Sports injuries mainly affect the joints (ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, shoulder …) but also the muscles. The causes vary from lack of heating, overtraining, poor technique or inadequate training methods to structural skeleton abnormalities (eg.: Flat feet, bowed legs, spine or misaligned pelvis ), weak muscles, tendons or ligaments. Sports injuries can be avoided through a good physical condition, strength and flexibility training. Here are some information that will help you differentiate between possible sport injuries according to their nature. Knowing them will help you to better avoid and prevent sport accidents … and if necessary to better treat your sport injuries. The most common sport injuries are:

Elongation. Stretching or contraction of a muscle beyond its capacity, partial or complete tear in the case of an extreme stretching.

Spains and Strains. Stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments of a joint (ankle, knee, shoulder).

Shoulder Tendinitis. Inflammation of the tendon of one of the four shoulder muscles.

Elbow Tendinitis (lateral Epicondylitis). Commonly known as “tennis elbow” inflammation of the tendon of the extensor muscles of the elbow

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Pain caused by the repetition of certain movements of the hand and wrist.

Back Pain. Injury to a muscle, tendon or a ligament in the lower back, caused by stress, torsion unusual or repetitive motion.

Knee Disorders – Syndrome fémororotulien. Irritation of the cartilage of the knee joint between the patella and the femur (thigh bone).

Knee Disorders – Friction Syndrome iliotibial tract. Inflammation and irritation after repeated extensions and bending the knee.

How to prevent sports injuries?

The best way to avoid injury is, of course, to properly warm up before and stretch after every workout. You thus prepare your muscles and joints to work. There are other ways to prevent injuries, such as:

  • have good technique (especially for running and racquet sports);
  • obtain the proper equipment (eg.: shoes suitable for running, cycling helmet);
  • vary the types of exercises every day between muscle exercises and “cardio” for example.

How to treat a minor sports injury?

When pain occurs, do not continue to workout, you may aggravate the injury. If pain persists, consult a physician. However, minor injuries can be treated at home. In the case of swelling and inflammation, follow these basic rules.

  • Rest  – Stop training for 1 or 2 days to let it heal the affected area.
  • Ice  – Apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day on the painful part.
  • Compression  – For certain types of injury, between 2 applications of ice, wrap an elastic bandage around the injured area to reduce swelling. Do not hesitate to consult a health care professional.
  • Elevation  – Keep the limb as much as possible in an elevated position, for a leg, lift it above the hip for an arm, put it in a sling.

Pharmacy services

If you have questions about how to treat a sports injury, do not hesitate to consult your pharmacist. It is there for you!

If you want to continue reading, you get then a better description of each sport injury below.


What is tendinitis? Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon or of the sheath that surrounds it. It is linked to an overwork of certain muscles due to the repetition of certain movements. Tendinitis is  accentuated by the use of wrong equipment or a technical bad gesture. Tendonitis is very frequent in any kinds of sports. The most common tendinitis are the Achilles tendon tendinitis (running, jogging, jumping gymnastics), the “tennis elbow” or epicondylitis (tennis), the  “golf elbow” (golfing), the patellar tendonitis (cycling) and the shoulder tendonitis (swimming).

Tendinitis can occur at different places of the human body, i.e., foot, ankles, knee, elbow, soulder. All rights @

Tendinitis Symptoms. Pain, discreet at first, gradually increases to make movement impossible. Keeping on training with a tendinitis can lead to tendon rupture.

Tendinitis Prevention and cure. Train and strengthen your muscles. Before and after the sport session, it is important to stay hydrated and perform strengthening exercise and stretching movements to reinforce the muscles. During sport, do not hesitate to stop occasionally to relieve tendons, even if no pain is felt. In all cases, you should see a doctor. However here are some tips to treat a tendinitis. The best remedy against tendinitis is rest. You have to stop your sport activity until your tendinitis is totally healed (for at least 2 weeks) otherwise, it could become chronic. You should also cool the muscles with ice and use either compression and/ or elevation (RICE). In case of accute pain, ask your doctor or pharmacian for an anti-inflammatory.

