Participating in sports and exercise is fun and exciting, good for the heart, good for respiration, good for building and maintaining muscular strength. However, there are associated factors that discourage many from taking an active role in sports. The two leading factors are burnout and injury. Frankly speaking, the associated risks should not deter us from participating because the benefits of sports and exercise far outweigh the risks. We will be focusing on the injuries likely to be encountered while taking part in sports or exercise with ways to prevent them.

According to the IOC manual of sports injuries (2012), a sports injury may be defined as “damage to the tissues of the body that occurs as a result of sport or exercise.”

Most sports injuries are due to either trauma or overuse of muscles or joints. The majority are caused by minor trauma involving muscles, ligaments, tendons, or bones, including:

  • Contusions (bruises)
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations


  • Achilles Tendon Injuries
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injuries
  • Ankle injury
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Tennis elbow
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Runner’s knee
  • Jumper’s knee
  • Osteoarthritis


  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Inability to bear weight


Managing sports injuries could be difficult without the support of the patient and relatives. The management is usually outlined to meet the requirement of individual patients, depending on the type and severity of the injury with the simple aim of achieving maximal function and being as independent as possible.

Sports injury management includes the following:

  • Activity restriction
  • Physical therapy
  • Conditioning exercises to help prevent reoccurrence of the injury
  • Heal or cold compress application
  • Immobilization
  • Use of walking aids
  • Pain management
  • Surgery in severe cases
  • Patient and family orientation and education

Management of sports injuries requires a multidisciplinary team approach. Among the specialists are Orthopaedic surgeons, Pain Physicians, Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists, Sports medicine specialists, and others.

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