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Top 10 Common Sports Injuries

Top 10 Common Sports Injuries

It is not uncommon for people to experience different types of sports injuries. This is especially for those who are trying out a new sport, or lack of training.

This is why before trying out a new sport, it would be a good idea to keep your body fit, and familiarize yourself with the different types of sports injuries. Doing these things can help you take better care of yourself, and avoid any serious injuries.

10 Common Types of Sports Injuries

Hip flexor injury

Your muscles above the hip are referred to as the hip flexor muscles. They help with moving your leg and your knee up and down, so this muscle group is used in a lot of sports.

Hip flexor injuries happen when one of the hip flexor muscles tear or get stretched. People who play football, soccer, and runners are more prone to having this type of injury.

This injury is primarily the result of the following:

  • Not warming up
  • Weak muscles
  • Stiff muscles
  • Accidental fall or trauma

The signs of a hip flexor injury include the following:

  • Pain in the hip
  • Cramping and sharp pain
  • Bruising or even bulging of the thigh muscle

In order to treat this type of injury, the first thing you need to do would be to stop any physical activity. Next, apply a cold compress for 20 minutes every three to four hours for at least two to three days. If the pain becomes too much, you can take an over the counter painkiller to help with the pain.

Be sure to avoid any intense physical activity while your flexor muscle recovers.

A Sprain or a Strain? Here’s How to Tell

ACL injury

An ACL injury affects the ACL or anterior cruciate ligament. It is one of the major ligaments in the knee, and any serious injury to the ACL can sometimes spell disaster for an athlete.

This type of injury usually happens as a result of sudden stops or changes in direction while moving.

Here are some of the symptoms of an ACL injury:

  • A pop or popping sensation in the knee
  • Severe pain in the knees
  • Rapid swelling
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Feeling that you would fall over if you put weight on the knee

If you think you have experienced an ACL injury, it would be best to see a doctor as soon as possible. ACL injuries are serious and need immediate medical attention and rehabilitation.


Among the common types of sports injuries, concussions are one of the more serious ones. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that usually results from a blow to the head. In sports, concussions usually happen when people are not wearing safety gear, or if a person accidentally falls or hits their head.

The symptoms of concussions do not appear immediately, but they usually involve the following:

  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Amnesia

If you experience a serious fall or head injury while playing sports, it would be best to stop playing and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Concussions are very serious injuries, and getting checked can help find out if there are any serious problems that resulted from the concussion.

Groin Strain

Groin strains are another common type of sports injury. These usually occur in the upper thigh muscles, and result from sudden twisting motions, or a change in direction.

People who play sports like tennis are more prone to having groin strain because of the types of movement involved.

Here are some of the symptoms of groin strains:

  • Popping sensation in the groin area
  • Pain that lasts for days or weeks
  • Pain when raising your knee
  • Intense pain when bringing your legs together

For the most part, cold compress would help with treating groin pains. Be sure to avoid any intense physical activity in the meantime since it could cause further injury.

For more serious cases, physical therapy might be prescribed by your doctor.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are among the most common types of sports injuries, especially for runners. This type of injury results from inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around the tibia or your shin bone.

This type of injury can happen after physical activity, but they usually happen after running for a long time.

Here are some of the symptoms of shin splints:

  • Sharp and razor-like or dull and throbbing pain in the shins
  • It can happen during and after exercise
  • Touching the sore spot causes more pain

For the most part, shin splints can be treated by applying a cold compress for about 20 minutes. However, shin splints can sometimes be the result of fractures or more serious injury to the shins.

If you experience shin splits frequently, or if the pain becomes too much, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.


Sciatica is a type of injury that affects the sciatic nerve, which is a nerve on your lower back. It usually happens when a part of the nerve gets compressed by the spine. This can happen as a result of prolonged sitting, or result from herniated discs or bone spurs. In sports, trauma or injury to the lower back can also sometimes cause sciatica.

Here are some of the more common symptoms of sciatica:

  • Sudden or severe pain in the lower back or leg
  • Difficulty controlling the bowels or bladder
  • Loss of feeling in the legs
  • Weakness in the legs
  • If you experience these symptoms after an injury

In terms of treatment, it would be best to consult a doctor if you think you have sciatica. Doctors can help identify if your symptoms are the result of sciatica, and they can provide you with the necessary treatment.