2. The Stress Fracture

What is a stress fracture? The stress fracture is never a coincidence and mostly occurs by runners. It most often affects the foot and leg, but can also occur at the basin and even at the vertebrae level. The stress fracture is in fact a micro-cracked bone. It mainly concerns the bones of the lower limbs which support the body weight (tibia, fibula and metatarsals). This type of injury is often the result of training overload, especially on hard surfaces such as concrete or plastic, with unsuitable and worn shoes. A stress fracture is invisible on radiographs and can only be detected by bone scintigraphy.

Stress fracture of metatarsals.They mostly occur on tibia, fibula and metatarsals. All Rights @

Stress Fracture Symptoms. The pain starts first insidiously and gradually makes it impossible to support.

Stress Fracture Prevention and cure.  Please see your doctor. Healing stress fractures requires a sport activity stop of 2 to 3 months (conservative). Stress fractures are not usually cast (except in special cases). The use of crutches is recommanded during the first weeks.

3. Muscle injuries

Most muscle injuries reach the legs and are attributable to the practice of sports, especially contact sports (football, hockey, boxing, rugby, etc.)., potentially acrobatic sports (snowboarding, skateboarding, etc..) and those that require fast starts (tennis, basketball, sprinting, etc..). Principal causes are: excessive or inadequate training, poor stretching and muscle heating, poor technique and physical training fatigue, lack of muscle flexibility, muscle lengthening, sudden violent and uncoordinated movements (imbalance between the strength of agonist muscles (which move) and the antagonist muscles (which are the reverse movement), direct hit with a hard object (stud, knee another sport, pole, etc.), intense or prolonged stress, poorly healed anterior muscle injury, inadequate training equipment. There are three different types of muscles injuries: cramps, contusions and elongations.

4. Cramps. Cramps are painful and involuntary contraction of one or more muscles. They can occur at rest or on exertion. Cramps that occur in a sport have a complex origin and are believed to be the result of a lack of oxygen or blood electrolytes. Usually, they are a sign of “exhaustion” or “dehydration”. A persistent cramp is called “contracture”.

Symptoms of cramps. A stiffening of the muscle accompanied by intense pain . A loss of mobility of joints due to muscle.

 Prevention of Muscle Cramps. Avoid dehydration by drinking before, during and after exercise in small quantities.The hydration helps maintain blood flow to the muscle fibers. Alternate water and sports drinks, which have the advantage of containing salts and minerals. Cramps can be caused by a lack of sodium and potassium in muscle. Recognize the signs of fatigue and be able to stop before the cramps occur. Gradually progress in sport. Muscle stress occuring when the muscle is not used to provide the required force can cause cramps. Advice. Sports drinks often contain too much sugar. They should be diluted with water and should only be limited to strenuous activities lasting more than an hour.

Treatments of muscle cramps. The first thing to do to stop the cramp is to stretch the muscle by the opposite movement to that which caused the cramp. For example, in case of a calf cramp, the foot and toes should be flexed upward. Once the pain has subsided, you can also enjoy a light massage and apply ice. The application of ice makes it possible both to reduce the speed of muscle contraction and to prevent the inflammatory response.

5. Contusions. Contusions are the results of ”blows” on a muscle during its contraction phase. The pain is localized to the point of impact, of swelling and sometimes of bruising (called familiarly “blue”). When it occurs in the legs, bruising is commonly called “charley horse”.

Symptoms of contusions. A pain to the point of impact and a dark spot under the skin (brown, blue, red or yellow), without tearing the skin or fracture.

Prevention of bruising. Proper equipment such as helmets, shin,Carry proper equipment to protect your head (helmet), your shin, your knee, your ankle, etc..

6. Elongation. Elongation is a traumatic muscle elongation which occurs during its excessive stretching or in response to a too strong contraction. The muscles of the back of the thigh (hamstrings) are more susceptible to stretch. The term “breakdown” (a “clack” is often audible) is usually used to refer to more severe sprains, which can lead to a partial or complete tear of the muscle fibers. Ultrasound and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) tests are the most appropriate imaging to diagnose when a complete rupture of the muscle is suspected.

