Common Athletic Injuries

Every year, people around the globe prepare for sports seasons, whether it be to watch or to play. The love of sports is universal — just look at the Olympics. With so many athletes competing against one another, injuries are to be expected. Here are four athletic injuries that we see time after time.

Shoulder Dislocation

The shoulder joint, a ball and socket joint located between the scapula and the humerus, is one of the most mobile joints in the human body. To have such a wide range of motion, the joint has a loose joint capsule, which is an envelope surrounding a synovial joint. This causes the shoulder to be easily dislocated. Shoulder dislocations are most common in contact sports such as football and hockey or among skiers, gymnasts, and volleyball players. Once you have dislocated this joint, you are more susceptible to dislocating it again. 

Shin Splints

Caused by excessive physical activity, shin splints is the name for pain along the tibia or your shin bone. It is most common in runners and dancers and is medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome. There are multiple risk factors for developing shin splints, such as:

  • Beginning a new running program or increasing the duration, frequency, or intensity of your current routine
  • Running on concrete or hard surfaces or on uneven terrain such as hills
  • Military training
  • Flat feet or high arches

Most cases are treated by resting the muscles, icing the inflamed areas, and other at-home treatments. Severe shin splints may require surgery.


A concussion is one of the most common types of traumatic brain injuries, temporarily impairing brain function. It is often caused by hard blows to the head, most commonly during falls or hard contact between soccer and football players during a game. This type of head trauma can leave you with the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Blurry vision

You should always seek medical assistance if you suspect you or someone else has a concussion. Monitoring the concussion helps ensure there is no permanent brain damage. Common things to avoid when recovering from a concussion are physical activities such as sports and cognitive activities such as academic/professional work or reading, video games, cell phone usage, etc. Concussed people should rest throughout the day and get an adequate amount of rest each night until they recover. 

ACL Strain or Tear – One of the Worst Athletic Injuries

Your anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a major ligament in your knee that connects your femur, or thighbone, to your tibia, or your shinbone. Most injuries occur during sports or activities that involve sudden stops and starts, changes in direction, or extreme force on your knees, such as soccer, basketball, football, and skiing. Symptoms of a strained, partially torn, or torn ACL include: 

  • A loud “pop” or a “popping” sensation in the knee
  • Severe pain and inability to continue activity
  • Rapid swelling
  • Loss of range of motion
  • A feeling of instability or “giving way” with weight-bearing

The ACL is a major part of the complex structure that makes up the knee joint and you should seek medical treatment to rehabilitate your muscles.

NOTE: Content included here is not medical advice, and only is intended as information for adults. Always consult with your health care professional before making changes to diet, exercise, medication, or before use of any product or device.