Chronic Back Pain: When to See a Doctor

Hamstring injury

Hamstring injury occurs to the hamstrings, or the tendons at the back of the thighs. It is one of the most common sports injuries, and usually result from sudden, explosive movements.

Here are some of the symptoms of a hamstring injury:

  • Sudden pain and tenderness in the back of the thigh
  • Bruising at the back of the thigh
  • Loss of strength in the leg
  • Popping sensation during the injury
  • Loss of movement in the leg

Hamstring injuries can vary in intensity, with more serious injuries causing loss of movement and severe pain. For treating milder symptoms, a cold compress for 20 minutes would usually suffice. However, if the pain is too severe, it would be best to go to a doctor since it might be a more serious injury.

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow, as the name implies, is a type of injury that can happen to tennis players. However, tennis elbow can also happen to people whose jobs involve moving the arms and elbows. Tennis elbow happens when the tendons in the elbow are overloaded, usually as a result of repetitive movement.

Here are some of the symptoms of tennis elbow:

  • Pain radiating from the elbow to the forearm or wrist
  • Difficulty turning a doorknob
  • Difficulty shaking hands or gripping an object
  • Unable to hold things, such as a coffee cup

For the most part, tennis elbow can be treated with a cold compress. But if the pain persists, or if you feel that the injury might be more serious, it would be best to consult a doctor.

Shoulder injury

Among the different types of sports injuries, shoulder injuries are among the most common. Shoulder injuries usually happen when the shoulders are overexerted, stretched, dislocated, or overused.

The symptoms of shoulder injury include the following:

  • Pain in the shoulders
  • Limited range of motion
  • Soreness when using the shoulder
  • Shoulder popping out of the socket
  • Weakness in the arm
  • Feeling that the shoulder is loose

Treatment can vary depending on how severe the shoulder injury is. For the most part, resting the shoulders and using a cold compress can help with recovery. Avoiding intense physical activity is also advised while the shoulder heals.

For more serious injuries, it would be best to consult your doctor about it.

Patellofemoral injury

Patellofemoral injuries affect the front of the knees. It is commonly known as “runner’s knee” and usually happens to athletes who frequently run or jump. This injury typically results from overuse of the knee, muscle imbalance, or a side effect of previous surgery. It can also happen after an injury.

Here are some of the associated symptoms:

  • Pain when running or walking
  • Pain in the knee when going up or down the stairs
  • Inability to kneel or squat without pain
  • Dull, aching pain in front of the knee

In order to treat patellofemoral injuries, a cold compress and rest would suffice. It would be best to avoid any activities that aggravate the knee, as this can make things worse. If there is some pain still, you can take over-the-counter medication.

If the pain persists for more than a few days, or if you feel that your injury is severe, be sure to consult a doctor immediately. In some cases, patellofemoral injuries can be more serious, and a more detailed examination by your doctor might be necessary.


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Top 10 Most Common Sports Injuries – UnityPoint Health, https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=591d8cf1-1ee5-4cb3-b662-a5f21f6f13bc, Accessed July 10 2020

Hip flexor strain – aftercare: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000682.htm, Accessed July 10 2020

ACL injury – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acl-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20350738#:~:text=An%20ACL%20injury%20is%20a,basketball%2C%20football%20and%20downhill%20skiing., Accessed July 10 2020

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Groin strain vs. hernia pain: How to tell the difference – Harvard Health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/groin-strain-vs-hernia-pain-how-to-tell-the-difference, Accessed July 10 2020

Shin Splints – OrthoInfo – AAOS, https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/shin-splints, Accessed July 10 2020

Sciatica – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/symptoms-causes/syc-20377435#:~:text=Sciatica%20refers%20to%20pain%20that,one%20side%20of%20your%20body., Accessed July 10 2020

Hamstring injury – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hamstring-injury/, Accessed July 10 2020

Tennis elbow – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tennis-elbow/symptoms-causes/syc-20351987, Accessed July 10 2020

Common Injuries of the Shoulder – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=832, Accessed July 10 2020

Patellofemoral pain syndrome – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/patellofemoral-pain-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20350792#:~:text=Patellofemoral%20(puh%2Dtel%2Do,that%20involve%20running%20and%20jumping., Accessed July 10 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jul 11, 2020
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel