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Sports Injury

How to prevent the 7 most common sports injuries

Sports injuries are injuries sustained when playing sports or during exercise. They occur either as accidents or due to poor training practices such as not warming up or using improper gear. These are mostly caused by applying forces greater than a body part can structurally endure at one time or over a longer period. Common sports injuries involve soft tissue structures like ligaments, cartilage, muscles, and tendons.

sports injury in footbal

Types of Sports Injuries

Sports injuries include many kinds of injury suffered in other areas such as falls, car accidents and industrial accidents.

It is useful to classify them by type of injury:


These are caused by direct blows onto tissues, particular muscle masses like the thigh. The local tissue and muscle cells are bruised and damaged, swell and become painful


These are tears in muscles or tendons caused by overexertion or over-stretching


Joint injuries are from overstretching the ligaments around the joint, causing tearing, swelling, and pain. Mild ones can be self-managed, severe sprains such as ligament rupture require medical advice


These occur when one part of a joint becomes detached from the other, due to a very severe sprain. Requires medical advice


Broken bones, either a minor one where a ligament pulls a piece of bone off or a major one involving main bone such as the thigh. Require medical advice

Head Injury

These occur when the head is hit by something or hits itself against something. Head injuries, even minor ones with few or no symptoms, are always serious and require medical advice

Spinal Cord Injury

This occurs when the spine is damaged significantly and leads to injury to the spinal cord within. These are medical emergencies.


These can vary from blisters to large cuts in the body due to impact against a sharp object

Overuse Injuries

These are the most common sports injuries. Inflammation and pain are set up by stressing a tissue too much, too often or both.

Injuries can also be divided into acute and chronic, with differing approaches and treatments.

Acute and Chronic Injuries

Acute injuries are recent and happen suddenly during sporting activity. Signs of an acute injury are severe pain, swelling, limited joint movement, weakness, and inability to bear weight on the limb. Severe cases are obvious fractures and dislocations. They are treated commonly with ice, rest, compression, elevation and gentle movement. Fractures and dislocations require immediate medical care.

Related: Sports Injury and Middle Age: Common Issues that Can Slow You Down, But Don’t Have To

Chronic injuries are longstanding and due to repeated acute events which have not be settled fully in the athlete. They may swell, are painful on activity and often ache at rest but do not have much inflammation. Treatment is frictions, stretches, muscle strengthening, orthotics and altering the mechanics of the athletic action concerned.

The Seven Most Common Sports Injuries

These are:

Can Sports Injuries Be Prevented?

Many sports injuries happen as accidents during play such as collisions, ankle sprains or falls. These are difficult or impossible to prevent. But many could be prevented with some simple precautions. For example, to lower your risk of injury:

  • Make sure you are trained for the sport or activity. Fitness for sport is very specific so if you are fit for football you are not fit for rugby.
  • Perform at least five minutes of warm-up and cool-down before and after exercising or playing a sport
  • Use the right equipment, including any recommended safety gear
  • Don’t push yourself beyond your level of fitness
  • Avoid returning to sport or exercise too soon after an injury
  • Wear good shoes with suitable stability and cushioning
  • Avoid running on hard surfaces or up and down hill
  • If you have an injury or any pain, don’t try to push through it
  • Avoid being a “weekend warrior” by packing all your sporting activity into two days

Overuse Injuries in Sports

These are the most common sports injuries as sports people routinely overdo training and performance. They put up with small injuries until they get more severe and they are forced to stop or reduce their training. Overuse injuries are caused by repeated trauma, examples being stress fractures and tendonitis.

There are two categories of error which can lead to an overuse injury:

Errors of Training

This happens when we exercise too much and too quickly. Doing too much exercise (overtraining), doing too high a level too soon or performing actions too fast can cause an overuse injury.

Errors of Technique

Poor technique can mean you use much more strength than you need to and strain your joints as you perform an activity incorrectly. A repeated poor technique can then lead to an overuse injury.

Anyone can get an overuse injury but it is most likely as we get older, if we are returning to training or if we have increased our training recently. Most overuse injuries could be avoided if the right steps were taken.

How to Avoid Overuse Sports Injuries

A good approach to avoid overuse injuries can be:

  • Adding variety to your exercise regimen to avoid any one set of muscles being continually stressed over a long period of time
  • Pacing your increase in activity to avoid over-stressing your muscles, joints and tendons
  • Learning proper technique and using proper sports gear
  • Taking lessons can be a quick way of getting things right to start with
  • Using appropriate footwear that matches with your sports activity
  • Taking a rest from your activity from time to time to let your tissues settle

If you do have an injury, make sure you identify the exact cause of your problem so you can make changes to your activity and prevent it recurring. Get an expert physiotherapy opinion early to ensure the quickest recovery.

