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What Are The Most Common Sports Injuries?

As an athlete, you’re no stranger to injuries. Bumps and bruises are an unfortunate reality of actively participating in a sport. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of typical injuries you could be at risk of incurring. If you’re aware of injuries specific to your sport, you can prevent or treat them far more efficiently.

A recent study by the CDC found that an average of 8.6 million sports and recreation-related injuries occurred annually from 2011 to 2014. Sprains and strains were found to be the most prevalent at 41.4% of all diagnosed injuries.

As you can see, sports injuries are not uncommon. But they do vary from sport to sport. Let’s break some of the most popular sports in the United States and discuss what real injuries could occur within each.


Repetitive stress and over-use related to catching and throwing balls is a major contributing factor in baseball-related injuries. Some of the most important muscle groups in baseball are the shoulders, forearms, core, and legs. The latissimus dorsi, abdominal muscles, deltoids, and triceps, in particular, are important in throwing a ball

Out of all the baseball positions, injuries crop up the most in pitchers. Batters are also subject to their fair share of injuries. This is a result of the frequent, repetitive nature of throwing and batting. As time goes on, arm, shoulder, and elbow injuries can occur. These sorts of injuries can be seen at all levels of the sport.

Here are some of the most common injuries in baseball players:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Labral tear (a tear in the shoulder socket)
  • Shoulder instability
  • Knee Injuries
  • Concussions
  • Thrower’s elbow (epicondylitis)


Before hitting the field, be sure you’re doing everything possible to mitigate possible injuries. One important factor is never skipping a proper warm-up. Get your heart pumping and stretch before the game. Be sure to get your muscles moving before you stretch and then you can move on to static stretching and dynamic stretching in that order.

Cross-training is another great way to reduce your risk of injury. Be sure to incorporate physical activity other than baseball into your workout routine. Some suggested activities to include in your routine are yoga, swimming, TRX, and CrossFit.


Basketball actually holds the number one spot for injuries incurred due to sports. This might be surprising but when you look at the risk factors, it makes sense. With a wide range of participants from recreational athletes to pro players, basketball has a massive base of participants.

From turning on a dime to near gravity-defying jumps basketball players endure a lot of undue stress on the body. Leg muscles and tendons play a huge role in basketball. Other areas of concern include biceps, triceps, deltoids, and the rotator cuff.

  • Ankle sprains
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • ACL injuries
  • Finger injuries
  • Sever’s disease (Calcaneal Apophysitis)
  • Sprains and strains
  • Hip and thigh injuries


Warm-ups and conditioning are great ways to reduce harm in basketball. Be sure to get your muscles moving and stretched out before you hit the court. You’ll also benefit from cross-training between games or in your off-season. Speed and agility training, as well as yoga and pilates, are great cross-training options.

When you suspect an injury, don’t put off getting it checked out. Landing on a sprained ankle or pushing through a fractured finger won’t do you any favors. The sooner you get in touch with your physician and start the healing process, the better.


Track and field are one of the oldest sports we still engage in today. In fact, historians agree that the sport found its roots all the way back in 776 BC. With such an exalted legacy, the sport is bound to draw in a wide pool of competitive athletes.

With an emphasis on running, jumping, and throwing, there’s a broad range of injuries that can occur during a track and field meet. Joints, in particular, bare the brunt of the damage. With some athletes taking on multiple track and field sports, they can face issues in multiple parts of the body.

  • Achilles tendon problems
  • Runner’s knee (patellar tendinitis)
  • Hamstring strains
  • ACL injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Jumper’s knee (patellar tendinitis)
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shin splints
  • SLAP (superior labrum anterior to posterior) tears


A proper warm-up is vital in track and field. Incorporate a consistent dynamic warm-up in your pre-meet routine. A little jog or dynamic stretch can go a long way in injury prevention.

High-quality shoes are especially important in this sport. If you’re experiencing chronic pain or injury it could be because you’re in need of new or better shoes. Once a pair reaches 500 miles of use it might be time to consider picking up a new pair.

Avoid overtraining. Track and field is an intense, high-impact sport. If you don’t give your body proper time to recuperate you’ll find old injuries flaring up and new ones start to emerge.


Hockey is a fast-paced sport renowned for its intensity and non-stop action. Players put their all into the game and, as entertaining as that may be, it can be really rough on their bodies. There are a number of factors that contribute to the risk of injury in hockey.

A given player’s position and level of aggression will determine how likely they are to sustain injury. Hockey has a reputation for being violent and although the stereotype might be overplayed, it isn’t unheard of. So not only do hockey players have to worry about injury due to damage to muscles such as the adductors, quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings, they also have to keep potential fights and crash landings in mind too.

  • Concussions
  • AC joint injuries
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injuries
  • Elbow injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Broken collarbone
  • Muscle strains


One way to reduce your risk of injury in hockey is to monitor your risky behavior. Play by the rules and try not to get yourself in any avoidable situations that could put your body at risk.

Bringing your training off the ice can be a helpful way to prevent injury as well. Work on balance drills and strength training. Cardio is also a great piece of training to incorporate. Around 30 minutes of exercise outside of hockey, a few times a week is ideal.


Sports injuries happen, and ignoring them can worsen your condition. Get back to your full potential with Parker Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. We’re at your service when acute and chronic orthopedic injuries leave you sidelined. From surgical care to regenerative medicine, you’ll be back in shape before you know it!

Parker Sports Medicine & Orthopedics

7000 W. 9th Avenue Amarillo, TX 79106

Phone: 806.350.BONE | Fax: 806.350.2664