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Many common sports injuries are soft tissue injuries, often affecting the lower limbs.

If you do not prepare properly or train adequately for your sport, or if you are fatigued or out of condition, you are more vulnerable to sports accidents.Here are 10 of the most commons sports injuries:

Calf tear

Tears to the muscle in the back of the calf, which are often very painful, are graded as minor, moderate or severe

What causes a calf tear?

The causes tend to mainly involve running, accelerating, pushing off or changing direction.

A poorly rehabilitated calf from a previous injury can also easily break down.

How should a calf tear be treated?

The simplest treatment is the PRICE formula – protect from further injury, rest, ice, compression and elevation.

Find out more about the PRICE formula on the Wimbledon Clinics website.

Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, can also help.

Minor cases can heal in a week or two with plenty of rest while anything more severe will usually require physiotherapy.

Seeing a specialist for a clear diagnosis is always a good idea, especially if the tear feels significant.

At Wimbledon Clinics we will sometimes perform an MRI or ultrasound scan to help us investigate.

To find out more about how to get an accurate diagnosis…

Please call Wimbledon Clinics now on 0208 944 0665 or email [email protected]

ACL tear

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an important ligament in the knee and is particularly important in helping us to change direction.

In the majority of cases, an ACL injury is a complete tear.

Occasionally, the tear will be partial, which will always require a specialist evaluation.

What causes an ACL tear?

ACL tears are common injuries in sports that feature rapid changes of direction, deceleration or jumping, such as netball, football, skiing and hockey.

In skiing, an ACL tear may be caused by a fall.

How should an ACL tear be treated?

Injuries should initially be treated with the PRICE formula.

You should then seek a diagnosis as quickly as possible, particularly with the sudden onset of a swollen knee following an injury.

While some patients can manage their condition with physiotherapy alone, many require surgery to reconstruct the ligament.

ACL tears are frequently accompanied by secondary damage to the meniscus, which will also often require surgery. (Meniscus cartilages are rubbery cushions of flexible tissue that lie between the major bones of the knee and act as shock absorbers.)

Find out more about knee injuries on the Wimbledon Clinics website.

Runner’s knee

Runners often suffer with knee problems, particularly with two main types.

One is pain from the patellofemoral joint, which is also known as runner’s knee.

The other is a condition called iliotibial band syndrome – or ITBS (see below). 

Patellofemoral pain is typically felt in the front of the knee although it can be located anywhere around the knee, including around the front of the shin.

What causes runner’s knee?

The patella (the kneecap) often becomes overloaded through poor biomechanics, for example because of wearing inappropriate footwear.

Many patients will have relative weakness in some muscles around the trunk and lower limb or they may have tight muscle groups that are either overloading the patella directly or are altering the pattern of movement.

How should runner’s knee be treated?

An accurate diagnosis is extremely important because runner’s knee can often be confused with other pathologies, such as a meniscus tear.

course of physiotherapy is generally the best treatment.

However, patellofemoral problems can be extremely complex and difficult to settle and surgery is occasionally needed.

To find out more about the Wimbledon Clinics return from injury programmes…

Please call Wimbledon Clinics now on 0208 944 0665 or email [email protected]

Iliotibial band syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) features significant pain on the outside of the knee that builds up during running and prevents training.

ITBS, which is among the most common sports injuries, is often easily self-diagnosed.

What causes ITBS?

Causes include problems with footwear and foot position, problems with running style and weakness around the hip area.

How should ITBS be treated?

Treatments include PRICE as well as stretches and physiotherapy.

In cases that do not settle, a steroid injection could be considered. Some cases will require a small operation to divide the band.

With ITBS, an accurate diagnosis is crucial.

To find out more about how to get an accurate diagnosis…

Please call Wimbledon Clinics now on 0208 944 0665 or email [email protected]

Groin pull 

Groin pulls are, in essence, strains of the muscles around the front of the groin.

A groin pull can also be a sign of either overtraining or being in poor condition.

What causes a groin pull?

These common injuries often occur acutely so they come on very quickly during change of direction sports, such as skiing or tennis, and kicking sports, such as football.

How should a groin pull be treated?

Minor injuries will settle.

If the groin pull does not settle quickly, you should have a thorough assessment.

These injuries can sometimes require quite lengthy rehabilitation programmes so it’s important to be sure of the diagnosis.

Find out more about hip and groin injuries on the Wimbledon Clinics website. 

Shin splints

“Shin splints” is not a standalone diagnosis.

