Woman playing tennis feeling effect of sports on your joints.

The Effect of Sports on Your Joints

Sports are a great way to stay physically active throughout your life. There are physical and social benefits that can be difficult to replace through other hobbies. Unfortunately, all fun things come with a measure of risk. The truth is that most sporting activities include several repetitive motions. This can put strain on specific joints throughout your body, but the affected joints will mostly depend on your sport of choice. Let’s look at the effect of sports on your joints.

The Effect of Sports on Your Joints

Luckily, injuries are not inevitable. You can actually prevent a lot of damage from taking place by taking preventative measures. Stretching before and especially after physical activity can help to keep the joints flexible. Enlisting the help of an expert trainer may also help you identify problems with your technique that could lead to injury. However, the most important thing you should do is pay attention to your body. Notice where you’re feeling strain or discomfort and address the problem with the help of a professional orthopedics Washington DC specialist rather than just trying to push through. 

When Preventative Measures Fail

Despite all of our good intentions and habits, there is no way to guarantee that you will never sustain an injury. The very nature of sports requires your body to perform the same catalog of motions over and over again. It may not even seem like much, but the repetition itself can put strain on the muscles and tendons surrounding major joints. This is only made worse if the action is performed quickly while the muscles are tensed.  

As a result, strains, sprains, and tears are fairly common in the sporting world. The frequency of some injuries has led to creating “fun” nicknames that you probably recognize. Tennis elbow, turf toe, and skier’s thumb are just a few. They all result from a particular motion exerting force on a specific part of the body in an exaggerated or highly repetitive way. 

Which Joints Are Most Susceptible to Sports Injuries?

The nature of the sport will largely determine the joints that are at most risk. However, it could be argued that the knees are most commonly affected across a large number of different sports. Anything that includes running, jumping, or increases the risk of falling has a higher chance of negatively affecting your knees at some point. Even athletes who escape traumatic injuries may require treatment for damage that occurs due to decades of use. 

Given how much we use our knees on a daily basis, knee injuries can do a lot more than put an end to your favorite hobbies. Without proper treatment, you may struggle to walk without pain. Additionally, your body may overcompensate, putting additional strain on other supporting joints, and leading to even more problems in the future. 

How Are Knee Injuries Treated?

You may suspect you may have a knee injury or other sports injury. Is so, it is vital that you consult with a licensed sports medicine doctor and orthopedist. They will be able to definitively diagnose your condition and start you on a treatment plan to reduce pain and restore range of motion to the best of their ability. If the damage is too advanced, then you may require surgery, but this is far better than the alternative of allowing the joint to continue to deteriorate. 

Fortunately, knee surgery has never been easier. Using the most advanced practices available, orthopedists like Dr. Stein can use arthroscopic surgery DCto see the inside of the joint through a few very small incisions. This procedure allows your surgeon to see the damage up close and address the problem without invasive surgery. Depending on your comfort level, you may not even need general anesthetic.