Whether you play sports for fun or are a serious athlete, untreated injuries can quickly sideline your whole season. Weekend warriors, student athletes, people who simply enjoy fitness, and professionals alike need skilled physical therapy to recover from their injuries, improve their performance, and get back to doing what they love.
For many, sports or fitness are not merely casual hobbies for when they have a bit of free time. It’s a way of life. We know that for those with a real passion for sports and fitness, it’s simply not an option to stop or give it up as a result of an injury. At Insight Rehab, we understand athletes because many of us are athletes, and all of us are passionate about health and fitness. We count a professional cyclist, a fencer, hikers and climbers, kayakers, swimmers, several collegiate athletes, basketball players, volleyball players, Pilates and yoga instructors, dancers, soccer players, coaches, golfers, and even an ex-professional Jai Alai player amongst our team.
We are movement experts. Let us help you assess and rehabilitate your injury, improve your performance, and get back in the game!
Common Sports Injuries
Knee damage accounts for around 40% of sports-related injuries—almost half of all injuries! Knees are a complex joint structure of bones, muscles, nerves, vessels, ligaments, tendons, meniscus, and fluids. During most sports and fitness activities, your knees work very hard as they support the majority of your body weight while being able to quickly adapt, shift, pivot, bend, and move. Some common knee injuries include:
- ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), MCL (medial collateral ligament), or LCL (lateral collateral ligament) tear
- Ligament tears often occur during activities with a lot of sudden stops, changes of direction, or risks of collision, such as soccer, football, basketball, and hiking.
- Meniscus tear
- The knee meniscus is thick cartilage between your shin and thigh bones. It can tear when there is a sudden twisting or pivoting motion while putting weight on the knee. This can happen in sports or simply while changing directions going down stairs.
- Patellofemoral Syndrome or patellar tendon injury, also known as “runner’s knee” or “jumper’s knee”
- This is when pain is felt around the kneecap, typically from a repetitive motion causing inflammation in the tissues or where the patella moves abnormally on the femur.
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome
- This is caused by overuse of the connective tissues on the outer thigh and knee, by weakness in the gluteal muscles, imbalances in the length of the leg muscles, or altered biomechanics. This is common with a lot of running or walking.
The more severe knee injuries are often the result of improper landings, direct blows, or insufficient warm-up before exercise—so, make sure with any activity that you do a proper warm-up!
Shoulder damage accounts for around 20% of sports-related injuries. The shoulder is one of the most active and dynamic joints in the body, which makes it vulnerable to injury. The most common shoulder injuries include:
- Rotator cuff tears
- This can present as a dull ache in the shoulder that gets worse at night and over time. It frequently occurs during activities which require a lot of overhead motion, such as baseball, swimming, cricket, or tennis.
- SLAP (superior labrum anterior and posterior) tear
- This can occur through repetitive shoulder motion or severe trauma to the shoulder. Weightlifters or throwing athletes are particularly susceptible.
- Shoulder Instability
- This is when the shoulder connective tissues get too loose or tears, resulting in some level of subluxation or dislocation of the joint.
- Shoulder Impingement
- This happens when a tendon rubs on a bone or tissue as you move your arm, creating inflammation and discomfort. Posture has a huge influence on impingement.
These injuries can be treated and prevented by developing the shoulder and scapular muscles, correcting posture, training your biomechanics, and looking after the shoulder before and after exercise.
Inflammation or irritation of tendons can cause huge amounts of joint pain. It is normally due to overuse of the muscles that the tendons are attached to, rather than direct injury. The most common forms of tendinitis are:
- Tennis or golfer’s elbow
- Pitcher’s shoulder
- Jumper’s knee
- Achilles tendinitis
Back and Neck Pain or Injury
The spine, the backbone, the center of your body; the health of your spine, it’s flexibility, stability, mobility, alignment, is extremely important for sports and fitness. Many activities can cause spinal strains and injuries. There are three main areas of the spine affected by different movement injuries:
- Lower back pain (lumbosacral spine)
- This is the most common form of back pain, as the lower back experiences a lot of strain during many sports and activities. It can be caused by lack of use (weakness and stiffness), sudden changes in loading and use (lifting something and twisting quickly, starting a new fitness regime, weight-lifting), repetitive use (such as in running), repetitive twisting (as in baseball or golf).
- Upper back pain (thoracic spine)
- The upper back is generally less mobile than the lower back, and is slightly less susceptible to injury. However, intercostal muscle strains, thoracic spine strain, and rib injuries can occur during activities which require repetitive or fast torso rotations, twisting, forward bending, or overhead reaching.
- Neck pain (cervical spine)
- The neck can be injured through direct trauma, like a stinger in contact sports; improper posture with activity; or sudden or awkward movements during activities such as cycling, swimming, throwing, catching, lifting, or just sleeping in a funny position.
Concussion is a form of Traumatic Brain Injury typically caused by a sudden blow to the head, whiplash injury, or hitting the head during a fall. In this type of injury, the brain is jostled or slammed back and forth inside your skull, bruising and shearing the neural tissue on both the front and the back where it hits the skull bone.
At Insight Rehab, several of our therapists are trained in concussion therapy and IMT manual therapy techniques for concussion. As part of your rehab team, complimentary to your neurology care, let us help you address and manage your headaches, dizziness, vestibular changes, and other symptoms of concussion.
Beyond Rehab: Optimizing and Preventing Injury
Whether you come to Insight Rehab for a sports injury or something else, as part of your complete physical therapy program our therapists will analyze your form, posture, and biomechanics of movement. Through this analysis we can offer suggestions, training, and exercises to improve your overall mobility and function. This can help contribute to preventing future injury and make participation in sports and fitness safer and easier on your body.
Insight Rehab takes a whole-body approach to recovery. We will look for asymmetries, muscle imbalances, motion restrictions, and even assess your footwear to determine how your injury occurred and advise you on how to prevent it from happening again. Our Total Body Treatment Approach with your physical therapist involves:
- One-to-one targeted therapeutic exercise and activities
- Sport-specific drills and analysis
- Balance and proprioceptive training
- Neuromuscular reeducation
- Manual therapy (IMT, IASTM, kinesiotaping, dry needling, cupping)
- Patient and family education
- Whatever you need to achieve your goals!
At Insight Rehab, we believe you can get back to the sport or fitness activity that you love, and we will provide support through every step of your rehab. We have extensive experience in sports medicine rehabilitation and are proud to have served athletes of all levels and across many sports for over 20 years. We are—and always will be—here for you!