The term sports injury, in the broadest sense, refers to the kinds of injuries that most commonly occur during sports or exercise. Some sports injuries result from accidents; others are due to poor training practices, improper equipment, lack of conditioning, or insufficient warmup and stretching.
Although virtually any part of your body can be injured during sports or exercise, the term is usually reserved for injuries that involve the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, bones, and associated tissues like cartilage.
Regardless of the specific structure affected, sports injuries can generally be classified in one of two ways, acute or chronic.
Acute injuries, such as a sprained ankle, strained back, or fractured hand, occur suddenly during activity. Signs of an acute injury include:
* sudden, severe pain
* inability to place weight on a lower limb
* extreme tenderness in an upper limb
* inability to move a joint through its full range of motion
* extreme limb weakness
* visible dislocation or break of a bone.
Chronic injuries usually result from overusing one area of the body while playing a sport or exercising over a long period. Pain when performing an activity, a dull ache when at rest and swelling are all signs of a chronic injury.