After a long, hot summer, most of us look forward to the feeling of fall in the air. Cooler temperatures make it the perfect time for outdoor activities, and sports are at the top of the list. However, to ensure you stay on top of your game, it is important to take precautions to prevent potentially serious sports-related injuries. At Intermountain Medical Imaging, we have highlighted some of the most common and the steps needed to protect yourself.
Common Types of Fall Sports Injuries
Sports provide a fun form of physical fitness and a great way to make friends. Fall is a particularly busy time for sporting events, and football, cheerleading, track, volleyball, hockey, and soccer are among some of our favorites.
When engaging in these or other sports, it is crucial to be aware of injury risks. Among the most common types of sports injuries include:
- Knee injuries: Painful injuries to the joints and ligaments in this area often occur due to overextending the knee or landing on it roughly while engaged in sports.
- Shoulder injuries: These often involve dislocations, misalignment, and muscle strains that occur due to repetitive stress and overuse.
- Tennis or golf elbow: Elbow injuries can occur due to a variety of sports. They are often caused by overuse or strains that result in inflammation, sending pain down through the forearm.
- Wrist injuries: Another common and painful type of sports injury is wrist injuries, and may involve broken bones or damage to soft tissues due to overuse, repetitive stress, and stretching.
- Hamstring strains: Located on the back of the thigh, hamstrings are tight muscles that are susceptible to strains or even tears.
- Shin splints: These are painful injuries that occur in the lower leg and are common among runners.
- Groin pulls: The groin muscles hold the legs together. Overly strenuous movements and overstretching can result in painful pulls that limit overall mobility.
- Sciatica: One of the most common causes of chronic pain, sciatica, sends shooting pains down the back through to the leg or foot.
In addition to broken bones and damages to soft tissues, head injuries are among the common sports injuries. They are also the most potentially severe. Concussions can prove life-threatening, and even seemingly minor cases can leave players suffering permanent disabilities.
Protecting Yourself Against Sports Injuries
Sports injuries can take long months or even years to recover. Taking a few simple precautions can help to keep you from being sidelined. These include:
- Get the proper training: Rushing into a sport without prior physical training or guidance on how to play increases the risk of sports injuries.
- Take time to warm up: You need to loosen muscles before play to prevent sprains and strains;
- Pick the right surface: Playing on the wrong surface without proper cushioning can make sports injuries more likely to happen.
- Wear the appropriate gear: Invest in high-quality shoes, gloves, and other supportive equipment.
- Wear a helmet or pads, as needed: Depending on the type of sport, pads can prevent severe injuries, and a helmet could save your life.
- Drink plenty of water: Your body needs to stay hydrated when playing sports.
- Avoid overuse: If you experience any pain, it is important to stop play and rest immediately.
Pain, stiffness, dizziness, and other symptoms can indicate underlying injuries or potentially serious health conditions. Never ignore or downplay your symptoms. If they do not show signs of improvement after resting a few minutes, seek medical attention right away.
Intermountain Medical Imaging Is Here to Help
At Intermountain Medical Imaging, our radiologists play an essential role in treating a wide variety of fall sports-related injuries. Tests we can use in diagnosing your condition and monitoring the healing process include:
- Computerized tomography (CT) scanning, which provides cross-dimensional images of various body parts;
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which rely on magnets and radio waves to create moving images of various body parts and processes;
- Ultrasound scans, which use high-frequency sound waves to create images of internal body structures;
- X-rays, which remain one of the fastest ways to examine bones and soft tissues.
Contact IMI Today
Do not let sports injuries keep you from enjoying your favorite activities. At Intermountain Medical Imaging, we have been a leader in providing diagnostic testing and treatment services to people in the Treasure Valley for more than 20 years. To find out how we can help you, call or contact our offices online today.