Most Common Recreational Sports Injuries

Jul 21, 2022

misc image

Jam your finger? Roll your ankle? Twist your knee? Recreational sports are a lot of fun, but young active adults often find themselves injured or in pain from recreational activities. Here are the most common injuries and how to treat them.

Young adults in their 20s and 30s are more vulnerable to injury than their teenage selves - and in adult recreational sport leagues - injuries are extremely common. Whether it’s from a simple twist of the ankle - or an accidental collision with a teammate Garden State Pain & Orthopedics has a treatment plan for you. Here are the most common young adult sports injuries that we see within our practice, and how we can treat them. 

Jammed and Broken Fingers

Recreational basketball, football, softball, and volleyball lead to a lot of jammed fingers. Most of the time jamming your finger doesn’t result in a serious injury. Icing, bracing, compression, elevation, and resting are the best treatment in these cases. However, it is important to know when to see a doctor. 

Sprains, strains, and fractures are common when hands are used incorrectly or assertively to lift and carry heavy items, brace against a fall, or play sports. A strain occurs when the muscles or tendons in your hands and wrists stretch or tear, while a sprain occurs when a ligament is forcefully stretched or twisted to the point where it causes pain and swelling. 

Fractures occur when the force that strikes a bone is greater than the resistance of the bone itself. Hand and wrist fractures are extremely painful and must be immediately addressed by a physician.

When should I see a Doctor? 

If you lose the ability to straighten your finger, have severe pain, and swelling lasts hours or days, you should see a healthcare provider immediately. These symptoms are a sign of fracture or ligament damage. Without proper bracing, treatment or surgery, long-term deformities can occur. 

Rolled Ankles

When you’re playing an intramural sport like basketball, soccer, or football, it’s very easy to roll your ankle when changing directions. Initially you should rest, ice, and elevate your ankle to reduce inflammation and swelling. Using an ankle brace can also alleviate some pain when walking around.

If you have severe ankle pain that persists, you should see your healthcare provider immediately. After a physical exam and evaluation, our Doctor’s at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics will recommend the next steps. Depending on the severity of the situation, our providers may suggest surgery, peripheral joint injections or physical therapy. 

Knee Injuries

Whether it’s just from wear-and-tear or a hyperextension during a game - knee pain is extremely common among young active adults. If your knee pain comes for a specific event, our doctors will most likely suggest imaging tests to further diagnose your injury. ACL and meniscus tears occur more often than you would expect. 

If you hear a popping sound and feel your knee give out at the time of injury - you may have a torn ACL or meniscus. Other common signs and symptoms of an ACL tear include:

  • Knee pain and swelling
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Difficulty walking on the injured leg

Certain injuries like ACL tears  won’t heal without surgery. However, the team at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics offers non-surgical treatments for less-active lifestyles, such as bracing, physical therapy, and regenerative medicine such as PRP therapy.

Back Pain

For one-third of American adults, back pain affects the ability to perform daily tasks. Recreational sports after a long day of work can lead to an increase in back pain. Sports like softball, baseball, and golf specifically take a toll on your back. 

Our highly-trained specialists treat the full scope of back problems including pinched nerves (cervical radiculopathy), lower back pain (including lumbar radiculopathy), torn or pulled muscles, lumbar disc compression or herniations, disc degenerations, and slipped discs. 

At Garden State Pain & Orthopedics, we offer a full scope of the most advanced non-surgical treatments for all types of back pain. Like pain itself, our pain relief programs are highly individualized. For more information about our treatments for back pain, read below: