As the weather warms up, more and more families find themselves enjoying the outdoors. One of the most common injuries our specialists see are patients who increased their activity too quickly and the stress on their body was too much or patients who had a nagging issue they ignored until it became too painful.
Dr. Sack is a leading sports medicine specialist, particularly in treating spine, joint, and acute and chronic sports injuries. He has been the Israeli Olympic team physician for over 10 years and the team doctor for a local professional football club for the past 8 years.
Dr. Sack was educated in the United States and Israel and is a graduate of the prestigious Sackler School of Medicine in Tel-Aviv University. We sat down with Dr. Sack to talk about the most common injuries he sees in his patients.
Q. What are the most common sports injuries?
Dr. Sack: I tend to see strains and sprains around the ankle – most often around the knees, also in the shoulder and elbows. For example, in basketball, the most common cause of an ankle sprain is when athletes are jumping for a rebound and don’t land properly. That’s probably the most common injury I encounter. The next most common is a ligament tear around the knee or a torn ligament. There are also fractures and dislocations which are more traumatic.
Q. How do you know when it’s serious enough that you need to go see a doctor?
Dr. Sack: Pain is the number one indicator. If it’s too painful to walk or move or bend your joint where you’re having an issue then something is wrong and you should see a physician. Other signs are swelling or hematoma (a bloody patch) or discomfort. If it’s not getting better or doesn’t go away then you should go see a doctor.
The 3 most common sports injuries our doctors see include:
Ankle sprains account for about 50% of all sports injuries, and can result from almost any activity. A sprain happens when a ligament (the band that connects bones and joints) tears or overstretches. An ankle “strain” describes a pulled muscle, in which tendon or muscle fibers stretch too far.
Pulled Hamstring, also called a hamstring strain, is typically caused by activities involving sprinting or stretching such as softball, martial arts, soccer, and even dancing. An acute injury causes a sharp pain in the back of the thigh and is rated on a scale from 1 to 3. A grade 3 injury is accompanied by swelling and bruising within 24 hours and can leave a person completely incapacitated.
Shin splints is a common term which can include many diagnoses or causes and is not an actual injury or diagnosis in itself. It is the name used to describe pain along the inside of the shin bone (front part of the lower leg), common in runners who have high weekly mileage.
The immediate treatment protocol for common sport injuries is called PRICE:
Both protection and compression for these injuries can often be achieved using braces, tape or other supports designed specifically for the ankle, shin, knee and thigh. If you’d like to learn more about braces and supports, cold and hot therapy or other products used for prevention and treatment of sports injuries, please contact us.
At AMC, we pride ourselves on use preventative treatments to heal injuries before resorting to surgery. Take advantage of our “Spring Training” promotion and make an appointment with one of our physical therapists today to learn which stretches you should be doing before your favorite sport or strengthening exercises to help heal any nagging injuries from last sports season.