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Most Common Sports Injuries that Can Require Physical Therapy

July 25, 2018

Every physical sport comes with some potential risk of injury. Whether you’re playing softball recreationally, are hitting the slopes to go backcountry skiing, or are playing a game of pickup basketball with friends, there are plenty of ways in which you can deal with a debilitating injury. Each individual activity comes with its own set of unique challenges and hazards, making it all the more essential to take the necessary and appropriate precaution before engaging in the given sport. If you are as active as many people are in the Denver area, here are the most common sports injuries that can require physical therapy.

Ankle Sprain

A sprained ankle occurs when you roll or twist your ankle in an awkward or undesirable fashion. This can happen in any number of physical sports, whether it’s running, playing basketball or volleyball, or simply hiking. A sprained ankle is by far one of the most common injuries that athletes experience, as intense and quick movements increase the chances that someone will inadvertently land on their ankle in an awkward way.

Thankfully, a sprained ankle is something that can usually be treated by an individual without requiring extensive medical treatment. An athlete can rehabilitate themselves using a number of different methods that can assist and speed up the recovery process. Ice packs are always an athlete’s best friend in regards to treating an injury that involves intense swelling, which a sprained ankle will likely include. Engaging in exercises that assist your balance, coordination, and agility will help strengthen your ankle and increase the odds that you will be resilient in the act of physical activities.

Hamstring Strain

A strained hamstring is when the three muscles in the back of the thigh become over-stretched by movements. This can occur during the course of a number of physical activities, whether it’s falling forward while running or kicking the leg sharply while playing soccer. A hamstring strain can be debilitating to an athlete that relies on quick leg movements to give them an advantage in their particular sport.

If you experience a hamstring strain in the course of your given sport, there are a few things you can do to get you back on your feet and on the path to recovery. While the recovery process can be a much slower one than an ankle sprain, it is possible to heal faster if you utilize a set of activities that will be beneficial to your hamstring. Utilize the RICE protocol within the first few days of the injury, which means to rest, ice, compress and elevate your leg. By the end of the first week, you can begin to gently stretch your hamstring. Within approximately two weeks, begin engaging in activities that will strengthen your hamstring muscles. It is important to note that these protocols will be different depending on the severity of your hamstring strain.

Groin Pull

A strain of the groin occurs when you push off in a side-to-side motion that can cause your groin to become strained. It is common for this injury to occur in sports such as soccer, football, and baseball and any sport that involves intense and continuous side-to-side motion. If you experience a strained groin, give your body plenty of rest, ice the injury, and compress the area in order to heal the injury. In more serious cases, you may need to seek professional help from a doctor or physical therapist in order to adequately recover from the injury.

Torn ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament is the part of the body that connects the leg bone to the knee. A torn ACL can be a very serious blow to any athlete and can require extensive recovery. For athletes engaged in an active sport, surgery will almost certainly be part of the recovery process in order to return to the desired level of physical activity. An ACL tear is definitely one of the more severe sports injuries and a sign that you have completely torn your ACL can be heard when it makes the dreaded ‘pop’ sound.

You’ll certainly require extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation in order to make a full recovery, as this injury is not something that can be recovered from on your own. Rehabilitation exercises should encourage a range of movement and should also help to strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings. The RICE protocol should also be used prior to surgery as a way to reduce swelling and make life more bearable in the meantime.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, or Epicondylitis, results from a repetitive use of the elbow, which can irritate tendons within the elbow. Of course, this particular type of injury is very common in the sport of Tennis, but can also occur during other sports such as golf or baseball. Commonly, this injury occurs in the outside of the elbow and is more prominent in individuals older than 30 years old.

While an inconvenience and a major irritation, this injury is not something that will typically require extensive rehabilitation or surgery. Instead, it is possible to recover from this injury simply by resting and restricting this particular physical activity. If serious pain continues despite an extending period of rest, you will definitely want to seek professional medical attention in order to determine a more extensive recovery plan.

If you looking to improve your physical health situation and are in need of physical therapy, or have questions about what physical therapy consists of, contact Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness today and we will be happy to assist you with your first steps towards recovery. We have an extensive team of qualified physical therapists and specialists who care deeply about their clients and go above and beyond the call of duty to provide the highest quality treatment in the industry. If you are looking for a therapist who will carefully assess your individual needs and formulate a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to your needs, Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness is your preferred choice for the physical recovery process.