Orthopedic injuries are no joke. They can cause severe pain and discomfort, making it difficult to perform even the most mundane of tasks. Luckily, many of these injuries can be avoided with some simple precautions. EmergeOrtho—Blue Ridge Region specialists have seen it all—from sprains and strains to full-on fractures. Here are the top 10 most common orthopedic injuries we have treated, and our advice on how you can prevent them.
1. Sprains and Strains
When it comes to orthopedic injuries, sprains and strains top the list of the most common. Sprains happen when a ligament connecting two bones gets stretched or torn, while strains occur when a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn.
Tip: To cut down on these injuries, make sure to do regular stretching and strengthening exercises, wear appropriate footwear, and use proper technique when playing sports.
A broken bone is an all too common orthopedic injury often resulting from an accident, fall, or trauma.
Tip: The best way to avoid fractures is by doing regular weight-bearing exercises—strengthening the bones and muscles. It is also essential to maintain a healthy weight and keep your home and work area free of tripping hazards.
3. Torn ACL
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the tissue that connects your thigh bone to your shin bone. A torn ACL is a common knee injury that can occur if you land or jump improperly.
Tip: To minimize your risk of a torn ACL, do regular strengthening exercises that target the muscles that support your knees. You should also wear appropriate protective gear, like knee pads, and use proper technique when jumping or landing during sports activities.
4. Tennis Elbow
If you are an avid tennis player, you may have heard of tennis elbow. This condition happens when the tendons that connect your forearm muscles to your outer elbow become inflamed due to repetitive grabbing and twisting.
Tip: To prevent tennis elbow, make sure you use proper form and technique when playing tennis or any other sport that involves repetitive arm motions. You should also take frequent breaks and do stretching exercises that target your forearms and wrists.
5. Rotator Cuff Injury
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff injuries can happen due to overuse, aging, or trauma.
Tip: You can minimize your risk of rotator cuff injuries by doing regular shoulder-strengthening exercises, maintaining proper posture, and avoiding repetitive overhead motions that can strain the rotator cuff.
6. Plantar Fasciitis
An often very painful and debilitating condition, plantar fasciitis affects the heel and bottom of the foot. It occurs when the plantar fascia, a ligament that supports the arch of the foot, becomes inflamed.
Tip: To stop plantar fasciitis, wear supportive footwear that fits well and provides adequate arch support. You should also do regular stretching exercises that target your calves and feet.
7. Shin Splints
Many runners and other athletes experience shin splints. This happens when the muscles and tendons in the shin become overworked, leading to pain and inflammation.
Tip: To fend off shin splints, make sure you wear appropriate footwear with good shock absorption, start your exercise routine gradually, and do regular stretching exercises that target your calves and shins.
8. Back Pain
Back pain is a prevalent orthopedic condition that affects people of all ages. It can be caused by poor posture, muscle strain, or spinal injuries.
Tip: To prevent back pain, maintain proper posture when sitting or standing, do regular stretching exercises that target your back muscles, and avoid lifting heavy objects improperly.
9. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A common condition affecting your wrist and hand, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, becomes compressed or irritated.
Tip: Carpal tunnel syndrome can be avoided by using proper typing and mouse-pad techniques, taking frequent breaks, and doing stretching exercises that target your wrists and hands.
10. Stress Fractures
Hairline or stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bone that can occur due to overuse or repetitive motions. They are common among runners, dancers, and athletes who participate in high-impact sports.
Tip: To stop a stress fracture, make sure you wear appropriate footwear, start your exercise routine gradually, and do regular weight-bearing exercises that strengthen your bones and muscles.
Treating Your Orthopedic Injury
At EmergeOrtho, we follow the old saying: “Prevention is the best medicine.” But sometimes accidents do occur, and orthopedic conditions present themselves, despite all of your preventive measures.
If you are experiencing an orthopedic injury or trauma and at-home treatments have not helped, or if you are wondering what an orthopedic injury is, request an appointment here and Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better with the help of EmergeOrtho—Blue Ridge Region.