the groove at the end of the thigh bone. A fall to the knee can cause swelling and muscle imbalance, moving the kneecap out of its proper placement. Additionally, sudden turns or twists or an impact on the knee from soccer, football or other similar sports, can cause strained muscles or sprained ligaments.

Effective treatment may include rest and ice, but if the pain, dysfunction or swelling persists, a sports medicine specialist such as Dr. Porter may use knee taping or bracing techniques, physical therapy or other treatments to resolve the injury and help your knee heal.

Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries from sports include dislocations, muscle strains, sprained ligaments, and others. The shoulder is the weakest joint in the body, which is unfortunate, because it is generally under great force and duress during sports. Shoulder injuries are usually caused by a lack of muscle strength or flexibility, improper stabilization, or repetitive motion.

Like knee injuries, shoulder injuries can be treated with rest and ice to provide pain relief and to minimize swelling. Persistent pain, swelling or lack of function should be treated by Dr. Porter, who will use physical therapy and other treatments, including precision surgical intervention in more severe cases.

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Strained Hamstring

The hamstring is a muscle on the back of the thigh, which is typically tight. This tightness makes the hamstring muscle more susceptible to a strain. Without proper stretching techniques, the hamstring can be pulled, leading to bruising on the back of the thigh or the knee, pain, and a lack of function. 

A strained hamstring muscle can be treated with rest and ice. From there, gentle stretching and strengthening techniques are used to ease the muscle and the pain, and to help prevent another injury. Persistent pain should be treated by Dr. Porter who can provide physical therapy, ultrasound techniques, and other methods treatments to help heal the muscle strain. 

Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow

 Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are most common in sports like tennis or golf of course, but can appear in athletes who play any sport that requires a great deal of repetitive gripping. The repetitive action of gripping causes the tendons of the forearm to become inflamed, making any wrist or hand motions quite painful, and often resulting in a weaker grip strength.  

Initial treatments require resting and icing the inflamed area. Dr. Porter may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or provide a brace, which will help ease the pressure. He will work with you to provide stretching techniques and strengthening exercises. These reduce stiffness and rebuild the muscles.  

Sciatica (back pain)

Sciatica results from a bulging disc or a pinched nerve in the back. Sciatica pain radiates and travels from the back down the back of the leg, sometimes even extending to the feet. Sciatica is a radiating pain that can include numbness, tingling and burning. Typically, sciatica results from sports that require trunk rotation, such as golf and tennis, or forward-leaning posture, such as cycling. 

Rest, back and hamstring stretches, and lying on your stomach can help reduce the pain. If pain, tingling, numbness and other symptoms persist, Dr. Porter will help with physical therapy or other treatments to resolve the issue. 

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Sports medicine treatments with Dr. Porter

Athletes who have suffered an injury from sports don’t have to suffer on their own. You deserve the experience and expertise of a board-certified doctor who specializes in sports medicine. Dr. Porter understands how important your involvement in sports is, and he knows that your mobility and ability to play sports is a key factor in your life. A board-certified, highly trained orthopedic surgeon with an impressive training background, including a fellowship in sports medicine, Dr. Porter is known for his compassionate manner and outstanding outcomes. He has had the honor of being the doctor for professional hockey, football, and basketball teams, and is now dedicated to the health and success of his patients at Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics. 

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