Once you feel the injury has healed you should not return to the potentially aggravating activity until you test your tissues to see if they are ready. You need a full range of motion, muscle strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance or you risk a repeat of your problem.

What to Do if You Are Injured

If you have a serious injury, such as a dislocated or broken bone or a head injury, you should seek medical attention. Go immediately to the nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department, by ambulance if required.

A moderate injury such as a ligament sprain or a muscle tear may still need medical attention. You should be guided by the amount of pain you have and your ability to use the injured part. If the pain is moderate or severe or you can’t use the injured part of your body normally, seek medical help straight away.

If you have a minor injury, you may be able to treat it yourself. An ice pack on the injured area for about 15 minutes can be used for up to eight times a day. A stretchy bandage can apply pressure to the area to help prevent or reduce swelling. You should always take care to see that it is not too tight to interrupt the circulation and don’t wear it at night. It’s essential to rest from the aggravating exercise or sport.

Anything but a minor injury will take several weeks to resolve before you are fit for performance again. Your injury should start to improve within 48 hours after the event. If it does not you should consult your GP, especially if you still have severe pain or the affected area swells badly or feels numb.

The PRICE Protocol for Acute Injuries

PRICE therapy is the best way to treat milder joint sprains and muscle strains in the first 72 hours after injury. Inflammation, swelling, and pain are reduced and your recovery time minimised.

PRICE stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Protection. Stop the activity causing the problem to prevent further damage. Crutches, splints, and supports may be used.

Rest. Be less active for a while to let the injured area settle and heal.

Ice. Use for 10 to 15 minutes up to eight times a day. Always wrap the ice pack in a wet tea towel or similar to prevent an ice burn.

Compression is very important to limit swelling. Crepe bandages are good but should not be tight enough to cause swelling or numbness and don’t wear it at night.

Elevation. Keep the injured area up above your heart to limit the amount of blood flow to the area and reduce swelling.

Sticking to the PRICE protocol can minimize your time to recovery.

How Sports Physiotherapy Can Help

Sports physiotherapy is a specialized branch of physiotherapy that deals with sports injuries and related issues. It is appropriate for men and women of all ages engaged in all kind of sports at any level of competition. Physiotherapists can manage minor and moderate sports injuries and may be involved in the rehabilitation of more serious injuries after medical management has done its job.

Sports Physiotherapy Patient Consultation

Sports physiotherapists have specific training and knowledge to treat acute, chronic and overuse injuries such as:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Bursitis
  • Knee pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Groin pain
  • Hamstring injury
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Workout injuries

Physiotherapists can help symptoms such as pain and weakness and rehabilitate the injured area. They will develop an individual treatment plan including exercises that promote strength and flexibility. They may also use massage and manipulation. The treatment plan will help you recover faster and avoid complications. And it will reduce your risk of sustaining other injuries in the future.

What issues can be treated with needle therapy (acupuncture)

Needle therapy or acupuncture is a therapeutic practice that involves stimulating certain focuses on the body, regularly with a needle entering the skin, to mitigate pain or to treat different health conditions.

On November 5, 1997, a board gathered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) presumed that there is clear confirmation that needle therapy needle treatment is successful for nausea and vomiting from a postoperative condition and in addition chemotherapy, morning sickness, and postoperative dental pain. The 12-part board additionally deduced in their agreement explanation that there are various other pain-related conditions for which needle therapy might be compelling. These conditions incorporate however are not constrained to fibromyalgia (general muscle torment), low back agony, carpal passage disorder, and asthma.

At Square One Physio, we have treated many conditions with acupuncture. Some of the conditions that could be treated with acupuncture are:


Neck pain
Shoulder pain
Tennis elbow
Carpal tunnel
Acute/chronic back pain
Knee pain
Foot pain

Neurological / Nervous System

High blood pressure
Stress disorders
Bell’s Palsy
Trigeminal neuralgia


And many other female health problems
Infertility (female/male)
Menstrual pain


Allergies/hay fever
Common cold
Sore throat


Stomach pain


Smoking Cessation
Car accident complications and more


At Square One Physio, we have trained practitioners in acupuncture. Click here to book an appointment.

Suffering from ankle Injury? Here’s how physiotherapy can help.

