The Top 5 Sports Injuries That Require Physiotherapy

Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, playing a sport is a great way to get in shape and stay fit. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most common ways to suffer an injury that requires physiotherapy at a sports injury clinic. Here we look at the 5 most common sports injuries for which physiotherapy is an important part of the recovery process.

5 Injuries That Require Sports Physiotherapy Treatment

1. Back Injuries

Back pain which is continuous and has lasted for longer than 3 months is considered “chronic” and is often the result of an injury to the muscles, ligaments, joints or discs. Such injuries are usually caused by accumulated damage from overuse and necessitate physiotherapy. Acute back pain is typically caused by a sudden movement or overextension, such as when exercising or using the wrong posture to lift a heavy object. 

The most common sports-related causes of back injury are from playing sports that involve repetitive impact (such as running, football, basketball), twisting motions (such as golf, badminton, tennis), or weight loading (e.g. weight lifting). 

Physiotherapy treatment for back pain is an important part of the recovery process after a back sports injury.

2. Neck Injuries

The cervical discs in the neck absorb shocks between the bones at the top of the spine. These bones together with various muscles, tissues and ligaments support the head and allow for motion. When these soft tissues become sprained or strained, it causes inflammation leading to pain or stiffness that requires treatment and physiotherapy.

Sports-related neck injuries are fairly common in contact sports such as football (soccer), rugby, American football, and basketball, as well as combat sports such as boxing and wrestling. In such cases, the injury usually occurs from the neck being stretched beyond its natural range of motion. However, some non-contact sports such as diving can also cause neck injuries.

Physiotherapy for neck pain is an important part of the recovery process after a neck injury.

3. Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder pain that requires treatment and physiotherapy can be due to inflammation (a reaction to an injury), damage to the muscles or tendons, tension around the neck and shoulder, or damage to the bones and cartilage. Pain in the shoulder can actually be caused by issues in other parts of the body.

The most common sports-related sports injuries occur in contact sports. Football (soccer), rugby, American football, ice hockey or basketball are all contact sports that place the bone and muscles in and connected to the shoulder at exposure to an impact injury that would require treatment and physiotherapy.

Shoulder pain physiotherapy is an important part of the recovery process after a shoulder injury.

4. Elbow Injuries

The two main types of sports-related elbow injuries are tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis). 

Tennis elbow is caused by the tendons in the elbow being overloaded, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. The pain of tennis elbow occurs primarily where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the outer side of the elbow. Apart from tennis, other racquet sports such as racquetball, squash and badminton can lead to tennis elbow.

Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) is a type of tendonitis caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers as a result of excess or repeated stress. The symptoms of golfer’s elbow are pain in the elbow and inner side of the forearm and may include weakness in the hands and wrists. Golf is obviously the main cause of golfer’s elbow. However, other sports which can cause the condition include tennis (from serving) and fencing, as well as throwing sports, such as baseball, American football, javelin and archery, and weight bearing sports, such as weightlifting and rock climbing.

Golf and tennis elbow physical therapy are important parts of the recovery process after an elbow injury.

5. Knee Injuries

There are many different types of sports-related knee injuries that require treatment, ranging from a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage to a fracture. A knee injury can occur from an impact or just turning too quickly. The sports in which knee injuries are most common are those which involve contact, running, jumping and quick changes of direction, such as running, football (soccer), basketball, volleyball, rugby, and American football.

Physiotherapy for knee pain is an important part of the recovery process after a knee injury.