Symptoms of elongations. A stiffness and a sharp acute and brutal pain muscle. The pain occurs during muscle contraction, stretching and palpation. Elongation requires stopping the effort, but still allows movement. If stretching is important, a swelling appears. If the injury is located just under the skin, sometimes a small bruise is observed. In case of significant tear or rupture, the pain is similar to a stabbing. The bruise is often enormous. The muscle is no longer functional.

Prevention of elongation. Have a healthy life: adopt a balanced diet  (obesity can stress or strain the muscles) health and sleep. Use a competent coach. Do not suddenly increase the practice intensity of your sport but gradually so that your body gets time to adapt, to strengthen the muscles and to while relaxe the tendons. Keep a time off to recover sufficiently after training and competitions. Adapt your sports on your fitness and your age. Have a good equipment and choose the correct shoes. Before physical activity, heat gradually your muscles and your tendons (about 10 minutes). A light jog or brisk walking suits. The intensity of the preparation depends on the intensity of the activity to be carried out subsequently. Consult a specialist sport trainer. After physical activity, slowly stretch the muscles used during physical activity. Stretching is very important but has to be performed moderately.

Treatments of Elongation and Contusions. To heal muscle fibers, it is necessary to stop any sport activities during approximately 12 days. This duration can be even longer and depends on the gravity of the muscle injury. In the legs, slight or moderate elongation can take up to 6 weeks to heal. A severe elongation or tearing of the muscle must be immediately handled by a medical team, which probably undertake surgery when the tear is confirmed. For the best chance of success, surgery must be performed in the first days after injury. So do not wait before going to your doctor. During the three first days (72 hours) after the trauma, the treatment aims at stopping the muscle bleeding. This technique is based on 4 main elements (CREC):

  • Cooling: Ice is applied to relieve pain and reduce inflammation by constricting the blood vessels. Apply ice for 10 to 12 minutes every 1 or 2 hours during the first 2 or 3 days, while maintaining elevating your leg. Subsequently reduce the frequency to 3 or 4 times daily. Continue applying ice as long as the symptoms persist.
  • Rest: Rest is important to prevent further injury. You must stop the activity that caused the injury, but not completely immobilize the affected limb.
  • E levation: if the wounded parts of your body are your legs or your ankle, keep them elevated as much as possible in order to reduce swelling by promoting venous return.
  • C ompression: Compression is used to reduce the swelling and fluid accumulation around the injured area. The use of an elastic bandage fulfills this role.

Drugs. In case of severe pain, take painkillers like acetaminophen (Tylenol ®). They do not, however, replace the compression and application of ice.

When the inflammatory response is important, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil ®, Motrin ®), can be consumed over a short period: 2 to 3 days only. Always supervise their possible adverse effects and get informed about their cons-indications by a doctor.

Creams and ointments  such as Antiphlogistine ®, Bengay ® and Tiger Balm ®, sold over the counter to relieve muscle pain by heat effect, are not very useful in the treatment of muscle injuries because their action is superficial and only limited to the skin.

Rehabilitation phase

Physiotherapy. Already after the second or third day, a doctor or physiotherapist will recommend you specific exercises to strengthen the injured muscle. Gentle massages can be performed away from the painful area to raise muscle contractures (never on the painful area since it will aggravate the lesions). Any form of massage is cons-indicated in cases of muscle breakdown. Depending on the severity of the injury, easy exercises will gradually be reinstated. Pain is a good guide to adjust the intensity of activities. Subsequently, rehabilitation and regular training is undertaken gradually. Their goals are to allow healing of the lesion and regain muscle flexibility and strength. Normal activity should be resumed only when all pain disappeared, and strength and mobility have returned to normal. On the long term, it may be beneficial to continue physiotherapy exercises to prevent such events from recurring.

7. Sprain. Sprain is an injury to the joint (ankle, knee, wrist, thumb …), causing a stretching or tearing of the ligaments that support it. The ankle is the joint of the body which is the most exposed to sprain. However all other body joints can also be deformed beyond their usual boundaries. Strain are mainly caused by a movement that exceeds the normal range of the joint (flexion, extension or twisting) or by a shock to the joint.

