The benefits of sports and exercise far outweigh the risks, but occasionally injuries do happen
Sports injuries can be caused by:
Almost any part of the body can be injured, including the muscles, bones, joints, tendons and ligaments. The ankles and knees are particularly prone to injury.
If you've injured yourself, you may have immediate pain, tenderness, swelling, bruising, and restricted movement or stiffness in the affected area. Sometimes, these symptoms may only be noticeable several hours after exercising or playing sports.
Stop exercising if you feel pain, regardless of whether your injury happened suddenly or you’ve had the pain for a while. Continuing to exercise while injured may cause further damage and slow your recovery.
If you have a severe injury, such as a broken bone, dislocation or severe head injury, go to your nearest A & E as soon as possible.
You can usually treat common minor injuries yourself by:
If your symptoms are severe or don't improve within a few days or weeks seek out specialist support, such as physiotherapy or osteopathy.
Serious injuries will occasionally require surgery to align misplaced bones, fix broken bones, or repair torn ligaments.
Depending on the type of injury, it can take a few weeks or months to make a full recovery. While recovering, it's important not to do too much too soon – aim to increase your level of activity gradually over time.
You can reduce your risk of getting injured by:
When starting a new sport or activity, get advice and training from a qualified fitness trainer or sports coach.
Read more about choosing sports shoes, exercise; getting started and stretching before exercise
Sprains and strains are the most common type of sports injury. The difference between a strain and a sprain is that a:
Symptoms of a sprain or strain can include pain, swelling, bruising and tenderness around a joint or in a muscle. You may also find it difficult to move the affected body part.