SPORTS INJURIES

By Aisha Espinosa

Strains and Sprains

Of the most common sports injuries, strains and sprains are the most frequently seen. Strains are best described as pulled muscles/injuries to the muscle fibers or tendons, while sprains are injuries to the ligaments.

A common sprain injury is an ankle sprain, or an injury to one of the ligaments in your ankle. This sports injury can happen from landing on your ankle with too much force, or even running/walking on uneven ground. There are three grades for an ankle sprain, and common symptoms are: pain in the ankle area, swelling, bruising, etc.

A common strain injury is a hamstring strain, where three of the muscles in the back of the thigh are over stretched. These are slow to heal, especially because of the stress placed on the already injured tissue when walking (a typical, everyday motion).

ACL Injuries

One of the injuries seen more frequently in today's age in an alarming amount of children is an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, or the ACL.

An ACL injury stems from a tear to one of the ligaments around the knee. Severe ACL injuries can be career-enders for professional atheletes, or even young athletes, as seen in this video.



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Prevention

To prevent common sports injuries and decrease risk for more serious ones, doctors and have suggested specific warm ups to increase blood flow, exercises that strengthen the possible affected muscles of a common sports injury, and to have athletes know when their body has has enough.

Warming up the muscles in the body allows blood flow and increased flexibility, while exercises that strengthen muscles (especially those around the knee) could help prevent ACL tears in young athletes.