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How Are Sports Injuries Treated Differently Than Other Types of Injuries?

How Are Sports Injuries Treated Differently Than Other Types of Injuries?

Sports, in general, are good for your health. Exercise is good for your physical health, and there are plenty of mental health benefits to team and solo sports. 

At the same time, sports can be dangerous. You push yourself to maximum levels during game time, putting strain on your body. And with many team sports, bodies collide at high speed. Even professional athletes at the top of their game can easily get injured. 

A study in the National Health Statistics Reports found that 8.6 million sports- and recreation-related injury episodes are reported annually — that’s 34 per every 1,000 Americans. While some basic treatment options exist for all injuries, sports injuries are often treated differently. Read on to learn what you should do to get healthy and back in the game. 

Did you get injured while exercising or playing sports? If so, come see our team at Steven E. Nolan, MD. Dr. Nolan is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience and has received numerous top-surgeon awards during his career. Here, he discusses common sports injuries and what treatments are right for different injury types. 

Common injuries 

Some injuries are especially common in certain sports or even positions — many baseball pitchers end up with shoulder injuries, while soccer players are more likely to injure an ankle. Other common injuries span all sports. These common injuries include: 

Some conditions, like swollen muscles or sore shins, are symptoms of overuse injuries, which occur when a muscle or tendon gets worn down or damaged. 

Fractures and dislocations are examples of acute injuries, which occur due to a sudden action or trauma. Acute injuries are typically more severe and may need more involved treatment. 


For mild injuries, it’s all about RICE. R is for rest; this usually means taking a break from sports and, if pain persists, immobilizing the injured area with a sling or boot. I is for ice, which controls swelling and inflammation while also reducing pain. C is for compression, snuggly wrapping the injured area to further prevent swelling. E is for elevation; elevating the injured body part also works to reduce inflammation. You can also use anti-inflammatories and painkillers while doing the R.I.C.E. regimen. You should see results from RICE within 24 to 36 hours. 

For most acute injuries and some overuse injuries, RICE may not do the trick. If you are in serious pain, can’t place weight on the injured limb, have extreme weakness, or your joints and bones are visibly out of place, come see Dr. Nolan. He examines the injury, performs tests and screenings, and diagnoses the injury. For serious injuries, he may recommend: 

To learn more about sports injuries and their treatments, request an appointment online or over the phone with Steven E. Nolan, MD, today.

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