AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Engaging in sporting activities can be a huge benefit to one’s health. Exercise has been linked to good health, clarity of mind, stress relief, and increased productivity. The downside is when a sports outing is marred by injury.

Here are five of the most common sports injuries suffer that require a stint in physical therapy.

1. Torn Ligaments & Tendons

Any fan of professional or college football can tell you some of the most devastating injuries come from tearing muscles in the groin, hip, knee, and shoulder. Torn muscles are common in soccer, hockey, basketball, and baseball as well.

These types of injuries often result in surgery to repair the tear, followed by several months of physical therapy to recondition the damaged tissue. Physical therapy, including range of motion, stretching, and weight lifting, can help athletes return to top shape.

8335 Sports Injuries 5 Most Common Sports Injuries That Require Physical Therapy

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2. Broken Bones

Broken bones occur in every sport played professionally and recreationally in the United States. From mountain biking to walking, people have been injured and put into a cast. During the time the fracture is immobilized, the muscles weaken and atrophy. Physical therapy helps return the surrounding muscle tissue to a strong and healthy state following a traumatic injury.

3. Sprains

Sprains can occur doing any activity, not just sports. Sprained ankles, knees, and wrists are common in team sports. Sprained elbows are common in sports with a racket or bat. Sprained shoulders happen frequently in sports played on hardwood floors. Even sprained thumbs have been attributed to text messaging and playing video games.

To heal a sprain, you’re supposed to rest the injured area. That rest, however, leaves the area weakened. Physical therapy can rebuild the damaged area while strengthening it against future sprains. Without physical therapy, the rate of sprains increases with each subsequent sprain to the body part.

4. Dislocations

Anyone who has dislocated a hip or shoulder knows how painful the area becomes. They also know how each dislocation makes another dislocation more probable. Sure, it’s easy to relocate the area by popping it back into place. Yet, without proper strengthening and conditioning provided by physical therapy, the area continues to weaken and damage the cartilage.

5. Arthritis

You may be thinking that arthritis is not a sports injury, but you’d be wrong. Thousands of current and former athletes deal with arthritis as a result of repetitive motion, such as throwing a ball, swinging a bat, or kneeling.

As with more immediate injuries, such as tears or sprains, arthritis can be treated with physical therapy. A rehabilitation program can include strengthening the surrounding muscles, engaging the damaged area to prevent stiffening or swelling, and finding ways to reduce dependence on the arthritic area.

Whether you’re a Hall of Fame athlete or a weekend warrior, injuries are an unfortunate part of the game. Knowing that injuries happen, one can attempt to minimize their risk. When the unfortunate does happen, professional physical therapists are available to help with a wide range of injuries and maladies.

Seeking a physical therapist early during injury rehab can improve performance, reduce down time, and return you to the game sooner and in better shape.

About the author: Rhonda Jackson is a physical therapist and contributing editor at


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