Keep Your Head in the Game – 6 Activities and Their Common Injuries

No matter what activity you choose – whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior – there’s always a chance you could get injured. It’s often hard to know exactly what happened or why. But by being aware of possible injuries from the activity you’re playing in, you can stay aware of the symptoms and stay at the top of your game.

Here are six different activities and their most common injuries.

Runners (long distance and/or frequent)

Common Injury
Iliotibial band (ITB) tendonitis.
Possible Symptoms
Outer thigh pain or outer knee pain, constant or intermittent pain during or after running.
Possible Causes
Tight outer thigh (ITB, quadriceps), weak lower extremity muscles (major hip and thigh: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps), weak core strength, overuse, training too much too soon, or poor running mechanics.

Cycling (Indoor or outdoor)

Common Injury
Anterior hip pain/impingement.
Possible symptoms
Front hip and thigh pain/tightness, groin pain, or pinch pain deep in the front hip.
Possible Causes
Overuse in a flexed position, shortening of front hip muscles, positional dysfunction, or a poor bike fit.

Tennis

Common Injury
Lateral epicondylitis (a.k.a. “tennis elbow”).
Possible Symptoms
Pain in forearm, pain into the outer elbow, weakness in forearm and grip, or constant or intermittent pain during or after playing.
Possible Causes
Overuse with arm/forearm activity, or poor shoulder and shoulder blade mechanics (weak rotator cuff, tight pectoral muscles).

Throwing & Overhead Sports

Common Injury
Shoulder impingement or rotator cuff strain.
Possible Symptoms
Pain over top of the shoulder, pain down outer arm below shoulder, or pinch pain when raising the arm overhead.
Possible Causes
Overuse, weak rotator cuff, shoulder blade area weakness, poor arm/forearm mechanics, or postural imbalance.

Hiking

Common Injury
Patellofemoral dysfunction (knee cap/front of knee pain).
Possible Symptoms
Pain over top of the knee, pain around or under the knee cap, or experiencing more pain when going downhill.
Possible Causes
Overuse/fatigue, weak quadriceps, weak glutes, or poor shoe support.

Basketball & Jumping Sports

Common Injury
Achilles tendonitis.
Possible Symptoms
Pain behind ankle over heel cord tendon, pain/tightness in gastrocnemius (calf muscle), or swelling at the back of the ankle, near the heel.
Possible Causes
Overuse, age, weak lower extremities muscles, tight gastrocnemius (calf muscle), or poor shoe support.


By Susan Hourigan, Physical Therapist at PRO Club.

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