Common Injuries in Florida Sports
Sports injuries are not just for professional athletes; they are experienced by everyone from your neighbor jogging down the street to Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. Even if you’re not someone who participates in sports, you can still encounter a sports-related injury (go figure!). So what are the most common injuries that athletes in the Sunshine State might experience at some point? Here are a few of the most common ailments in Florida sports.
Sprain – Basketball
Basketball is a popular sport in Florida, and if you’re someone prone to shooting some hoops outdoors with friends at the court or maybe even are involved in a pickup league at the YMCA, you may likely experience a sprain at some point. A sprain is when sudden force is applied to a joint, causing a ligament to stretch (minor sprain) or maybe even rupture or tear (major sprain).
Treatment: Minor sprain pain can start to alleviate usually within one or two days with RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) and all the pain generally goes away after two weeks. However, if the pain subsists or even worsens, you will want to reach out to a doctor in sports medicine or physical therapy for further treatment.
A way to prevent sprains in basketball is to wear the right protective gear, which may include elbow and knee pads. Also, strength training and pre- and post-workout stretching can also help prevent sprain injuries.
Strain – Football
Between the Jaguars, the Dolphins, and the Buccaneers, Florida is a state that loves its football (and we haven’t even listed the teams in college football). But just as prominent as the pigskin is the likelihood of injuries. Quad, hamstring, and groin strains are common among football players. Strain injuries are “pulled muscles” where sudden stretching or contraction causes a muscle to tear. When an athlete goes to stretch and feels pain, they probably are experiencing a strain.
Treatment: The treatment for a strain is the same as a sprain: RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), and of course, if pain persists, see a sports medicine doctor for further treatment.
In order to avoid strains in football, it’s important to warm up properly, wear the right pads or equipment, and practice proper technique.
Concussion – Ice Hockey
Hockey players may have the most equipment of any sport (helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, pants, shin guards, gloves, geez!), and yet that still doesn’t make players completely immune from concussions, one of the most dangerous sports injuries. Concussions take place when there’s an impact to the skull that causes an injury to the brain. For example, if two players run into each other and impact each other’s helmets, they may both experience a concussion if the run-in is severe enough. Symptoms include dizziness, mental confusion, memory loss, and headache, among other varying issues.
Treatment: Players who think they may have experienced a concussion should consult a doctor to be examined, as this is an injury that is serious.
Naturally, the best way to prevent a concussion is to always wear a helmet and to limit direct contact. So maybe don’t go after that puck in the corner when you see another player barreling down the boards.
Rotator Cuff Tear – Baseball
Practice makes perfect, but it can also cause injury. The act of throwing a baseball in repetition, over and over again, adds a stress to the muscles. When this action is repeated, the tendons in the rotator cuff can start to fray and the thrower may start to experience pain. This is a very serious injury that can not only end a season, but even a career.
Treatment: In order to fix a torn rotator cuff, treatment varies according to the severity. Sometimes rest can fix it, and other times it might take surgery.
In order to avoid a torn rotator cuff, there are a few tips you’ll want to utilize. If you’re someone who’s interested in a healthy lifestyle, an easy tip is don’t be a smoker (it decreases blood flow on your rotator cuff). You’ll also want to work on practicing good posture, low resistance exercises, and massaging hot and cold compresses on shoulder areas in order to reduce inflammation.
These are just a few of the sports injuries athletes in Florida experience. What kind of injuries have you had in your active lifestyle? Please let us know and we’d be happy to help.
Now that you have a glimpse of the common sports injuries in Florida, it’s important to stay vigilant about your health and keep an eye on any pain. The last thing you want to do is turn a minor sprain into a major inconvenience.
Love Health has expert physicians and a first-rate staff to support you with whatever medical services you need, supporting patients with individualized therapy to get you back on your feet, with offices in North Tampa, St. Petersburg, South Sarasota, North Sarasota, and Brandon.