Common Fall Sports Injuries & What to Look Out For
Cooler temperatures, shedding trees with the color of leaves starting to change; fall is finally here. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, signs of fall generally start to appear in late September and end in late December as winter begins. The fall season becomes increasingly ideal for sports as the summer heat starts to subside. The cooler weather helps athletes carry on for longer with lower risks of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and heat stroke. Still, as fun as it is for athletes to play sports during the fall season, there is also the lingering risk of developing autumn sports injuries. Especially as the weather turns from mild fall days to more frigid temperatures in late autumn, the risk of injury for athletes rises.
Typical Sports Played in The Fall
Whether you are a seasoned athlete or looking to try out a new physical activity, the fall season provides a host of sports activities. These include:
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
Strains occur when muscle fibers are overstretched and end up tearing. Sprains and strains are quite common during sports. Likely signs include tenderness or pain around the ankles, knees,, or shoulders; inability to put weight on the injured area; and swelling or bruises around the injured area.
This broad classification covers trauma affecting different parts of the knee. The knees are made up of five vital components: the bones, muscles, ligaments, cartilages and tendons of the knee. Knee injuries involve one or more of these components and can happen in various ways, such as sprains, dislocations, tears and fractures. For athletes, knee injuries occur during sports when there are sharp movements, heavy impacts with an opponent or object, when an athlete falls. Meniscus and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears are common knee injuries in sports like soccer, football, and volleyball that involve quick changes in speed and direction.
Ankle Sprains & Tears:
These are distinct injuries that can affect the ligaments around the ankle joint. Sprains occur as overstretching or, in severe cases, tearing of joint ligaments. Ligaments are strong connective tissues that hold two bones in place at a joint. Sprains can happen at any joint but commonly occur at the ankles, knees, and shoulders.
Rotator Cuff Injuries:
Rotator cuff injuries are quite common in sports and occur due to overuse or high-velocity shoulder movements. The rotator cuff is made up of several tendons and muscles around the shoulder joint that help to connect the upper arm to the shoulder socket. Rotator cuff injuries usually present as a dull pain in the shoulder area with loss of mobility.
A dislocation during a sporting activity occurs when trauma forces bones in the body out of their ideal position. The most common dislocation site is at the shoulder. Still, dislocations can also occur at any joint in the body, such as the knee, elbow, ankle, fingers, wrist, hip, and even the jaw.
This is a broad classification used to describe joint, bone, or muscle injury due to technique errors (improper form) or training errors (excess activity without proper rest). Common types of overuse injuries are stress fractures, tendinitis, and chondromalacia, which refers to damage to the cartilage under the knee. These injuries tend to increase with age.
How To Prevent Common Fall Sports Injuries
Preventing fall sports injuries before they occur or get worse can go a long way in preserving your athletic ability and health for the long term. Unfortunately, studies show that up to 3.5 million sports injuries occur yearly in just children and teens. Generally, an average annual estimate of 8.6 million sports and recreation-related injury incidences are reported in the US alone.
Apart from the pain associated with sports injuries, these injuries can be costly and time-intensive to treat and lessen comfort, athletic ability, and general quality of life. For every athlete, preventing fall sports injuries remains the best approach and can be achieved by:
- Conducting proper warmup exercises before any physical activity.
- Resting and taking time to recover after any physical activity.
- Avoiding overexertion and gradually increasing physical activity over time.
- Using the right sporting equipment and getting replacements at ideal intervals, e.g., changing running shoes after every 300-500 miles.
- Maintaining a healthy diet to help enhance bone strength, muscle development, and sporting performance, and shorten recovery time.
- Taking safety precautions during sporting activity, especially during contact sports.
- Seeking an Orthopedic Sports Medicine Specialist to prevent fall sports injuries, and getting timely medical attention when you experience an injury.
The best athletes stay fit and steer clear of injuries with the help of expert healthcare professionals. By booking an appointment with G2 Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, you get the highest level of orthopedic care available. Dr. Goradia is board-certified in Orthopedic Surgery and is a nationally recognized expert in arthroscopic surgery, sports medicine and joint replacement. He works with athletes around the country to ensure they are fully prepared and ready for any form of physical activity. Rather than following a one-size-fits-all approach, Dr. Goradia fully evaluates each patient and their unique circumstances to make an accurate diagnosis and develop a customized treatment plan. Experienced in both the tried-and-true treatments as well as the latest cutting-edge technology, Dr. Goradia draws upon his wide breadth of expertise to ensure each patient receives the highest quality of care possible.
Do you need information or guidance on preventing any of the common fall sports injuries? Or are you seeking the best care for an ankle, knee, elbow or shoulder injury Please reach out to G2 Orthopedics and Sports Medicine today.