6 Worst Sports Injuries and How to Avoid Them

No matter what sport you play or how advanced you might be, injuries are an inherent part of being an athlete. Luckily, many injuries can be avoided with a little foresight and knowledge about how our bodies work. Read ahead for a closer look at six of the most common sports injuries and the steps you can take to avoid them.

1. Concussion

A concussion is one of the most dangerous injuries that an athlete can experience with along list of life-threatening side effects. These injuries are especially common in contact sports such as football, but they can take place in practically any sport. The single best way to avoid a concussion is to wear safety gear at all times.

2. Shin Splints

Shin splints will generally not cause permanent damage, but they can be quite painful and bring an athlete’s career to a grinding halt. This condition takes place when there are small tears in the muscle that lines one’s shin bones. Athletes experience this when they run or jump on hard surfaces such as asphalt. In most cases, shin splints can be avoided by stretching and wearing shoes that have proper arch support

3. Tennis Elbow

While it might sound like this condition only affects tennis players, these injuries can take place any time that an athlete strains the tendons around their elbow. Tennis elbow is a phrase used to describe any pain or inflammation around the lateral epicondylitis (the outside of the elbow). As with many of these injuries, tennis elbow can generally be avoided with proper form when swinging one’s arms outward.

4. Lower Back Strain

Practically everyone will experience lower back strain at some point in their life, and that includes non-athletes. Currently, around 80 percent of adults say they have felt moderate to severe back pain, and this condition can be dangerous when left untreated. Much like tennis elbow, back strain can be avoided by learning the proper form of certain movements. For severe lower back pain, athletes should seek out medical attention immediately.

5. Hip Flexor Strain

A hip flexor is a group of muscles that allow you to perform unique actions such as pushing off with a single leg. Hip flexor strains are extremely common in athletes that play hockey, soccer, and volleyball. It is characterized by swelling, inflammation, and pain along the outside of the hip and can cause permanent damage when left untreated. For most athletes, hip flexor strain can be avoided by strengthening the hip flexor muscles and stretching before any activity.

6. ACL Tear

Anyone that has experienced an ACL tear will vouch for just how painful these injuries can be. Athletes of all types are at risk of this excruciating and long-term injury if they are not careful. Your ACL is a ligament that extends from your leg bone to your knee and helps with running, walking, and jumping. The best way to avoid ACL tears is to strengthen one’s quadriceps and practice good form at all times.