There are several strain stages depending on the severity of the injury: 1. slight sprain: a simple stretching of ligaments, called sprains. At this stage, the joint is still functional. 2. The average sprain: a stretching of the ligaments with a start of tearing. 3. The severe sprain: a complete rupture of ligaments with possibility of bone avulsion to where the ligament is inserted.

According to the severity stage, one or more of these symptoms will be present: Swelling,  Pain, Bruising. Eventually, repeated sprains facilitate the onset of osteoarthritis, manifested by a deterioration of the joint cartilage.

You should directly consult a general practitioner or rheumatologist. The diagnosis will be upon a clinical examination of the joint. Supplementary tests may be performed in order to detect risks of fracture, to determine the ligament position and discover any associated injuries (avulsion fracture, tendon injury, etc).

Prevention of Spain. To reduce the risk of ankle sprain or relapse after an initial sprain, you should strengthen your muscles to improve and maintain the stability of your joints. Do not forget to warm up before any sports activity and wear shoes which suit your activities so you do not “twist your foot.”

Treatment of Sprain.  The treatment of sprain depends on the severity of the sprain: – Benign sprain: a simple joint rest for a few days only. A local anti-inflammatory therapy may be associated. Average sprain: a splint or strapping is applied to the joint to hold it in place. Medical treatment to get analgesic drugs (anti-inflammatory drugs). Severe sprain:surgery is advocated, especially among athletes. Otherwise, the same treatment for a average sprained may be sufficient. Moreover, during the first 72 h after the sprain, you can apply the CREC:

  • Cooling: Ice is applied directly on the injury to relieve pain and reduce inflammation by constricting the blood vessels. Apply ice for 10 to 12 minutes every 1 or 2 hours during the first 2 or 3 days, while maintaining elevating your leg. Subsequently reduce the frequency to 3 or 4 times daily. Continue applying ice as long as the symptoms persist.
  • Rest: Rest is important to prevent further injury. You must stop the activity that caused the injury, but not completely immobilize the affected limb.
  • E levation: if the wounded parts of your body are your legs or your ankle, keep them elevated as much as possible in order to reduce swelling by promoting venous return.
  • C ompression: Compression is used to reduce the swelling and fluid accumulation around the injured area. The use of an elastic bandage fulfills this role.

The sport activity should be stopped for at least 15 days for a mild sprain (a few discrete edema and pain), and up to six weeks for a severe sprain. A cast is recommended for sprains with significant ligament distension or tearing.

8. Meniscus injury.

You knee hurts? Often, at the end of the training, your knee swells? You do not feel able to tend it fully? Your knee blocks a bit? This is perhaps a meniscal tear. “Top10injuries”  explains how to recognize the injury and how to treat it!

What is a meniscus, ? The menisci are a small blocks linking the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (leg bone). The menisci stabilize the femur on the tibia and permit the diminution of the mechanical and wear stress of the tibia. In addition, these structures have a slightly elastic consistency that helps absorb shocks. There are two menisci in each knee. One is located at the inside of the knee ( the medial meniscus) and the other one is placed on the outer side (the lateral meniscus). With its crescent shape, they melt around the joint and are thicker at the periphery.

How to ruin a meniscus? Menisci are ruined by abnormal articulation movements. During a sprain, it happens that the femur rotates and slides violently on the tibia sometimes squeezing the outer edges of the meniscus. This is a meniscus fissure. This lesion can also occur more insidiously through the repetition of abrupt changes in direction or sometimes just a simple squat. Another type of meniscal tear occurs when the knee ligaments connecting the femur to the tibia are stretched and the attachment point with the meniscus tear.This is the meniscal avulsion.

How to recognize a meniscal tear?

You suffer from knee. Often you had a spain some time before. Sometimes no obvious trauma is found: maybe you crouch down every morning to get your socks in the drawer at the bottom of the dresser! Your knee swells a little. At the fissure, there is now an irregularity in the joint lining. As soon as the wheel passes over the femur the pothole joint pains. To try to improve the functioning of the knee, the body tries to lubricate the mechanism. The envelope surrounding the joint produces more oil, it secretes synovial fluid. This is the famous “synovial effusion”.Your knee sometines locks. Most often the prejudice is moderate, it is just hard to tend your leg completely. Sometimes the phenomenon is spectacular. During a full training, a seemingly harmless gesture may block your joint, you are then unable to unfold your knee and you are locked in flexion. Emergency treatment is needed. In both circumstances, the piece of fissured meniscus moved in the joint and hamper the passage of the femur on the tibia.

