When you have finally reached a your optimal level of fitness, you feel on top of the world – and close to indestructible. But even the super fit can pick up aches and pains, or niggling little injuries that are difficult to clear. Not only that, of course, but they could develop into something much worse, and far more long-lasting. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at everything you need to know about what can happen if you neglect your body’s needs when you have these various types of injuries.
Sprains occur when the ligaments or joints suffer a lot of stress – such as when you twist your ankle. While most sprains clear up after a few days or a week or so, the reality is that they can significantly weaken the affected area for some time after, whether you are super fit or not. If you decide to dive back into your sporting action straight away, the chances are it will happen again – and keep repeating until you choose to strengthen the muscles around your ankle. You need to focus on stabilizing your ankle, or you could end up needing surgery.
Hamstring injuries occur when the tendons in the back of your thigh are strained (and hurt like the dickens). In most cases, the result is a minor pull that can cause you some discomfort. But quite often, especially when there is rapid acceleration involved, the hamstrings can snap or rupture. It’s incredibly painful and will significantly impact your mobility. You will need professional guidance, and should focus on building up strength in your thigh muscles.
Hip joint pain
People who play sports that require twisting and flexing at speed – like tennis, soccer, and football – are at risk from over flexing their hips. It can lead to pain, but also, over time, can develop into further problems that could even require Joint Replacement Surgery. It could be damaged cartilage, strains, or even something like femoroacetabular impingement, which means the ball of the hip is knocking against the socket (ouch). If your hip pain lasts longer than a few days after the initial injury, it might be worth speaking to a doctor.
Lots of sports require the use of the elbow – not just tennis. The name ‘tennis elbow’ is the common term for lateral epicondylitis, which is effectively caused by using your elbow too much. If your elbow is pain and tender for longer than a couple of days, get some help. Tennis elbow can sometimes lead to nerve damage, it can become chronic, and may even last for years into the future.
Finally, if you are playing a contact sport of any kind, head injuries are always a risk. And please, do not mess around if you crunch heads with an opponent or teammate. A concussion is serious enough, but if you haven’t recovered properly after a few days, it’s essential to get some more treatment. Lots of things cause headaches, of course, but if it’s a direct result of a clash of heads, it is best to get the all clear.