Sports Rehabilitation: Helping You to Get Back in the GameA CDC study shows that 8.6 million people between the ages of five through 24, have a sports injury every year in the U.S. If you have a sports injury, you need sports rehabilitation to help you get back in the game!

What are the Most Common Sports Injuries?

Any part of your body can be injured when you participate in sports activities or even during exercise. However, some sports injuries are more common than others:

1) Contusion (bruise)

Contusions or bruises are common among athletes in contact sports. You get a contusion when a direct blow or repeated blows by a blunt object strike part of your body which crushes underlying muscle fibers and connective tissue but does not break your skin.

For most people, however, contusions are minor and they heal fast. You don’t have to be taken out of your game. In some cases, however, deep tissue damage may result from contusions. This may lead to complications that can prevent you from playing for several months.

Symptoms of a contusion include pain, swelling, and difficulty in having a full range of motion near the injury. Typically, since this injury involves torn blood vessels, there is a bluish discoloration on the affected area. The injured muscle may also feel weak and stiff.

For immediate self-care, try R.I.C.E. – Rest: Avoid activities that will cause discomfort, pain, and swelling; Ice: Put ice on the injured area immediately; Compression: Lightly wrap the injured area in a soft bandage; Elevation: Elevate the area of your body that was injured, above the level of your heart.

You can also take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Avoid massaging the injured area.

2) Sprain

A sprain occurs when ligaments are overstretched or torn. Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect two bones within your joints. Symptoms vary, depending on the injury’s severity, and may include pain, bruising, swelling, limited flexibility, difficulty in using the joint’s full range of motion, and hearing a “pop” in your joint at the time of injury. The most common location for a sprain is in your ankle.

Sprains often occur during specific circumstances:

  1. Ankle – landing awkwardly from a jump; walking or exercising on an uneven surface
  2. Knee – pivoting while playing your sport
  3. Wrist – landing on your hand or with an outstretched hand during a fall
  4. Thumb – overextension when playing racquet sports, such as tennis 

You can treat mild sprains at home. For self-care, you can also try the R.I.C.E approach. You may also take over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen for pain relief.

3) Strain

A stretched or torn muscle or tendon causes a strain injury. Tendons are tissues connecting your muscles to your bones. A strain can happen suddenly or develop over time. The most common strains occur on the back and hamstring muscles. Symptoms are similar to a sprain: pain in the injured area, swelling, and difficulty moving the muscle. However, a strain also comes with muscle spasms.

Treatment is usually similar to that of a sprain. But just like the sprain, further treatment might include exercise and sports physical therapy. 

4) Dislocation

A dislocation occurs when your bone slips out of a joint. This injury is most common in the shoulders and fingers but other sites of dislocations include elbows, hips, and knees. This injury is common among athletes who play contact sports since they often fall or receive a strong blow to their body. 

Symptoms of dislocations vary depending on the severity and location of the injury. These include pain, bruising, swelling, instability of the affected joint, difficulty or loss of your ability to move the joint, and the joint looks visibly deformed.

When you dislocate a joint, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Treatment may include manipulations by your doctor to reposition your bones, medication, the use of a splint or sling, and sports rehabilitation.

5) Fractures

A fracture is a break in a bone. Bones are firm but they bend when an outside force is applied. Your bones will break if there is too much force. The symptoms of a fracture vary and depend on which of your bones break. Generally, however, symptoms include severe pain, a visible and unusual bump, bend, or twist in the affected area, swelling, and difficulty using the limb. It is, therefore, imperative that you seek treatment immediately.

There are different types of fractures. These include:

  • Open or closed fracture

If the injury breaks the skin open, it’s called an open or compound fracture. If the injury does not break the skin open, it’s called a closed fracture.

  • Complete fracture

The break goes completely through the bone, breaking it into two.

  • Stress fracture

This is when the bone gets a crack in it which may be hard to find with imaging.

  • Partial fracture

This is when the break does not go all the way through the bone.

  • Displaced fracture

This is when a gap forms where the bone breaks. This type of injury often requires surgery.

After a fracture is healed, whether you have undergone surgery or you have had to wear a cast or a brace, it may be necessary for you to undergo sports rehab. Sports rehabilitation can help restore muscle strength as well as mobility to the affected area of your body.

What are the Benefits of Sports Rehabilitation?

  1. Sports rehab enhances tissue healing.
  2. It helps decrease tissue inflammation.
  3. It increases your balance and coordination.
  4. It helps reduce the degeneration of your bone and the risk of damage.
  5. Sports rehab improves joint health.
  6. It helps relieve pain in the spine and extremities.
  7. It increases your mobility and range of motion.
  8. Sports rehab strengthens weakened muscles.
  9. It relieves muscle spasms.

How can a Sports Physical Therapist Help You with Your Sports Injury Recovery?

A trained sports physical therapist can prescribe an exercise program that is tailored to your specific needs for your sports injury recovery. He or she can help you target and strengthen the muscles in and around the injured areas of your body, help restore your range of motion, and reduce your recovery time. Your sports physical therapist can also teach you how to prevent the same injury from occurring again in the future.


At Vigor Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, our highly-skilled sports physical therapists will help you with your sports injury recovery. 

All of our therapists provide expert, personalized patient-centered service. Each of our patients is paired with one therapist who will focus on working with you in achieving sports injury recovery and helping you get back in the game.

If you need more details or have questions about our treatments, you can visit our clinic or contact us today. We will be happy to assist you with all your queries.