Ankle injury is one of the most common types of injuries that affect athletes or field game players like football. In the majority of cases, the ankle is sprained or twisted causing the injury. In other serious cases, the injury causes the joint to become unstable or there might be some broken bones. Some people are more prone to ankle sprains or foot injury due to their foot structure.  In any case, physiotherapy has been proven to be quite effective to get the person recover completely and get back to his normal life.


The ankle is made up of 3 bones- tibia, fibula and talus.  These three bones form a socket in which the ankle joint moves. The ligaments attach these bones together and ensure that the joint is stable and functions well. Depending on the severity of the injury, these ligaments can either be strained, partially torn or ruptured completely. Your doctor or physiotherapist will be able to ascertain the type of injury and prescribe physiotherapy accordingly.

What are the symptoms during an ankle injury?

The ankle injury is generally caused due to wrong footing, walking or running on an uneven surface or also as a result of contact injury. There are blood vessels and nerves surrounding the ligaments in the ankle. Upon injury generally, the following symptoms are observed-

  • Tenderness and Swelling around the ankle
  • Sometimes discoloration is also observed around the swollen ankle
  • Varying degree of pain, depending upon the severity of the injury
  • Ankle or joint instability upon trying to walk or stand up

How can Physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy is a proven technique recommended by doctors to help patients with ankle or foot injury get back to their normal life. Generally, when a patient comes into my clinic with an ankle injury, we first assess the extent of the injury. We prescribe the well know “RICE” technique- Rest, Icing, compression and elevation.  This method not only helps in reducing pain and swelling but also assist in quick recovery.  Then depending upon the ankle condition, our team of experienced physiotherapists begins the patient on therapy sessions. These sessions consist of various ankle exercises aimed at returning it to its full range of motion and preventing future injury occurrences. People who are more prone to ankle sprains due to their foot structure can also benefit from physiotherapy.

Therefore, if you are suffering from an ankle injury, feel free to contact us at 905-232-2202. You can also book an appointment online by clicking here. We have been present in Mississauga for over 14 years now and are conveniently located in the Square One area.

ACL injury – Role of physiotherapy in the rehabilitation process

acl - physiotherapy treatmentAnterior cruciate ligament is one of the 4 ligaments in the knee that aids in the stability of the knee joint. It ensures that we are able to make all the complicated movements like twists and sharp turns while playing football, rugby, tennis, etc. Unfortunately, it also makes it susceptible to injury. In fact, it is the most common types of sports injury that I encounter in my capacity of a professional physiotherapist.

How does ACL injury occur?

ACL injury usually occurs when the knee is twisted suddenly or while landing down from a jump. About 80% of the ACL injury patients that I receive in my clinic are due to “non-contact” injury i.e twisting of the knee. Only about 20% of the cases are “contact” injuries like when a person is tackled badly while playing soccer (football). Often a “pop” sound is heard during this injury which is caused when the ACL is ruptured. The knee buckles under you when you try to get up and walk as the stability of the joint is disturbed. The knee also swells up and pains.

How can physiotherapy help in ACL injuries?

Often ACL injury is easily diagnosed by the doctor after performing a string of knee stability test. The doctor can also prescribe MRI scans which show the extent of the damage and helps to identify whether it is a “full rupture” or “partial rupture”. Usually in “full rupture” of the ligament, the doctor advises surgery in which the ACL ligament is reconstructed. In “Partial rupture” cases, the ACL usually heals with due time. However, in both cases, the doctor prescribes physiotherapy to help build and regain muscle strength which is lost due to the injury.

Usually when a patient with an ACL injury comes to us, we lay out a complete rehab plan in front of him. The plan includes-

  • Reducing pain and inflammation
  • Strengthening leg muscles like hamstrings, Quadriceps, calf muscles to help them support the body weight.
  • Strengthening hip and pelvic muscles to ensure less exertion on the knee.
  • Bring the knee join back to full range of motion
  • Improve proprioception, agility and knee balance
  • Aiding in normal functions like walking and running
  • Getting back to pre-injury fitness and preventing re-occurrence of injury

At Squareone Physio, we have a dedicated team of physiotherapists who specialize in sports injuries especially ACL injuries. If you are suffering from ACL injury or recently been injured, please feel free to book an appointment with us by calling us at 905-232-2202 or by contacting us online here.

