Top 10 Most Common Sports Injuries (And How to Prevent Them!)

Script written by Spencer Sher.

Sports injury prevention is key if you want to keep training or playing your favorite sports. Whether it’s a broken bone or bone fracture, a concussion, an ACL tear or groin strain you want to avoid, you can learn how to prevent and treat the most common injuries. No more runner’s knee or shin splints for you! WatchMojo counts down ten common types of sports injuries, and how to spot and prevent them.

Special thanks to our user MikeyP for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Most%20Common%20Injuries

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Script written by Spencer Sher.

Top 10 Most Common Sports Injuries (And How to Prevent Them!)


Pay attention; this list might save you a trip to the hospital. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Common Injuries.

For this list, we’ll be looking at injuries, disorders or bodily ailments that, while common, aren’t your garden-variety bumps and bruises that can occur around the house.

#10: Groin Strain

Stretching is one of the most important things to do before playing sports or exercising. And one of the most important places to pay attention to is your groin. Made up of the inner thigh muscles or adductors, the groin’s designed to let the legs be flexible when opening and closing. These muscles are essential when doing rapid, side-to-side movements, especially in sports like hockey, football, soccer and baseball, which is why athletes most commonly deal with groin strain. If the groin is strained, symptoms consist of acute shooting pain as well as bruising. The best thing to do is REST! Improper rehabilitation, or attempting to return too quickly can lead to long-term groin issues. Stretch out before your next game; it’ll make a world of difference.

#9: Broken Bone / Fracture

Surprise! They are the same thing. A broken bone is what anyone on the street might call it, but the pros call it a fracture. However, there are different ways this injury can occur. An acute fracture, a common injury for athletes, is a localized, single instance of injuring the bone. A stress, or hairline, fracture on the other hand, is caused by continual pressure on a bone. The legs and feet usually suffer the brunt of activities like jumping or running, so at some point, the bone becomes too fragile. Occasionally this injury will require surgery, in which case you’ll be steering clear of exercise for at least a few months.

#8: Shin Splints

Ever gone for a run after months of sitting on your butt only to experience shooting pain down the front of your leg? You probably had shin splints. A common injury for runners, shin splints can also crop up if you don’t engage in physical activity much, up your workout routine too fast or even if you really need a new pair of shoes. While cases can be fixed with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories, this injury can occasionally lead to long-term impairment of the lower leg. The best ways to prevent shin splints are to get good insoles, do the right stretches, and to not go too hard too fast. The worst injuries are those that can be easily avoided.

#7: Concussion

A concussion is more than just a movie starring Will Smith. In fact, this injury is currently at the forefront of the debate about head injuries in professional sports and how to minimize them. Most know that a concussion transpires when the head gets hit really hard. While characters in film can take a shot to the noggin’ and be fine a moment later, the real life consequences are much more severe. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, loss of balance, difficulty concentrating, disorientation and even amnesia. It can take months for a concussion to heal, but multiple head injuries can cause permanent brain damage, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. So protect those craniums!

#6: ACL Tear

How many times have you heard someone say they hurt their ACL, but never really understood what it meant? Well, the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, connects the leg bone to the knee. As such, it’s extremely important to superstar athletes, and regular human folk, to keep this part of the body intact. The causes of an ACL injury are anything from abruptly changing which way you’re going to something – or someone – colliding directly with the knee from the side. If the ligament is torn and future problems look likely, you’ll be looking at time under the knife, not to mention more than a few months of rehab. Bottom line: exercise regularly and watch out for linebackers.

#5: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome [aka Runner’s Knee]

When it comes to vital body parts, the knees rank pretty high. Running, jumping, and twisting at an accelerated rate are all made possible by the power of the knees. In several reports, including one done by Fox News, it was stated that “55% of all sports injuries are knee injuries.” An injury to the knee, aka Patellofemoral pain syndrome, comes as a result of the patella part of the kneecap rubbing against the femur. This damages the kneecap and can cause extreme amounts of pain. Unsupportive shoes or weak hips can lead to these issues, so be mindful of what you can do all over. Wearing the right kicks and knowing not to push yourself too far are essential steps to maintain a healthy lower body.

#4: Lower Back Pain

This particular injury isn’t something to take lightly. Lower back pain can often be described in a number of different ways including: bulging discs, back spasms, and sciatica – a form of lower back pain that reaches down into the legs. Anything from weight issues to sleeping wrong can lead to discomfort in that area, but if it keeps reoccurring, it’s important to get it checked out. Runners, cyclists, golfers, tennis, and baseball players are also at risk of injuring their lower back, generally if they don’t stretch correctly. So next time you saddle up for a pre-golf jog, make sure to take a few seconds to stretch yourself out; it’ll make a world of difference.

#3: Pulled Muscle

You’ve heard your dad bemoan the fact that he pulled a muscle playing slow pitch softball. That’s an old man issue right? Wrong. A muscle pull occurs when it’s taken too far in a stretch, and a muscle could be susceptible to that for a number of reasons: maybe you didn’t warm up before exercising, or maybe you’re doing too many repetitions, tiring out the muscle, or overestimating just how flexible you are. The most commonly pulled muscle is the hamstring, a recurring problem for athletes who run in sports like basketball, soccer, and baseball. If the muscle is rigid, don’t fight it! Rest and ice are ideal for the afflicted area, and next time, stretch before and after you work out.

#2: Joint Dislocation


A shoulder popping in and out of the socket isn’t as awesome and gross as when your friend did it that one time. Of all joint dislocations, shoulder dislocations are the most prevalent, but also occur in the fingers, hands, and shoulders. It’s a frequent injury in contact sports like football. That sudden contact and reaction causes the dislocation, sending the pressure through the bone, knocking it out of alignment. The bone can and will likely be put back in place, but that’s not all that might be wrong. The soft tissue around also needs to be assessed, especially if it’s a repeat injury. The best way to prevent this type of injury is to do strength-building exercises in the aforementioned areas.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
· Neck Pain
· Hernia
· Tennis / Golfer’s Elbow

#1: Lateral Ankle Sprain

Ah, the ankle. Who knew your foot slipping could lead to such excruciating pain? Your ankle plays a vital role in getting you from point A to point B on a daily basis, and the lateral part is the outside of the ankle. All the pressure this body part is subjected to adds up over time. While ankle sprains are very common in sports, and even dance like ballet, they can also occur while running, jumping, or twisting in unnatural ways. Yep, it’s THAT easy. Twisting the ankle in such a way can even tear a ligament. The best way to avoid this particular type of injury is to strengthen your ankle through exercise. Taping or bracing the area can help, but doesn’t strengthen the area long-term. Be careful!
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