Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size

The Seven Most Common Sports Injuries

What weekend warriors need to know about preventing and treating the seven most common sports injuries

6: Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome

What it is: Patellofemoral syndrome can result from the repetitive movement of your kneecap (patella) against your thigh bone (femur), which can damage the tissue under the kneecap. Running, volleyball, and basketball commonly set it off. One knee or both can be affected.

What you can do: Patience is key. Patellofemoral pain can take up to six weeks to clear up. It's important to continue low-impact exercise during this time. Working out the quadriceps can also relieve pain.

7. Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)

What it is: Repetitive use of the elbow — for example, during golf or tennis swings — can irritate or make tiny tears in the elbow's tendons. Epicondylitis is most common in 30- to 60-year-olds and usually involves the outside of the elbow.

What you can do: Epicondylitis can usually be cleared up by staying off the tennis court or golf course until the pain improves.

The PRICE principle for treating common sports injuries

The U.S. Marines say that “pain is weakness leaving your body.” Most of the rest of us would add, “OK, but can't we hurry it up a little?” The answer is yes. Using the PRICE method to treat any common sports injury will help get you back in the game sooner.

First, it’s important to know that swelling is a normal response to these injuries. Excessive swelling, though, can reduce range of motion and interfere with healing. You can limit swelling and start healing faster after common sports injuries by using the PRICE principle:

  • P —protect from further injury
    For more severe injuries, protect the injured area with a splint, pad, or crutch.
  • R —restrict activity
    Restricting activity will prevent worsening of the injury.
  • I —apply ice
    Apply ice immediately after a common sports injury. “Ice is the miracle drug” for sports injuries, says Putukian. “It's an anti-inflammatory, without many side effects.” Use ice for 20 minutes every one to two hours for the first 48 hours after the injury. Don't use heat during this time — it encourages swelling and inflammation.
  • C —apply compression
    Compression with an elastic bandage will help reduce swelling.
  • E —elevate the injured area
    Elevating the injured area above the heart will also reduce swelling.

Over-the-counter pain relievers usually relieve the pain of common sports injuries to a tolerable level. If they don't, it's probably time to see a doctor.

When to get medical attention for common sports injuries

We know you're tough — but you also need to be smart. If you suspect a serious injury or if you have any of these signs, see a doctor:

  • Deformities in the joint or bone — it looks “crooked,” or moves abnormally
  • You cannot bear weight or can't use the limb without it “giving way”
  • Excessive swelling
  • Changes in skin color beyond mild bruising
  • It's not getting any better after a few days of PRICE therapy

 

1|2|3
Reviewed on June 01, 2007

Today on WebMD

Life Cycle of a Penis
Slideshow
Preacher Curl
Slideshow
 
testosterone molecule
Article
Xray of foot highlighting gout
Slideshow
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 
Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video