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A Comprehensive Guide to Common Sports Injuries

A Comprehensive Guide to Common Sports Injuries

Participating in sports can greatly improve our physical and mental well-being. However, it also comes with the inherent danger of injuries. Nearly every sports person has suffered a sports injury during their active years. From sprains and strains, to dislocations and fractures, athletes and sportspersons have suffered a range of common sports injuries that have impacted their performance, and in many cases, also led to them being “benched”.

But, sports injuries are not sustained by athletes only. Even those of us who are not actively engaged in any sport, can sustain a sports injury. This blog is an in-depth exploration of the most common sports injuries, including their causes, treatment, prevention, and the crucial role of first aid.

Most Common Sports Injuries

Strains & Sprains

Strains and sprains are the common sport injuries reported so far. These can occur while being involved in any type of sports injury. So far, these are the most common sports injuries and can take place in almost any kind of physical activity.

A sprain is likely to occur when a ligament tears or is overstretched. Sprains can range from small to complete tears wherein the ligament is severed. Wrists, knees and ankles are the most common areas that are prone to sprains. On the other hand, a strain is a pulled muscle that occurs when fibers within a tendon or muscle stretch too far or rather tear. Strains can range from being minor to severe.

Knee Injuries

Every year, millions of people visit orthopedic facilities for knee related injuries & problems. Some of the mild knee injuries include runner’s knee, iliotibial band syndrome and tendonitis. Severe knee injuries often involve bruising or damage to ligaments or cartilage. The four principal ligaments in the knee which are commonly injured are: posterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament.

Shin Splints

A shin splint involves pain along the tibia (shin bone). The pain is generally at the posterior part of the lower leg, however, can also occur in the ankle and foot or in parts where the bone meets calf muscles at the bone’s inner edge (medial shin splints).

Shin splints are pretty common with runners & even more-so when a runner runs on hard surfaces. Improper running techniques, failing to stretch or warm up, running in shoes which lack proper support or possessing “flat feet” – all can lead to shin splints.


Fractures are broken bones, and are common sports injuries generally caused by a small one-time injury to the bone (acute fracture). Sometimes, repeated stress over a bone (stress fracture) also occurs.

Most of the fractures are classified as emergencies & may even require surgery to fully repair. A stress fracture is likely to occur most of the time in feet or legs from sports which cause repetitive impact like a jumping or running sport.


Dislocations take place when force pushes the bones out of alignment in a joint. Dislocations are also referred to as luxation. Contact sports like football or an activity like excessive stretching or falling also can cause dislocations. A dislocation will generally need medical treatment & is treated as an emergency. The bone that is dislocated can be put back in place, however, the connective tissue that surrounds the joint suffers severe damage. The common joints which are mostly dislocated include those of the fingers and hand, especially with the shoulder located close behind. Knees, elbows, and hips can also be dislocated but tend to be less common.

Common Sports Injuries Causes

Below are some of the commonly observed causes of sports injuries

  • Repeating the same motion without sufficient rest
  • Inadequate physical preparation, including insufficient strength and flexibility
  • Incorrect form or execution of movements
  • Lack of adequate warm-up before physical activity
  • Insufficient recovery time between sessions
  • Unfavorable conditions, such as uneven terrain or extreme weather
  • Ill-fitting or inappropriate gear
  • Trauma or impact
  • Inadequate nutrition
  • Lack of cross-training

First Aid for Sports Injuries

First aid can provide initial and in most cases immediate relief at the time of sustaining an injury. However, it is crucial to seek professional medical evaluation if the injury is significant and/or its symptoms are persistent. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly prescribed first aid for sports injuries.

For sprains and strains

R.I.C.E.: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

Rest the injured area, apply ice for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours, use compression with a bandage, and elevate the injured limb to reduce swelling.

For fractures

Keep the injured area still with a splint or brace.

Consult a doctor immediately. DO NOT attempt to realign the bone.

For dislocations

Keep the joint immobile and provide support using a splint.

Seek prompt medical assistance for relocation and further evaluation.

For concussions

Ensure the injured person rests (immediately) and avoids further head impact.

A concussion can be dangerous if not evaluated by a doctor. One must avoid returning to play until cleared by a healthcare professional.

For tendonitis

R.I.C.E.: Apply Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation to the affected area.

In some cases, non-prescription anti-inflammatory medication may help. 

For cuts and abrasions

Clean the wound: Wash with soap and water.

An antiseptic ointment as well as sterile bandage are must-haves in your first aid kit.

For bruises

Ice pack: Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.

Gentle compression with a bandage may help. Rest the affected area.

For muscle cramps

Drink fluids with electrolytes.

Gently stretch and massage the cramped muscle.

For overexertion and heat-related issues

Drink water and rest in a cool place.

Apply cold packs and consider seeking medical attention for severe cases.

For eye injuries

DO NOT rub the eyes.

Rinse gently with clean water or use a sterile saline solution.

Consult a doctor if injuries are severe.

Plexus Sports Injuries Rehabilitation

Not all injuries require surgery followed by prolonged periods of rest; some can even be treated using injections. At Plexus, we offer holistic sports injury rehabilitation that includes physical therapy, pain management, nutritive therapies, sports rehabilitation therapy, and stem cell therapy.


To know more, reach out to our team today.

WhatsApp +91 89048 42087

Call +91 78159 64668 (Hyderabad) | +91 82299 99888 (Bangalore)


What are the 7 common types of sports injuries?

The most common types of sports injuries are:

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Shin splints
  • Knee injuries

How do you deal with sports injuries?

The most commonly prescribed first aid for sports injuries involves R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), consulting a physician, and following a customized rehabilitation plan.

How can we prevent injuries?

By being regular with the five steps below, we can reduce the risk of injuries:

  • Warm-up and stretching
  • Strengthening muscles and improving flexibility
  • Ensuring correct form and technique
  • Getting adequate time for rest
  • Wear appropriate (protective) equipment at all times
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