Common Sports Injuries in Adults

When you were a kid playing sports, your body could handle anything.  Practices that lasted for hours, falling off your skateboard and skinning your knees, touch football tackles, and kinds of bumps and bruises; you took it all and went back to it the next day.  

As an adult, it’s not so easy.  Even with regular exercise, your muscles begin to tighten, bones become more brittle, and ligaments lose some of their elasticity, making you more susceptible to injuries than you were as an active, limber child.

Common Sports Injuries

As adults, many people enjoy and participate in team sports like basketball, softball, and soccer but for the most part, adults do more solitary sports or ones with fewer participants like running, walking, tennis, and golf.  While these sports may not be as physically rough and rigorous as football, they can still cause injuries.  

Shin Splints

A common injury for runner, shin splints consist of pain along the tibia, or shin bones, usually caused by overworking the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue.  They respond well to ice and over-the-counter pain relief medications but if there isn’t improvement, you should see your doctor.  They can be prevented by wearing footwear with adequate arch support and by avoiding running on uneven or hard surfaces.  


Sciatica is nerve pain that shoots through the buttocks and into one or both legs causing sharp pain or a numbing, tingling sensation.  It can be caused by a herniated disk that could happen during weight training or twisting movements like in tennis or golf. As we get older, the outer casing of the disk loses elasticity and becomes more susceptible to rupturing.  Rest and gentle hamstring stretches may be helpful but a chiropractor can facilitate healing with spinal adjustments.

“Tennis Elbow”

Also known as “golf elbow”, this injury happens in sports where there is repetitive motion that affects the tendons in the forearm.  Ice and rest help, as do anti-inflammatory medications. A brace can help prevent re-injury.

Shoulder Injuries

Shoulders can be injured in a number of ways while participating in sports.  Dislocations, muscle strains, ligament sprains, and misalignments can occur, often because people lack the flexibility they had when they were younger.  Depending on the type and severity of the injury, treatment may include rest and icing and/or chiropractic treatments. 

Hamstring Strain

The hamstring, the muscle at the back of the thigh, can become strained or “pulled” if not properly stretched before strenuous activity.  Ice and rest are the usual treatments, followed by stretching exercises to strengthen the muscle when healed. 

Sprains and Strains

A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament, typically in an area near a joint such as elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles.  They usually happen when you twist the joint or fall. A strain, on the other hand, is when there is a stretch or tear in muscle tissue.  RICE―Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation―is the usual treatment advice for both but you may want to have your doctor rule out more serious damage like a broken bone.  

Preventative Care

Just because you’re an adult, it doesn’t mean you have to slow down.  Remember, a body in motion stays in motion. And by taking a few preventative measures, you can keep from being sidelined.

  • Always warm up.  Stretch thoroughly before a workout to get your muscles moving before you put them to the test.
  • Wear the right equipment.  Safety equipment isn’t just for hockey players.  If you cycle, wear a good helmet. Runners and tennis players should have shoes that provide adequate arch and ankle support.  If you have an area that is more prone to injury, like a knee or ankle, wear a support brace.  
  • Use proper form.  No matter what the sport, if you don’t have the right form as you do it, you open yourself up to injury.  Seek advice from a trainer or someone knowledgeable about the sport.  
  • Mix in some yoga.  Yoga is the perfect remedy for a stiffening body.  It’s a relaxing yet strenuous exercise that can stretch your muscles, along with some you didn’t know you had and can improve your core strength.

North County Pain Relief can ease the pain associated with many sports injuries you may get as an adult.  From chiropractic adjustments to moist heat therapy to cryotherapy, North County can get you back out there on the field, track, or court in no time.  Call us today at (314) 731-4201 to make an appointment.