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Sports injuries can happen at any time to anyone. For a while you think you are just doing what everyone is doing–– sprinting from one point to another, landing on your two feet, stretching your arms to grab the ball–– then suddenly, you will hear your muscle snap or your joints crack. You did simple stretches but it does not pop back and walking it off barely gives any relief at all. This is the moment where you call a timeout and pay your doctor a visit.

Sports injuries are caused by a lot of factors: incorrect form, lack of conditioning, overtraining, direct impact, and wear and tear. Below are the most common sports injuries that you want to avoid.

Muscle strain Also known as pulled muscle, this happens when you overstretch or tear any muscle due to improper use, overuse, or fatigue. It commonly occurs in the neck, shoulder, lower back, and hamstring and can limit the mobility of the affected area. Fortunately, moderate muscle strains can be cured at home with RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Sprain You might have had or seen someone sprained an ankle from a bad landing or slip. It is caused by the overstretching of the ligaments which are strong bands of fibrous connective tissue that connect one bone to another. Other body parts that can fall victim to sprains are fingers, wrists, and knees. RICE can also be helpful to treat sprains at home. Knee injury (ACL tear) Anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is one of the major stabilizers of the knee joint. Sports such as basketball, football, soccer, and other sports that require people to perform sudden stops or change in direction, to jump, and land. People who have had an ACL tear say that they heard a pop before they knew they got injured. Fracture Fracture is one of the worst sports injuries that anyone can get. It is caused by an impact so strong that the bone breaks resulting in intense pain and deformity. The types of fractures are stable fracture, compound fracture, transverse fracture, oblique fracture, comminuted fracture. Unlike sprain or strain, this needs immediate medical attention. Tennis elbow Also known as lateral epicondylitis, this painful injury is caused by the overuse of the forearm muscles through repeated motion and stress of the wrist and arm leading to small tears in the tendons. You will know that the pain is caused by tennis elbow if you feel it in your forearm, wrist, and outside of the elbow and it limits you to hold a coffee cup or grip any object. Shin splints Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome refers to the pain occurring along the large bone located in front of the lower leg or tibia. It is often experienced by runners, dancers, athletes, and military recruits after they take their training routines up a notch. These escalations in their training intensities stress the shinbone and other connective tissues around it. When you have this condition, expect tenderness and mild swelling in the lower leg which can be relieved by taking your time to rest and cold therapy. Sciatica This condition, which is often encountered by golfers, cyclists, tennis players, and other athletes, refers to the pain that extends from the lower back down to the hips, buttocks, and legs. The herniated disc in the lower back pinches a nearby nerve which will cause pain, numbness and inflammation. Although a herniated disc may sound I-need-a-surgery kind of scary, most sciatica cases can be treated with therapy in just a few weeks. Regularly participating in any sporting activity or religiously exercising everyday yields tons of health benefits to your body. But listening to your muscles and bones per se and being aware of their limits are equally important for your overall well-being too. Always remember to stretch and warm your muscles up before stepping onto the playing field.

Just in case any injuries happen when you least expect it, Adam and Eve Specialized Medical Centre’s orthopedic department in Abu Dhabi is here to give you all the necessary treatments you need.

Visit us at Pink Building, Mezzanine & 01 Floor, Next to Royal Rose Hotel, Electra Street, Abu Dhabi, UAE, or book an appointment by calling us at +971 2 676 7366.