In the absence of accident blocking caricature, it is essential to confirm the lesion. Surgical treatment may be considered in cases of diagnostic certainty. The most suitable examination is arthrography. Etymologically “arthro” means “joint” and “graphy” means “writing”: it is therefore a “joint design”. Indeed, on the radiography, only the bones are observable and menisci are invisible. In order to highlight the fissures or ejections, a white product is injected in the joint and penetrates into the cracks or the ejections.

How to treat your meniscal tear? Ejections and fissured meniscus can not be treated in the same way. Indeed, in the first case, the injury is similar to a sprain. Filaments connecting the meniscus ligament are torn. In the membrane lining the joint blood vessels pass: they provide all the elements necessary for healing. Most often, the meniscal avulsion is cured if treated by a splint sprain and rehabilitation.

The lesion of a fissured meniscus is much deeper. Vessels do not dig much into the joint. Malnourished at this level, the meniscus can not heal. The fissured or crushed meniscus pice has to be removed. This processing is performed by “arthroscopy” during which two holes are dug in the knee. The first is for an optical fiber tube (see inside the knee) and the second allows the passage of tools to clean your meniscal tear.

How long after surgery can I resume my sport excercise? Typically, 6 to 8 weeks are needed. As you understand, your articulation does not work quite as before. You need to give your knee time to get used to. At the end of a gesture on the medial meniscus, the recovery is around 6 weeks. After lesion of the lateral meniscus, it takes 2 weeks. At this level, the knee joint fits even less and the adaptation is longer. Two days of hospitalization are common. Then you are hampered in daily life for a good week. You can and you must walk. You have no capital but do not bend the knee. Caution should be exercised in the stairs. Again, swimming, cycling and, later, jogging are excellent to prepare a come-back!

Tibia Strokes. Why strokes on the tibia are so painful although no blue no swelling are visible? This kind of shock causes bleeding inside the bone. Of course, this rigid structure does not deform, do not inflate. The blood does not flow under the skin and no bruising is found. In contrast, the pressure in the bone increases considerably and it is painful. Often microscopic fractures also appear in the meshes (the deep architecture of the bone). The extent of these lesions confirms the interest of shin guards (in soccer for example). However, you can continue to keep you in shape or train within the limits of pain.

Adisory Board. Avoid stretching tired muscles! Indeed, during intense muscular work, numerous muscle microdamage are produced although you do not get aching muscles. Trying to extend your contracted muscles may worsen these microscopic muscle tears. Stretching is preferably placed during heating after a little jogging. You should alsways stretch a warm but not a tired muscle.

9. Dislocation. Dislocation is when the bone-shaped triangle covering any movable joints moves or falls into place. The problem usually occurs toward the outside and results from deformation of the joint resulting from a fall, a wrong move or shock. Shoulder dislocations are common in contact sports such as judo, wrestling but also sports that involve throwing as handball, basketball, tennis, javelin etc… They can also be linked to sudden changes in direction or be direct resulting from an injury.
Dislocation Symptoms. Taking the knee as an example, Patella luxation Symptoms are the swelling of the knee, the loss of sensitivity and knee pain, a loose patella moving from right to left (hypermobile patella).
Patella dislocation first aid. Splint (stabilize) the knee with the leg in full extension (right) and consult a doctor.You need to take an x-ray of the knee and sometimes MRI to ensure that the dislocation did not cause a fracture or damaged the cartilage. Without any appendent injuries, the knee should be casted to be immobilized for several weeks (usually 3 weeks). Following you have to follow a physical therapy to increase your muscle strength and improve the motion range of your knee.If the knee remains unstable, a surgery may be necessary to stabilize the patella.Patella luxation Prevention. You must use proper techniques that your sport requires.  However, in many cases, the kneecap dislocation can not be prevented and is often linked to anatomic predisposition factors. You should always train the strength and flexibility of your knees.
10. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. During the carpal tunnel syndrome your fingers become numb and you lose your muscle strength in the affected wrist and hand.

