Life comes with risk. There isn’t a single activity you can do that is entirely risk-free. Driving to work, taking the stairs, and even getting in the shower have inherent risks. However, it is also true that some activities are associated with elevated risks. But what sport has the most injuries?
Contact sports and so-called extreme sports rank high on the list. A 2009 report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission showed that football, bicycling, and basketball were the most common sporting activities to result in a visit to the emergency room.
What Sport Has the Most Injuries?
The Commission’s report focused on children between the ages of 5 and 14, but adult injuries appear to follow similar patterns despite occurring with less frequency. The report also shows that men and people who classified themselves as white and non-Hispanic were more likely to sustain sports-related injuries. Based on that data, these are the top five sports contributing to injuries as listed by the commission.
- Football: Approximately 215,000 injuries over a year-long period
- Bicycling: Approximately 200,000 over a year-long period
- Basketball: Approximately 170,000 injuries over a year-long period
- Baseball/Softball: Approximately 110,000 injuries over a year-long period
- Soccer: Approximately 88,000 injuries over a year-long period
At that point, the statistics taper off a bit, with most sports reporting at least 50,000 children’s emergency room visits per year, but that doesn’t mean that people should not engage in sporting activities. Instead, we need to be smarter about how we care for our bodies.
A severe sports injury has the potential to significantly impact your quality of life, so it is important to take the risk seriously. That being said, regular physical activity provides physical and mental health benefits. Therefore, it’s necessary to find a compromise in which you can enjoy the things you love without serious injury, and it all starts with good technique.
Regardless of your chosen sport, using proper technique and wearing the appropriate safety equipment are the two best things you can do to prevent injury. This usually means working closely with a professional trainer as well as a licensed doctor of sports medicine in DC. The trainer will observe your movements, correcting risky behaviors that could lead to injury. Your doctor will also help to keep tabs on your physical health, treating minor injuries as they crop up, and suggesting improved gear when necessary.
In addition to keeping open communication with a few key experts, it is important to listen to your body. Take the time to warm up and cool down appropriately, building up your flexibility and strength over time. As an added precaution, refrain from over-exerting yourself and take breaks when necessary. You’ll learn to know your own limits with time, and you can work to expand them from there.
When Injuries Do Happen
Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to guarantee that you will never sustain an injury. Sometimes it just happens. That is one of the reasons why it is so important to already have a working relationship with your local sports medicine doctor. All too often athletes ignore mild to moderate injuries, shrugging them off as basic aches and pains. Your sports medicine doctor will not, which will likely prevent the injury from causing much more extensive damage to your body.
As your orthopedist in DC, Dr. Benjamin Stein prides himself on providing exactly this type of care to athletes in the area. With a commitment to preventative care, Dr. Stein and his staff work to ensure that sports injuries are infrequent and mild. However, when things do go wrong, his specialization in orthopedics makes it easy for his patients to receive the care and physical therapy that they need.