How to Prevent Sport Injuries and What to Do If Get Injured

sports injury while runningSports injuries are injuries that occur when exercising or playing sports. They can happen when one is in the field or a gym. Other sport injuries can result from improper gear and poor training practices. Some people get injured when they are not physically fit. Lack of proper stretching or warm up techniques before you exercise or play can also cause injuries. Some of the most common sport injuries are:

Difference between chronic and acute injuries

There are two major kinds of sport injuries: chronic and acute. Acute injuries happen suddenly during exercise or play. Fractured hands, strained backs and sprained ankles are all examples of acute injuries. Signs of acute injuries are:

  • A joint or bone that is visibly out of place
  • Extreme arm or leg weakness
  • The inability to move a joint as normal
  • A finger, hand, wrist, arm or elbow that is very tender
  • Not being able to place weight on a foot, ankle, knee or leg
  • Swelling
  • Sudden, severe pain

Chronic injuries mainly occur after you exercise or play a certain sport for long. Some chronic injury signs include swelling, a dull ache when you are resting, pain during exercise and pain when you play.

What to do when injured

Avoid trying to work through the pain of any sports injury. It is advisable to stop exercising or playing when you feel pain. Continuous exercise or pay after an injury will result with more harm. Some injuries require immediate medical attention while others can be treated easily at home. Medical attention should be sought when:

  • A joint feels unstable or abnormal
  • An old injury begins to swell
  • An old injury aches or hurts
  • You are unable to put weight on the area
  • The injury causes severe numbness, swelling or pain

Treatment options for sports injuries

Treatments for sport injuries will vary with the type of injury. For chronic injuries, the treatment may be use of NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). The doctor may suggest you take NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin. These drugs reduce pain and swelling. They are available at a drug store or pharmacy. Another drug that can be used is acetaminophen. It may not reduce the swelling, but it will relieve the pain.

Immobilization is another common treatment for sports injuries. It ensures the injured area is not damaged more by keeping it from moving. Leg immobilizers, casts, splints and slings are used to immobilize sports injuries.

A large number of injuries can be treated using compression, rest and ice. It is prudent to avoid the sports/workout that caused the injury until it has healed completely. In the event the injury was major, a massage and physiotherapy might be the best way to go. This is especially the case when the injury is muscle related.

Common injuries such as sprains can be healed by massage therapy. Massage therapy is a very effective solution for injured muscles. In this case, one should consider using the services of an expert and professional massage therapist. The best option would be a therapist who specializes in treatment of sporting injuries. When an amateur is used to handle an injured athlete, they may make the matter worse.

Sports Injuries due to over-traning, over-exertion or over-use

sports injury ankle sprainExercise is a key element to a healthy lifestyle and is necessary for weight management, fitness and overall health. However, if done in excess, it can result to overuse injuries. If you are experiencing any of these injuries, high chances are that you are over-training or overdoing on your exercises.

Runners Knee

“Runners knee” is medically referred to as patellofemoral syndrome. This is the pain experienced under the kneecap, often as a result of running. The pain tends to intensify when walking down stairs or sitting for a long period of time when your knees are bent. The syndrome may be characterized by a grating, crunching or creaking sound. You can also get “runners’ knee’ from intensive jumping or squatting. In most cases, you will notice the pain when there is a change in the level of workout activity, such as running an extra mile. Patellofemal syndrome is typically caused by bone misalignment. The misalignment puts a strain on the cartilage of the bones. To avoid the “runner’s knee” injury, work on strengthening the quadriceps and hip flexors. It is also advisable to alternate squats with other exercises such as leg raises so as to maintain a good balance.

Tennis elbow

Muscles, tendons and ligaments must all work in tandem to achieve a pain-free movement in the elbow. Repeated motions such as throwing overhand, twisting or bending the arms can result to “tennis elbow”. This is basically an elbow injury that occurs with repeated movements without giving ample time for proper healing. In essence, these movements damage the bone structures along the elbow joints. Early treatment is crucial because if blood supply is limited, the healing process may take longer and scarring may occur. Treatment to deal with the inflammation may involve cold compression and physical therapy exercises. Use of devices such as a cast or splint could also recommended.

Low-Back Strains

A low back strain is often characterized by a sharp twinge that is felt on the lower back. If you experience this during your workouts, then chances are that you are overdoing it. Dead-lifts and squats done improperly can cause havoc on your lower back. Sideways bends and twisting motions can also strain the back. To avoid this, beginners need to learn how to hold a neutral back posture. A physical therapist can help you find your neutral spine. Once you get the correct form, pressure will ease off from your back. It is also wise to alternate squats with leg raises.

To avoid these injuries, learn the proper workout technique, and increase your workouts gradually so as not to shock your body.

Did you got injured during workout or game? Book an appointment with us today.