In any sport, there is always a risk of injury. From major competitive team sports like football, baseball and basketball, to individual sports like bowling, golf and swimming, your body is at risk to the elements surrounding it when involved in physical activity. While violent and combative sports like football and hockey would prove to be the sports more inviting to serious injury, it is not to say that the seemingly harmless sports are not conducive to physical detriment as well.
However, it does stand to say that the sports that involve the most physical contact and person-to-person collisions are essentially the most dangerous to individual well-being. Without the proper equipment, management, training and supervision, every sport becomes open to the possibility of injury. Without proper training or supervision, the most severe injuries can even happen during individual sports or recreational activities. And without the proper management and coaching, the bulk of organized sports-related injuries will continue to take place during team practices.
Age and gender play important roles in sports-related injuries as well. Before puberty hits, girls are more likely to be injured during sports than boys. However, with injuries like sprains, strains and fractures, children always have a stronger and shorter healing period than adults. As people grow older, their physical recovery times change accordingly. Because of this, the sprains, tears and pulls become much more serious and can have a lingering effect on the body. More medical attention will be required and some injuries will require treatment for the rest of the victim’s life.
The most common sports injuries are sprains and strains. A sprain occurs when the ligament is stretched beyond its limit and a strain takes place when a tendon is stretched too far. Ligaments and tendons are like the body’s springs and if they are stretched too far they will become “broken.” Strains are also commonly referred to as pulled muscles because essentially when a tendon is stretched too far it pulls on the muscle, causing pain and discomfort.
While each sport is played differently, they all take the same toll on the body. Each part of the body is affected by physical contact, collisions and excessive exertion. Some of the most common injuries to the body are:
Head, neck and back – Concussion, slipped disc, stress fracture, nerve damage, whiplash
Arms – Dislocation, tennis elbow (not limited to tennis), sprained wrist, rotator cuff tear, fracture
Legs – Shin splints, sprained ankle, ACL/MCL/PCL sprain or tear, pulled groin, pulled hamstring, fracture
As with any injury, the severity depends on the cause and the impact. While fatalities are very uncommon in competitive and individual sports, they do exist. The leading cause of death for sports fatalities is an injury to the brain. Injuries in sports cannot be eliminated, but they can be prevented.