5 Injuries That Go Hand in Hand with Playing Sports

July 14, 2020

playing tennis North Boulder Physical Therapy

5 Injuries That Go Hand in Hand with Playing SportsOur physical therapists at North Boulder Physical Therapy can help you heal from the 5 injuries that go hand in hand with playing sports. Sports are fun and good for your physical health, but a sports injury can stop your activity and affect your everyday life. Sometimes sports injuries are caused by improper conditioning, bad equipment, unavoidable accidents, poor training, or improper techniques. Let’s examine these sports injuries.

Shin Splints

Many runners have experienced shin splints, particularly those who run on hard surfaces like roads. It causes a pain along the shin bone (the tibia), usually in the front part of the 29lower leg. Shin splints can also affect the foot and ankle, which is called anterior shin splints, or where the bone meets the calf muscles at the inner edge of the bone, called medial shin splints.

To help prevent shin splints, always warm up or stretch before your activity, choose good-fitting and supportive running shoes, and use the right running techniques. Some people who have what some call flat feet frequently experience shin splints.


Broken bones in sports are usually caused by a one-time injury to the bone like an acute fracture. Stress fractures also occur, which are repeated stress on a bone over time causing a broken bone.  A stress fracture usually happens in the legs or feet from sports that cause repetitive impact, such as a running or jumping sport. Of course, fractures are emergencies and need immediate attention, often requiring surgery to fix.


When force pushes the bones in a joint out of alignment it will be dislocated. These are also called luxation. It usually happens in the contact sports like football or rugby. Excessive stretching or falling also causes dislocations. The most common joints to be dislocated are the fingers and hand, and sometimes the shoulder. Elbows, knees, and hips can be dislocated but you don’t see that happen as often.

A dislocation is an emergency and needs immediate medical care. Sometimes the doctor can put the dislocated bone back in place, but often the connective tissue around the joint may have suffered severe damage.

Strains and Sprains

Of the 5 injuries that go hand in hand with playing sports, strains and sprains are quite common. A sprain happens when a ligament, which is a band of connective tissue that attaches bones to other bones, gets torn or overstretched. It can be a minor injury to a severed ligament such as a torn ACL. A sprain happens mostly in ankles, wrists or knees.

A strain is sometimes called a pulled muscle and happens when the fibers in a muscle or tendon stretch too far or tear. Strains can also be minor to severe.

Knee Injuries

Millions of people have knee injuries every year. Mild knee injuries can include:

  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Runner’s knee (which is a tenderness or pain near the front of the kneecap)
  • Tendonitis (which is a degeneration or inflammation within a tendon)

Other knee injuries can involve damage or bruising to cartilage or ligaments. The four major ligaments in the knee that are commonly injured are the:

Our physical therapists at North Boulder Physical Therapy in Boulder can help you heal from the 5 injuries that go hand in hand with playing sports. A return to your sport is usually your number one goal. If you’ve been injured, our sports medicine therapy and rehabilitation methods were designed to help you reach a positive outcome. Utilizing sport and musculoskeletal analysis, our specially trained staff will determine exactly what therapy methods are needed to get you back in the game.