These symptoms result from the compression of the median nerve which passes in a tunnel called the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This channel is relatively small and any reduction of this tunnel (inflammation) compresses the median nerve. This is very painful, and decreases considerably the movement of your thumb and of your hand. The carpal tunnel syndrom also sometimes alters your hand sensations.

Causes of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The origin of carpal tunnel syndrome is often multifactorial. The risk is higher among people exposed to the following situations.

  • The repetition of movements of the wrist and forearm during prolonged periods.
  • Movements that require strength important in hand.
  • Handling of tools that vibrate for example: attendants in housekeeping, food industry workers, workers on production lines, service attendants (food and beverages), truck and buse drivers.
  • People with a member of the family has already suffered this condition. Some physionomic characteristics, such as the shape of the wrist, may increase the risk.
  • People who engage in some activities, such as gardening, needlework, video games, golf, canoeing and wheelchair sports.
  • Pregnant women and those who are in or entering the andropause. During pregnancy, for example, fluid retention increases the pressure on the median nerve.
  • People having diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or hypothyroidism if they are not treated or controlled.
  • People taking oral contraceptives.
  • People having wrist injuries.

Computer work may be one of the cause, although it has not been testified yet.

Symptoms of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Symptoms of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are the following:

  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers (especially the thumb, index and middle finger).
  • pain in the wrist and palm, which radiates to the fingers or around the forearm (sometimes to the shoulder).
  • Difficulty grasping objects, even light.

Often, the symptoms become more pronounced:

  • during the night;
  • activity, for example during driving or when holding the phone
  • By women before menstruation, during the last months of pregnancy and shortly after childbirth.

Symptoms duration varies depending on the cause of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. You have to go to your doctor as soon as you feel a pain in your wrist or hand. When discovered in time, the treatment works effectively good (no atrophy). In some cases, the carpal tunnel syndrome resolves spontaneously without treatment. If symptoms are not relieved by the usual treatments, surgery may be considered.

Prevention of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Basic preventive measures.

  • Rest regularly hands and wrists during repetitive tasks. Take the opportunity to gently stretch the wrist.
  • Change position frequently and, if possible, alternate movements of one hand to another.
  • Avoid forcing your hands when they are too close or too far from the body. Also, do not use an unappropriate force.
  • Do not press your wrists on hard surfaces for long period of time.
  • Ensure that the tool handles are the right size for your hands.
  • Avoid the long use of tools that vibrate strongly.
  • Wear gloves in cold environments because pain and stiffness are more likely to appear when it is cold.
  • Avoid “broken” wrists when handling a computer mouse. Find different exercices to rest your wrist. Also adjust the height of the chair.
  • If you use a mouse with two main buttons, configure the mouse button so that the most used is the right one and use the index to click on it. This way your hand is in a more natural position.
  • Obtain the services of an ergonomist if needed.
  • Stop smoking since it exacerbates symptoms and slows down the recovery.

Prevention of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Medical treatment. 

The electromyogram (EMG) is sometimes used to confirm the diagnosis when symptoms are not typical or prior to surgery. It is an examination by a neurologist who can measure nerve conduction velocity in the wrist. This exam will know if it is the median nerve is affected, and to what degree.

Physiotherapy may be another way which aims at reducing the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the median nerve and strengthnening the wrist and the hand muscles.

Finally, during surgery, the ligament putting pressure on the median nerve can be cut. Through the intervention, the nerve can be damaged temporarly (1 in 100) or permanently (1 in 1000).

Decrease Pain linked to the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Apply ice during10 to 12 minutes, several times per the day. The application of heat can also help relieve pain immediately. It is also advisable to immerse your hand and wrist for 3 minutes in a bowl of warm water and then into cold water for 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise 3 times.

If necessary, analgesics (acetaminophen) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, Advil ®, Motrin ®, etc..) can sometimes relieve pain, but are generally ineffective for this type of injury. Note that anti-inflammatories do not accelerate healing.

In more severe cases, it may happen that the doctor suggested a cortisone injection in the carpal tunnel entrance. This treatment provides relief for 3 months, on average.