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The 10 Most Common Sports Injuries (INFOGRAPHIC)

Author: Niki L. Carayannopoulos, DO

Sports injuries aren’t just for athletes. While common among adolescents and college-aged players, sports injuries – from both acute injury and overuse – can develop in anyone, regardless of age or activity level.

Today on the Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics Blog, I’d like to share with you an infographic compiled by Weiss Orthopedics about the ten most common sports injuries.

Number of Injuries By Sport

According to the data, basketball – not football – is the most injury-prone sport in the U.S. Incidents of injury (per year) are as follows:

    • 529,000 – basketball
    • 490,000 – bicycling
    • 460,000 – football
    • 275,000 – ATV
    • 274,000 – baseball and softball

It’s worth noting, however, that while football and other sports may have fewer injuries, these injuries may be more severe. A report by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research details sports injuries in high school athletics from 1982 to 2016. The report highlights the significant difference between – for example – football and basketball injuries. During this 34-year span, there were 133 fatalities, 412 non-fatal injuries and 380 serious injuries that resulted directly from football (for a total of 925 incidents). Basketball players, on the other hand, had only one fatality, six non-fatal injuries and eight serious injuries (for a total of 15 incidents).

Top 10 Sports Injuries

The ten most common sports injuries are…

10. Achilles tendinitis. Pain and inflammation occurs in the back of the ankle (the Achilles tendon) making it nearly impossible to run.

9. Concussion. Disorientation, headaches, and sometimes amnesia, due to getting hit in the head.

8. Groin strain. A strain in the upper thigh muscles. Occurs when you quickly change directions while running in sports like soccer or volleyball.

7. Shin splints. Inflammation of the muscles surrounding the inner shin bone. Occurs when people who don’t normally exercise overexert themselves.

6. Lower back pain. Usually occurs when people don’t stretch properly before running or participating in sports.

5. Pulled muscle. The most commonly pulled muscle is the hamstring (the muscle behind the thighs), which usually occurs during running.

4. Tennis or golf elbow. Accounts for 7% of all sports injuries. Pain in the outer/inner elbow is due to inflammation of the epicondyle caused by repeated flexing of the upper arm.

3. Ankle sprain. Most common in hockey, soccer and basketball, this injury is almost unavoidable in sports involving rapid jumps, turns, and sprints.

2. Shoulder injury. Approximately 20% of sports injuries involve the shoulder, including sprain, strains, and dislocations. Occurs in sports involving a lot of overhead movement like swimming and volleyball.

1. Runner’s knee. Knee injuries comprise 55% of all sports injuries and approximately one-quarter of all problems treated by orthopedic surgeons. “Runner’s knee” includes aches and pains in the kneecap, which occur during cycling, swimming and aerobics (in addition to running).

Talk to your Houston sports medicine doctor about ways to reduce your risk for these injuries. Additionally, your sports med doctor may be able to share some at-home remedies and self-care techniques you can employ in preventing these common sports injuries.

Find a Houston Sports Medicine Physician Near You

To schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, please call (713) 756-5546 or schedule your appointment online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.