By medical definition, sports injuries result from acute trauma or repetitive stress associated with athletic activities and can affect bones, ligaments, muscles or tendons.

Firstly, it is important to underline that the term sport injuries does not relate exclusively to athletes; maintenance or building workers often suffer from Tennis Elbow, which also is, supposedly a very common injury in tennist players because of the repetitive motion they do with the wrist.

When patients present with sport injuries, the medical and chiropractic principles can be applied simultaneously in the treatment/management plan, as common of most musculoskeletal injuries. It is the reason physical therapists are best equipped to treat these types of complaints.

The most common types of sport injuries are:

  • Sprains and Strains,
  • Tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon),
  • Bursitis (swelling of subcutaneous bursa),
  • Shin Splints, (soreness and slight swelling of the front, inside, and back of the lower leg),
  • Fractures, (a break of a bone),
  • Compartment Syndrome, (debilitating condition in which the muscles of the lower leg grow too large to be contained within membranes that enclose them; very serious if left unlooked),
  • Concussion, (also called mild traumatic brain injury, or MTBI, and can result from even minor blows to the head; may be very serious).

Diagnosis is reached by history, physical examination and, if necessary, special imaging such as x-rays and/or musculoskeletal sonography.

The first line of action for the treatment of almost any type of sport injuries is:

  • Rest,
  • Ice,
  • Compression,
  • Elevation, (if it is an extremity)

Finally, to further prevent re-occurrence functional rehabilitation is vital, and for the athletes, a carefully designed sport-specific programme is fundamental.