Sports Medicine


The most common sports-related injuries include ankle, knee, back, shoulder and elbow injuries. Professional athletes and recreational athletes are equally prone to these injuries. Each injury’s treatment is decided on a case-by-case basis, but treatments can include physical therapy, exercise, wearing a brace or a nerve injection.

The most common of these sports-related injuries include:

Ankle Injuries

  • Sprained AnkleOccurring in many sports, a sprained ankle happens when the player pulls the ligaments in the ankle. Most common, an inversion sprain occurs when the ankle rolls over, and the bottom of the foot faces inward. This sprains the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. A medial ligament sprain is just the opposite, where the ankle rolls, and the bottom of the foot faces outward, spraining the muscle on the inside of the ankle.
  • Shin SplintsWhen someone has a sharp pain on the front of his/her lower leg, this is commonly referred to as a shin splint. A shin splint can occur for a number of different reasons: an inflamed tissue that surrounds the leg bone, overpronation of the feet while walking or running, oversupination of the feet while walking or running, ill-fitting shoes or increased amounts of walking or running.
  • Torn Achilles TendonThe Achilles tendon attaches a person’s calf muscle to his/her heel bone. Tearing this tendon sometimes happens after it has been inflamed or slightly injured, but the major tearing, either partial or total, usually happens as a result of a sudden motion. Firmly pushing down on the toes, such as taking off running, jumping or quickly lifting the foot up, can snap the tendon and cause tremendous pain.

Knee Injuries

  • ACL InjuryIn the knee, there are four ligaments that cross over one another in an “X” pattern. The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is on the backside of the knee (anterior), attaching the thigh bone to the knee. It also extends through the joint to attach the leg bone to the front of the knee. Very common in contact sports, an ACL injury usually occurs when a player’s foot is firmly secured and an outside force causes the knee joint to twist. Improperly landing on the leg or a hit to the outside of the knee can also cause an ACL injury.

Back Injuries

  • LumbagoThis is the general term given to common lower back pain that does not travel down the back of the legs. It can be caused by many different activities and conditions, such as: heavy lifting, poor posture, overworking oneself, a slipped disc, joint pain, etc.
  • Slipped DiscIn between each vertebrae in the spine, there is a soft elastic disc that separates each bone. These intervertebral discs prevent rubbing and absorb shock. As people age, sometimes they lose elasticity in these discs, and the discs can protrude, also known as a herniated disc. The protrusion usually adds pressure to the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain.

Shoulder Injuries

  • Rotator Cuff InjuryThe rotator cuff contains four muscles that help the shoulder joint move and provide steadiness during rotation. Many athletes that throw – such as football quarterbacks, baseball pitchers, softball pitchers and bowlers – commonly have this injury, as well as swimmers, tennis players and golfers. A number of injuries can happen to the rotator cuff, such as a partial or complete torn muscle, arthritis or fluid accumulation and inflammation.
  • Dislocated ShoulderThe shoulder is a ball and socket joint, meaning the end of the arm bone has a rounded head that sits in a depression. These types of joints allow for more mobility and a wider range of motion. A dislocated shoulder occurs when the head is removed from the depression, usually forcefully due to trauma.

Elbow Injuries

  • Tennis ElbowTennis elbow is the strain of the tendon on the outside of the arm that connects the wrist to the elbow. This injury acquired the common name “tennis elbow” because many tennis players get this injury. It is caused by repetitive motions of bending the wrist backward, causing a sprained tendon that is tight and constricted. Tennis elbow can affect not only tennis players but also people who have done a repetitive task, such as typing, gardening, using a screwdriver or painting.

Potomac Physician Associates, P.C.

Chevy Chase - 8401 Connecticut Ave., Penthouse Suite, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Bethesda - Camalier Building, 10215 Fernwood Rd., Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20817

(301) 969-2772

  • Camalier Building - 10215 Fernwood Rd., Suite 100 Camalier Building, Bethesda, MD 20817 Phone: 3014934440
  • Shady Grove Adventist Medical Center - 19735 Germantown Rd., Suite 100, Germantown, MD 20874 Phone: (301) 528-9272
  • PPA - 8401 Connecticut Ave., Penthouse Suite, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 Phone: 3019422212

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