SPORTS INJURIES

By: Bethany Hubbard

Wrist Sprains

A wrist sprain is one of the most common sports injuries, resulting in a stretch or tear of ligament(s) connecting bones in the wrist. Ligaments are strong, flexible fibers and are damaged when a sprain to the wrist occurs.

How to avoid it?

Because wrist sprains are usually the result of a nasty fall, wrist guards or protective tape can be used to prevent damage. Both of these devices support the wrist and and prevent it from bending too far backwards during a fall. Also, some are not aware that wrist sprains are very common when skiing. If you notice yourself falling on the slopes, simply drop the poles to prevent your wrist from landing in a weird position.
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Patellar Tendon Tear

A patellar tendon connects the patella to the bone. The patellar tendon also works with the quadricep muscles. A patellar tendon tear is primarily due to a jumping or explosive load to the tendon itself. Because the patellar tendon has several roles (including in helping us walk), this injury can be very serious if not treated.

How to avoid it?

A knee brace can be used to prevent the knee from bending too much, minimizing the amount of room the tendon moves - so it does not tear. Longterm weight training (for example, a couple of times a week) can be beneficial to build up the muscles in your knee, allowing them to be able to hold more strength.
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Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain occurs when ligaments that support the ankle get overly stretched or or torn. Notice that this is the exact same as a wrist sprain except located around the ankle. The most common ways a person can sprain their ankle includes walking down a hill awkwardly and having an unsteady balance as you land on your foot. I actually have experience with an ankle sprain playing basketball (I fell on the ground and my sister landed on my ankle) resulting in a torn ligament.

How to avoid it?

Simple measures can be taken like maintaining good strength, muscle balance, and flexibility in order to minimize the probability of a sprain. You can also warm up 15 minutes prior to heavy exercise. Pay attention to uneven surfaces and make sure to invest in a proper pair of running shoes.
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Want more information?

In the following video, a physical therapist shares her perspective on how to avoid sports injuries
How to avoid or minimize sports injuries from a physical therapist's perspective.