The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Top 3 Sports Injuries

Posted by on Friday, May 3rd, 2013


We’ve all heard the saying, “No pain, no gain.” While mild pain can be a sign that we’re pushing our bodies to the limit — building muscle and increasing stamina — it can also be a sign of a serious injury. The normal type of aches and pains of sports generally peak within 48 hours and then subside on their own, according to WebMD. This pain usually occurs after participating in a new activity or ratcheting up the intensity level. You can take a day of rest, pop an anti-inflammatory, and be sure that you’ll be ready to go again the following day. However, sometimes it’s not so easy.


How Do You Know If It’s A Serious Sports Injury?

According to Dr. Sherwin Ho, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery at The University of Chicago Medical Center, there are two types of sport injuries — traumatic and repetitive. With a traumatic injury, it’s fairly obvious what has happened because a person generally cannot move or walk at all, and often sees a visible deformity as a result of the accident.

For overuse injuries, there are several signs doctors look for. “One is swelling. So if that injured joint or body part is swollen, that’s one tip-off that this is a more severe injury,” says Dr. Ho. “If you add discoloration to that, the bruising type of discoloration you get with bleeding in that structure, that’s another tip-off that the injury is more severe.” Another sign — particularly for the knees or ankles — is limited range of motion. Lastly, joints that “give way” or lock up may be torn or displaced, and should be evaluated by a professional.

Top 3 Sports Injuries

The three most common conditions account for more than 80% of all sports injuries, according to Fox News.

1. Runner’s Knee – Knee injuries account for a whopping 55% of all sports injuries and one-fourth of the problems treated by orthopedic surgeons. Most commonly, “runner’s knee” involves worn-down cartilage behind the knee cap, but sometimes it’s also a torn ACL or meniscus. Typically, overuse or arthritis leads to irritation, which causes pain and limited range of motion. Most treatments involve a few weeks of rest and activity modification, icing and anti-inflammatory medication. However, serious tears may require surgery and physical therapy for a full recovery.

2. Shoulder Injury – The shoulder is involved in 20% of all sports injuries. This includes strains, sprains and dislocations caused by injury, overuse, or age. When rotator cuff tendons and muscles loosen, the shoulder becomes weak and slips out of place. Calcium deposits may form or small tears may occur, causing pain and stiffness. Surgery is very rarely needed for this type of injury. Usually two weeks of rest and icing works wonders. Muscle strengthening and stretching are important to prevent future shoulder injuries.

3. Tennis / Golf Elbow – The degeneration of tendons and inflammation in the elbow account for 7% of all sports injuries. Tennis elbow generally refers to pain on the outside of the elbow, whereas pain on the inside of the elbow is referred to as “golf elbow.” Some injuries require splinting and physical therapy, while more modest injuries can be treated with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication, according to Atlanta Best Self Magazine.

Prevention Is The Best Medicine

“My colleagues at Boston Children’s Hospital and I see 450 to 500 kids a week with sports injuries, concussions, ACL tears, all that kind of stuff,” says Dr. Lyle Micheli of The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention in Waltham, Massachusetts. “Over the years, I’ve thought that we’ve got to be able to do something to intervene early and prevent these injuries.”

Though the center is still new and definitive research has not yet come in, there are certain things we know can help prevent sports injuries. Here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, we’ve treated over 20,000 sports injuries. It’s not just about stretching and icing after a workout, though these activities are important. It’s also about looking deeper to find the underlying cause for the injuries. Often, we find inadequate shoes or weak muscles are the culprits. Sometimes we run x-rays or conduct gait analysis and find there are structural abnormalities at play. Visiting a specialist is the best way to get to the root of the problem and recover quickest.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.