Many people play sports in one form or another, whether just for fun in their backyard or competitively on a team. Today your New Orleans sports medicine expert is sharing information regarding the five most common sports injuries.

Exercising by playing sports can be very beneficial to your health, but sometimes these benefits are offset by negative things such as injuries. The severity of these injuries can range from minor to quite serious, with some injuries requiring surgery to fully heal.

They may be the result of poor training practices, improper equipment, flawed techniques, or may just be an accident. Sports medicine injuries can also occur when a person is not properly conditioned to play the sport, such as not warming up or stretching muscles beforehand.

Following are five of the most common sports related injuries we see in our New Orleans sports medicine office.

1) Strains and Sprains: These are by far the most common type of sports injury and can occur during almost any type of physical activity. A sprain occurs when a ligament tears or overstretches and can range from minor to complete tears where the ligament is severed. A sprain is most common in wrists, ankles, or knees. A strain is also referred to as a pulled muscle, and occurs when the fibers within a muscle or tendon stretch too far or tear. Strains can also range from minor to severe.

2) Knee Injuries: Every year over five million people visit orthopedic surgeons for knee related injuries and problems. Mild knee injuries include iliotibial band syndrome, runner’s knee (tenderness or pain near the front of the kneecap), or tendonitis. Severe knee injuries can involve damage or bruising to cartilage or ligaments.

3) Shin Splints: A shin splint is when pain along the shinbone occurs. This pain is usually located at the front outside part of the lower leg, but can also occur in the foot and ankle (anterior shin splints) or where the bone meets the calf muscles at the inner edge of the bone (medial shin splints). Shin splints are common with runners and even more-so when the runner runs on hard surfaces. Failing to warm up or stretch, improper running techniques, running in shoes that lack proper support, or having flat feet all can contribute to shin splints.

4) Fractures: Commonly referred to as a broken bone, fractures are a fairly common sports medicine injury caused by a one-time injury to the bone. Repeated stress on a bone over time can also occur. Small cracks and a complete break can occur with an acute fracture. Most are classified as emergencies, and may even need surgery to repair completely. A stress fracture occurs most of the time in the legs or feet from sports that cause repetitive impact, such a running or jumping sport.

5) Dislocations: These occur when force pushes the bones in a joint out of alignment. Dislocations are also known as a luxation. Contact sports such as football or an activity such as excessive stretching or falling can cause dislocations. A dislocation will usually require medical treatment and be treated as an emergency. The dislocated bone may be able to be put back in place, but the connective tissue surrounding the joint may have severe damage. The most common joints that are dislocated are the fingers and hand, with the shoulder being close behind; elbows, knees, and hips can be dislocated but are less common.

If you are injured and are in need of a sports medicine expert in New Orleans, call the office of Dr. Richard Meyer immediately to schedule an appointment. Not sure what’s causing your pain? Don’t wonder anymore – call today so we can get to the source of the pain and take steps to relieve it! And please take a moment to read our 5-star reviews.

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