Were you ever told in your childhood that sports are good for your health? Did your dad ever take you to the backyard to play catch? Or maybe your mom was pushing you to join cheerleading in high school? No matter what sport your parents tried to get you involved in, they were doing the right thing. There are lots of benefits to being active, such as improving bone and muscle strength, controlling weight, managing stress, releasing endorphins, and regulating blood pressure. Nevertheless, those benefits can be overshadowed by injury. Some injuries require only a few days of rest to heal; others require surgery for full recovery. Every week, Urgent Care in Spring Hill is visited by multiple people who are suffering from sports-related injuries. In today’s article, we share the most common injuries our patients experience.
1. Strains and sprains
The winners are definitely strains and sprains. People suffer from those no matter what sport they play. Even though their names sound similar, and they share some common symptoms, these are two different injuries. Sprains occur when ligaments, which connect bones together, stretch or tear, whereas strains are the stretching or tearing of muscles or tendons. The American College of Sports Medicine differentiates three degrees of strains and sprains1:
- First degree (mildest) – minor tissue tearing; mild tenderness; full range of motion
- Second degree (medium) – torn muscle or tendon tissues; painful, limited motion; possibly some swelling or depression at the spot of the injury
- Third degree (severe) – limited or no movement; severe pain at first, although it may subside after the initial injury.
- First degree (mildest) – minor tearing; pain or swelling; joint stability is good
- Second degree (medium) – broadest range of damage, with moderate instability and moderate to severe pain and swelling
- Third degree (severe) – ligament is completely ruptured, joint is unstable, severe pain and swelling, other tissues are often damaged;
At LifeGuard Urgent Care in Spring Hill, we always recommend RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation – for the initial treatment of strains and sprains. If your case is minor, you can successfully treat your injury at home. If it’s severe, you should immediately contact your physician, as surgery may be necessary.
2. Knee Injuries
You must have heard at some point in your life about ‘runner’s knee’, but have you ever wondered what it really means? First, the injury doesn’t just happen to runners. This term is used for the pain that comes from above, under or below the kneecap, which might be a result of knee overuse, a direct hit to the knee, or even weak or unbalanced thigh muscles. At Urgent Care in Spring Hill, we often see non-runners who are suffering from it. In order to determine whether a patient has runner’s knee, it is very common to use an X-ray to look inside the joint. If it turns out that you do indeed suffer from this issue, don’t get too upset, as this health condition often improves on its own over time and with appropriate treatment. By resting your knee, wrapping it in an elastic brace, wearing orthotic shoes, using ice a few times per day, and simply doing stretching and strengthening exercises, you can bring your knee back to life. Keep in mind that if the pain doesn’t go away after a longer period of time, you may need to see an orthopedic specialist, who will remove and replace the damaged cartilage.
3. Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder injuries are very common in sports like tennis, golf, swimming, weightlifting or baseball. In brief, these types of injuries are caused by any sport that requires overhead motion. Typical symptoms of an injured shoulder involve stiffness, limited motion, pain, swollen lymph nodes, pus in the shoulder area, and redness. Among the most common shoulder injuries are:
Rotator cuff tears – a tear in the group of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint;
Frozen shoulder – characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint;
Shoulder arthritis – inflammation of the shoulder joint;
Dislocated shoulder – when the arm bone pops out of the socket;
SLAP tear – a tear of the labrum, the ring of cartilage surrounding the socket of the shoulder joint;
To avoid getting a shoulder injury, it’s important to strengthen the muscles through exercising, weight training, etc. It is especially important for athletes who perform any of the previously mentioned sports. Preparing for the season is a crucial part of preventing shoulder issues. However, if you do get injured anyway, regardless of your thorough preparations, don’t hesitate to visit LifeGuard Urgent Care in Spring Hill. Here, we will be happy to help ease your pain and provide you with the best treatment for your needs.
Last but not least are fractures. If you have never had anything broken, you are incredibly lucky! The average person breaks a bone at least twice in their lifetime! Fractures happen in almost every sport for multiple reasons. The bone may break due to overuse, trauma or a disease like low bone density. Fractures are categorized as displaced, non-displaced, open (compound), and closed. Certain fractures are visible right away, especially the open ones; others, however, are tricky to detect. A good example might be a fracture of the carpal bones in your wrist. Those are easy to miss. Sometimes several X-rays are necessary to find the fracture. If you suspect that you have a minor fracture, don’t waste more time, and visit our urgent care center in Spring Hill, where we will determine whether a simple cast, splint or brace is enough, or if you need to set up an appointment with an orthopedist.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in a lot of pain or if you only feel minor yet persistent discomfort from a sports injury, we are here to help you! Don’t hesitate to contact LifeGuard Urgent Care in Spring Hill or simply swing by to have your injury checked. Why would you suffer even one day more? If you are interested in our services, please visit our website.