School is back in session, and that means – Friday night lights! With football, volleyball, soccer and other school sports starting up again, sports injuries are bound to occur. But we want your student athletes to be safe, so we’ve put together a list of 10 common sports injuries and how you can recognize them.

Shin Splints

Excessive force on shin bone and tissues attaching the muscles to it, improper training techniques, and running downhill or on uneven terrain are all causes of shin splints, though they are not the limit.

Watch for these signs to determine if your child has shin splints: tenderness, soreness, or pain along the inner side of the shin bone, and mild swelling. Continuous pain can lead to stress fractures, so treat shin splints with rest.

10 Common Sports Injuries and How To Recognize Them

Meniscus Tear

This is probably the most common surgery done in orthopedics. Some of the causes are twisting the knee, bending the knee too deep, sudden turns and stops, deep squatting, and heavy lifting.

The injured person will be able to point exactly where the knee hurts; there won’t be pain throughout the whole knee.

ACL Tear

Turning rapidly and jumping can cause ACL tears. Meniscus tears often take place at the same time of this injury.

It is common to feel or hear a “pop” at the time of injury. The knee swells a lot – sometimes up to the size of a basketball – and can’t be fully straightened. There is difficulty putting weight on the leg.  

10 Common Sports Injuries and How To Recognize Them

MCL Tear

The MCL runs along inside of the knee. Causes include changing directions quickly and colliding with another player. This is another injury that can occur with an ACL injury.

Common signs are swelling and pain on the inside of the knee when walking.

Sprained Ankle

Sprained ankles are all too common with sports. They most often occur when the player turns rapidly while their foot is planted, causing the ankle to roll outward as the foot turns inward.

Signs of this injury include difficulty putting weight on the foot and swelling and bruising that goes from the ankle down to the foot.

Runner’s Knee

Runners knee does not only occur in runners but can happen with any repetitive activity, like running, jumping or walking stairs – especially when not stretching or incorporating strength training properly.

Pain on the front of the knee and surrounding kneecap are the symptoms, and it gets worse when walking on a hill or stairs.

10 Common Sports Injuries and How To Recognize Them

Pulled Hamstring

Sudden exertions of speed cause pulled hamstrings.

Signs include severe cramping in the middle of back of the thigh, difficulty bending the knee to full capacity, and painful steps. Let your doctor know if the pain is higher up in the pelvis or butt, this could mean the muscle has detached from the bone and requires surgery.

Plantar Fasciitis

A tight calf and Achilles tendon can cause plantar fasciitis – which is when the thick band of tissue connecting the toes to the heel bone is inflamed.

Injured players will feel a stabbing pain in heel and sole of the foot, especially after being off their feet for a while. It can be treated with shoe inserts and physical therapy.

Tennis Elbow

Repetitive actions of the arm – throwing, catching, hitting, strength training – can cause tennis elbow.

Signs include pain on the outside of the elbow, and there is often pain associated with everyday activities that involve elbow movement – opening doors, carrying books, lifting backpack.

10 Common Sports Injuries and How To Recognize Them

Stress fractures

The most common causes of stress fractures are repetitive actions. In one instance, the muscle won’t be able to absorb shock, and the pressure creates a fracture.

Stress fractures typically occur in the lower body with sports. Nagging pain in the bones of the foot, ankle, and knee can occur. The pain gets worse over time, so get this checked out as soon as possible if you suspect this injury.

Many of these can be treated with rest and staying off the injured body part. But if the pain persists, be sure to have the injury checked out by a doctor to get recommendations on further treatment.

Has your family had to deal with any of these common sports injuries? Did they fully recover?