Despite the title, don’t get us wrong. Truth is, sports-related injuries happen whatever your age is.
There is a certain kind of rush from sports that the non-sporty types aren’t privy to: The excitement each time a race is finished; the added stamina after completing a course or lap; the happiness that fires one’s energy.
Not to mention, there are the priceless moments running or riding a bike alongside a buddy or child.
Sports and the Body We Have
Like everything else in life, though, these recreational activities sometimes come with a price. More often than not, these would be in the form of sports injuries.
Age—right up there along with gender and type of sports activity—is a risk factor.
As we age, we see changes in our body ranging from muscle strength and muscle mass to visual acuity, balance, bone loss, and even blood flow to the brain. “There is a marked declined in blood flow to the brain, which is associated with a decrease in reaction time,” wrote Dr. John E. Morley, referring to the changes in our nervous system across time.
Get to Know the Risks in Sports
Here are six common sports-related injuries of adult recreational athletes. While this list is not exhaustive (nor are they only for those nearing or in their middle age), we give you a sneak peek to underscore that injuries are not just confined to fractures and sprains.
1) Running. The most common injuries include:
Hamstring strain, where the hamstring muscle is overstretched by movements such as hurdling and kicking.
Shin splints bring pain to the lower leg due to strenuous training.
Ankle sprain, where a ligament is overstretched outwardly due to weak tendons.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common condition of heel pain due to an inflammation in the ligaments at the bottom of the foot.
2) Swimming. Rotator cuff injury in the shoulder usually occurs when the tendon is overstretched or pulled by repeated movements such as those in freestyle, butterfly or back strokes.
3) Cycling. Wrist strain can occur when a cyclist falls with arms outstretched. Also, when navigating rough terrain, contracted back muscles and spasm can cause lower back pain.
4) Tennis. Tennis players’ usual complaints include pain in the back of elbows, forearm, and along the thumb side of the arm. Some have difficulty gripping or lifting objects. Because of overuse of their arm, they can develop tennis elbow, or the inflammation of the tendons of the elbow.
Don’t be fooled by the name, though: Not all people with tennis elbow are tennis players!
5) Golf. There is a reason why a common injury of golfers is called golfer’s elbow. Here, the players experience pain at the back side of the elbow, and along the little finger side of the arm, which gets more painful when doing lifting movements outward.
Just like with tennis elbow, golfer’s elbows are not exclusive to those who are into golf.
6) Basketball. Any forceful blow to the knee can tear or sprain the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of the four ligaments that hold the knee joints together. Accompanying the pain is a popping sound right around the time the ligaments tear. Ouch!
The ACL tear or sprain also occurs, although mostly among women athletes, in such sports as football and tennis.
Pain can also be felt when the knees take on the weight from repeated squats, jumps and walks up a flight of stairs. When the cartilage wears down or is injured, you can have a patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Having regaled you with the what-ifs in sports, it is but fitting to remind you that in spite of these horrid scenarios, the benefits in engaging in fitness activities—as long as done in moderation and with close supervision—-still outweigh the cost. After all, exercising can lead to a longer life.
So, play smart, attain some regularity in the activities, protect yourself with the right gears and plunge into the best sports workout for your lifestyle.