How to Avoid Getting These Common Sports Injuries

by Nur Asykin Ismail
FITNESS  |  April 10, 2019
  • Pay attention to the warning signs and symptoms of these common sports injuries.
    1 / 7 Pay attention to the warning signs and symptoms of these common sports injuries.

    Just had a killer workout? While muscle fatigue is commonly experienced after strenuous exercise, you should also look out for early signs of stress and injury. “Most sports injuries result from inadequate stretching and warm up before the commencement of any activity. The other reasons would be overexertion, such as doing too intense a session of exercise, or ramping up training for an event too quickly,” says Dr Lee Eu Jin, former specialist and consultant at Raffles Orthopaedic Centre, Raffles Medical Group.

    (Also read: Here’s How Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Can Be Used to Treat Sports Injuries in Singapore)

    Dr Lee advises seeking help after as soon as you sustain an acute and severe injury, as chronic injuries are harder to treat and may lead to long-term consequences. “Most people do not come to see the doctor immediately as their injuries tend to improve with rest. Patients usually come for consultation when the problems persist and when it is severe enough to interrupt their daily activities such as climbing stairs, getting out of bed and their ability to exercise,” he adds.

    Here are the six most common sports injuries among Singaporeans – prevention tips and treatment options included.

    A version of this article was first published in Raffles Healthnews.

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  • Common sports injury: Runner’s knee
    2 / 7 Common sports injury: Runner’s knee

    Runner’s knees are a blanket term for various knee injuries and knee pain. These injuries affect not only runners but also people who cycle, swim, dance or play impact sports regularly. Patella and quadriceps tendinitis are the most common sports injuries to the knee, and are caused by inflammation of the affected tendon.

    (Also read: 7 Health Benefits Of Stretching That Will Make You Want to Stretch Every Day)

    How to prevent runner’s knee

    Warm up properly, and give yourself sufficient rest and recovery time to avoid overstraining your knees. Strengthening your quadriceps will improve patellar tracking (sliding of the kneecap as the leg bends and straightens). Stretching your hamstrings and calves will prevent overpronation.

    How to treat runner’s knee

    Soft tissue massage

    Replace shoes and insoles regularly


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  • Common sports injury: Shoulder injuries
    3 / 7 Common sports injury: Shoulder injuries

    This injury is common in people who do sports such as tennis, baseball, volleyball, weightlifting and swimming – generally due to overuse of the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulders. It can include dislocations, sprains and strains. People suffering from shoulder injury may experience pain, numbness and slipping of joints in the shoulder.

    How to prevent shoulder injuries

    Apart from proper warm up, strengthening your shoulders via weight training helps to prevent such injuries.

    How to treat shoulder injuries

    • Range-of-motion exercises to strengthen the area
    • Physiotherapy and rehabilitative exercises
    • PRICE and medication
    • Surgery may be necessary in severe tendon ruptures or dislocations

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  • Common sports injury: Groin and pelvis injuries
    4 / 7 Common sports injury: Groin and pelvis injuries

    This can occur when too much force is placed on your groin and thigh. It is common among frequent runners or people who engage in sports that require a lot of jumping, such as soccer, hockey or basketball. Sharp, piercing pain, swelling or bruising on the inside of the thighs are some signs of groin injury.

    How to prevent groin and pelvic injuries

    As with most sports-related injuries, proper stretching and warm-up can help to prevent unwanted injuries.

    (Also read: 6 Foam Rolling Benefits That Will Make You Invest In A Foam Roller)

    How to treat groin and pelvic injuries

    • Ice the injury
    • Adductor stretches
    • Surgery may be necessary in some very rare cases of complete muscle rupture

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  • Common sports injury: Lower back injuries
    5 / 7 Common sports injury: Lower back injuries

    This doesn’t just affect athletes, but is also common among overweight people and those who lead sedentary lifestyles. Bulging discs, back spasms, and pain radiating down the leg from the lower back, known as sciatica, are some common types of lower back pain. Runners with a difference in leg length may also experience back pain, but this can be reduced with help from a podiatrist.

    (Also read: 7 Daily Habits That Cause Back Pain Without You Realising)

    How to prevent lower back injuries

    Maintain a proper body weight and posture. Also exercise regularly to keep supportive back muscles strong and flexible.

    How to treat lower pain injuries

    • Gentle stretching, may need the help of a physiotherapist
    • Orthotic lifts to correct leg problems of different length
    • PRICE and medication

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  • Common sports injury: Pulled muscles
    6 / 7 Common sports injury: Pulled muscles

    Hamstring and calf muscles are commonly injured areas. A muscle pull happens when a sudden, severe force is applied to the muscle and the fibres are stretched beyond their capacity.

    How to prevent pulled muscles

    Avoid doing workouts when feeling exhausted. Also, remember to stretch before and after exercise.

    How to treat pulled muscles

    Gentle stretching and physiotherapy

    (Also read: How Long Does It Take Sports Injuries Like Ankle Sprains And Hamstring Pulls to Heal?)

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  • Common sports injury: Tennis or Golfer’s elbow
    7 / 7 Common sports injury: Tennis or Golfer’s elbow

    As the name suggest, this is related, but not exclusively, to people who play tennis or golf. Tennis elbow is caused by overuse of the arm and forearm. Repeated backhand strokes in tennis cause wear and tear of the tendon in the elbow, causing tenderness and pain in the area.

    Golfer’s elbow, on the other hand, mostly affects the inside of the elbow. The pain experienced is due to an inflammation of the epicondyle, the area on the inside of the elbow.

    (Also read: 10 Relaxing Massages in Singapore to Relieve Sore and Stiff Muscles)

    How to prevent tennis or golfer’s elbow

    Proper warm-up that includes wrist exercises and squeezing a stress ball may strengthen the muscles around it.

    How to treat tennis or golfer’s elbow

    • Physiotherapy
    • PRICE and medication
    • Apply ice
    • Rest

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