It is the term given to a collection of conditions that runners typically recognise as pain on the inside of their shin during or after running.

These injuries can occur in other sports that involve running.

Sometimes the only symptoms will be inflammation on the inner side of the shin (tibia).

In more significant cases there can be a stress response in the bone due to repetitive overload and this can even progress to a stress fracture.

What causes shin splints?

The main cause of this common sports injury is overtraining, sometimes combined with poor nutrition, problems with foot position and inappropriate footwear.

How should shin splints be treated?

The treatment starts with getting clarity on the diagnosis (shin splints can sometimes be confused with another condition called chronic compartment syndrome).

After diagnosis, most cases will involve treatment with a physiotherapist and a podiatrist for orthotics (custom-made shoe inserts that can take some of the pressure away from the problem area).

More significant cases will require lengthy periods away from running and, occasionally, day surgery to release or divide the soft tissues at the side of the shin.

At Wimbledon Clinics, we can provide a biomechanical assessment as well as orthotics.

Please call Wimbledon Clinics now on 0208 944 0665 or email [email protected]

Shoulder impingement

Shoulder impingement is irritation or degeneration in the muscle tendon caused by the shoulder joint repeatedly rubbing on the bony arch, called the acromion.

It tends to present with pain in the outside of the shoulder and it can be particularly uncomfortable at night.

It is often caused by sports involving the upper limbs, such as swimming, tennis and other racket sports but it can be seen in any sport.

It also tends to affect people over the age of 35.

How should shoulder impingement be treated?

The initial treatment is to rest, to work on your posture and to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder (known collectively as the rotator cuff).

Occasionally, it may be necessary to use a steroid injection on the area.

If this does not help, surgery can be carried out to widen the space to prevent the muscles being rubbed upon (sub-acromial decompression).

Surgery is usually carried out as a day case.

Find out more about shoulder injuries on the Wimbledon Clinics website.

Hamstring strain

Hamstring strains are common sports accidents in activities that involve running or kicking, and are classically football and rugby injuries.

The injuries are usually graded, with the most severe injuries keeping players off sport for months.

How should a hamstring strain be treated?

Hamstring strains should never be ignored because i) they often require treatment to enable an adequate recovery and ii) recovery can be slow.

We advise an assessment to grade your hamstring injury and an MRI scan is sometimes the best option.

At Wimbledon Clinics, we can help you to make the best possible recovery and can reliably predict recovery time if we know the grade of the injury.

To find out more about how to get an accurate diagnosis…

Please call Wimbledon Clinics now on 0208 944 0665 or email [email protected]

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is a condition where there is pain on the outside of the elbow.

It is a minor injury to the muscle, which sticks down to the bone, but it can be quite painful.

What causes tennis elbow?

It tends to be an overuse injury but can be precipitated by overtraining.

It can also be caused by overloading the muscle by using poor equipment, for example a tennis racket with a poorly sized grip.

How should tennis elbow be treated?

The treatment is rest, stretching, physiotherapy and, occasionally, steroid or PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections.

In rare cases, day surgery is required.

To find out more about the Wimbledon Clinics return from injury programmes…

Please call Wimbledon Clinics now on 0208 944 0665 or email [email protected]

Shoulder injury

Shoulder injuries can be acute tears or sprains due to overuse or overexertion, often combined with poor conditioning.

Some injuries occur as a result of a heavy fall onto the shoulder, for example in rugby where there may be fractures to the end of the clavicle or collarbone.

Dislocation of the shoulder is also a relatively common sports injury.

How should shoulder injuries be treated?

If fractures or dislocations are suspected, an early assessment by an orthopaedic surgeon or specialist is required.

The treatment depends on the type of injury.

For sprains and tears, treatment may range from rest and physiotherapy to, in rare cases, surgery.

Fractures may often be treated with rest, a sling and time.

More severe fractures and dislocations can require surgery.

To find out more about how to get an accurate diagnosis…

Please call Wimbledon Clinics now on 0208 944 0665 or email [email protected]

Common sports injuries: What to do next

If you have suffered from a sports injury and need advice or specialist treatment, please call Wimbledon Clinics today.

We will assess your injury and put together a clear strategy for treatment and recovery.

We are the sports injury specialists so we can help you get back to your best as soon as possible.

If you would like to find out more about injury prevention in sport or sports injury rehabilitation…

… or need advice or specialist treatment…

… then please contact us today.

We will assess your injury and put together a clear strategy for treatment and recovery so you can get back to your best as soon as possible.

Call us now on 0208 944 0665 or email us at [email protected]