Sprains and fractures are common for sportspersons but the ability to get back to normalcy is most important as they cannot afford to be out of the practice sessions for long. Sports and exercise medicine (or sports medicine in short) is the wing of medicine involving prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sports or exercise-related injuries.


The common sports injuries include


1.            Ankle sprain:


This occurs when the ligaments stretch too much or if it tears. Ligaments are strong and stretchy bands that hold the bones of the ankle together. Sprains usually occur when the foot turns inward, as a result of which the ligaments outside of the ankle stretch or tear, as they are relatively weak. A sprain that occurred before increases the risk of another. Even genetics play a role.


Sprains can heal by exercising under the supervision of a physiotherapist. A sprain hurts a lot and a sprained ankle might get swollen, it might become stiff and also might have tenderness to touch. Usually, a sprain takes 2-12 weeks to heal.


2.            Strain:


A sprain and strain are very similar as the injuries are similar. However, the main difference is when there is a sprain, there is bruising around the affected joint but a strain can lead to spasm in the affected muscle.



Mild sprains and strains are treated with the same technique, known as RICE

Rest: You should give sufficient time for the affected joint to heal.

Ice:  Ice helps in reducing inflammation and swelling. Never apply ice directly on the body. Wrap it  a cloth and leave it on the affected area for 20 minutes.




Wrapping the affected joint in a bandage or trainer’s tape will help reduce the swelling. Take care not to wrap it tight as it can reduce blood supply.

Elevation: Keep the affected joint elevated above the level of your heart. This will also help in reducing the swelling.


3.            Groin pull:


Hockey, football, soccer and baseball are the common sports associated with injuries to the groin. This is the strain caused due to side-to-side motion in the groin or inner thigh. These injuries can get healed with rest, ice and compression.


4.            Achilles tendon rupture:


It is an injury affecting the back of the leg and once this occurs, there is a sudden and severe pain posing difficulty in walking. The Achilles tendon is a thin, powerful tendon at the back of the ankle. This tendon can break or rupture in people playing recreational sports. Those suffering from this comdtion can return to normalcy within 4-6 months with the help of physical therapy.



5.            Tennis elbow:


This is also called lateral epicondylitis. Tennis elbow is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse. This occurs due to inflammation of tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. Playing tennis or other sport with a racqet can cause this condition. Not just sportspersons, even others, whose job includes repetitive motion of wrist and arm, can also face tennis elbow. The treatment for tennis elbow involves team approach. Doctors, therapists and in some cases, surgeons too work together to provide care.


6.            Fractures, knee injuries and dislocations are also common injuries for sportspersons. Injury of any type would lead to swelling and pain is associated with it.


7.            Shin splints:


It is pain down the front of the lower legs. This is usually caused by running, especially when one embarks on a more strenuous training programme like long runs on paved roads. Treatment includes rest, ice and some pain tablets.