Ask any athletic trainer, and they’ll tell you that there are a handful of sports injuries that seem to crop up all the time. Some are feisty and like to recur, so they can be a long-term problem. When I was younger, I was a competitive squash player, and I had non-stop issues with shin splints. Squash is an explosive sport involving repeated impact of your feet on the hard court surface, and this can cause the muscle that lays above the shinbone to pull away, which hurts. I would soak my shins in a hot tub before practice and matches, and strap on ice packs after. It was a hassle and impeded my performance. Turns out I’m not the only one. Shin splints were among the most frequently-occurring sports injuries. Here are four others.
Soccer players and baseball pitchers are well aware of the potential for hamstring problems. The muscle that runs along the back of the thigh can be pulled if too aggressive a movement is applied before the muscle has warmed up properly. You might even see a bruise on the back of the leg, and it can keep you benched for weeks.
The warning to warm up and stretch before competing hard is largely to avoid this common injury. The muscles that run between the thigh and the knee are responsible for the scissor-like motion of running or kicking or jumping—anything that involves swinging your legs. If you make too abrupt or extensive a movement too quickly, the muscles can be strained, and that can hurt.
When you can feel a pain in your back radiate down your leg, that’s sciatica. It makes you realize (and not in a good way) that our muscles are integrally linked, so an injury to the back can result in symptoms in the legs, even down to your feet! Lower back muscles can be strained when engaged in an activity that involves abruptly leaning forward (think of cyclists or golfers). Pinched nerves and bulging discs can be involved, which sound as painful as they are. Though it may seem counterintuitive, it may be your legs that hurt because you’ve injured your lower back. So it’s important to know which part of the body to focus treatment on.
Hyperextending the forearm tendons is a problem for tennis players, as the nickname for this injury suggests, as well as golfers, baseball players, and many other athletes. Officially called epicondylitis, it can make swinging your arm or gripping a racket painful. The elbow becomes inflamed, and until the inflammation reduces, you’ll be stuck on the sidelines.
With these common sports injuries and others, more and more athletic trainers are introducing a new technology to their patients. Welltiss is a special band that can be applied to whichever part of your body is injured. It uses safe, natural, FDA-approved therapy to speed up the healing process using electromagnetic pulses. Had it been invented back when I was a squash player, I might have saved many wet hours in the hot tub and under the ice packs. Thankfully, it’s available for all today.