The Most Common Injuries In Each Sport

Everybody knows that playing sport is important to stay physically and mentally fit. But it’s an unfortunate reality that sometimes we can suffer injuries when participating… Darren Ryding - January 18, 2024

Everybody knows that playing sport is important to stay physically and mentally fit. But it’s an unfortunate reality that sometimes we can suffer injuries when participating in different sporting activities. It’s essential to know the risks before we start something new so we can prepare better.

Look at some of the most popular sports and check out their most common injuries. Many of these aren’t serious if we treat them early and don’t aggravate them. Wear and tear is a common reason behind why they happen. Always warm up before any athletic activity to reduce the chance of injuries!


Post And Courier

Basketball – Jumper’s Knee

This is one of the most common injuries that basketball players face. Patellar Tendonitis is usually known as ‘Jumper’s Knee’ because of its links to the sport. Athletes play basketball on hard surfaces so this causes a severe impact when they jump and land. Symptoms include swelling, pain, and tenderness

This is a degenerative injury that can end a professional basketball career. Rest and ice packs can help ease the pain but more serious conditions will require physical therapy. However, if Jumper’s Knee continues without treatment it can damage the knee tendons. Then it will be necessary to undergo surgery and that’s a bigger deal. (via Sportskeeda).

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Golf Magazine

Golf – Rotator Cuff Injuries

Many golfers experience problems with their rotator cuff because they overuse it. This area of muscles and tendons around the shoulder helps to stabilize the arm. It plays a crucial role in sports like golf and baseball where athletes swing with powerful force. The most common injuries include torn rotator cuffs and tendonitis.

Tendonitis isn’t as bad because they can treat it through ice and rest. However, a torn rotator cuff is a bigger issue that will cause serious pain when trying to sleep. Patients may also struggle to raise their arms and will experience weakness. Unfortunately, they usually require medical treatment to heal.

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Sky News

Ice Hockey

Hockey is a contact sport with athletes brandishing sticks on an ice court. It’s not shocking that there are injuries in this extreme environment. Most players experience hand or face injuries from various kinds of impact. It could be from falling on the hard ice or because they took a smack on the hand with a stick.

Fractures are relatively frequent but the most common injuries are minor contusions. But spare a thought for the goaltenders from the days before they wore masks. The puck shredded their faces and left them with many scars. Luckily, that’s in the past now but it was a crazy time (via Leader-Post).


The Guardian

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Lower Back Pain

BJJ is becoming increasingly popular these days. Some people consider it to be the thinking person’s martial art because they must analyze different positions to beat their opponent. The downside of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that it puts severe pressure on ligaments, tendons, and joints.

There’s always a risk that somebody will accidentally hyperextend an elbow or a knee in training. However, lower back pains account for the most common injuries in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu because of pressure on the lumbar spine. Core training can be a preventative measure but it’s smart to consult a GP if severe back pain arises. (via Elite Sports)


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Weightlifting – Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingements are one of the biggest issues for weightlifters. The rotator cuff is important again because weightlifting puts it under severe pressure. When weightlifters perform movements like bench presses it forces the rotator cuff against the shoulder’s top bone and this creates an impingement.

There may be swelling and pain that will affect the quality of the movement. It’s worth noting that there are different levels of severity. Sometimes it may be a case that the lifter has slightly overdone it and needs to take a few days off. There are also rehab exercises that can assist in a quicker recovery (via Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy).

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Iron Neck

Wrestling – Neck Strains

It might not shock anybody to learn that many wrestlers experience neck strains. They put their bodies under intense stress by hanging out of each other’s bodies and attempting to force their opponent into submission physically. Wrestling is a very tough sport and their athletes make many sacrifices.

Many wrestlers also have cervical neck strains and sprains when they hit the mat hard. This jolts the neck and can inhibit movement. Stretching and neck strengthening exercises are an important part of a wrestler’s training regime. This will help ease the wear and tear risk (via Iron Neck).

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Surfing – Lacerations/Concussion

Surfing is a popular sport that people enjoy at many different levels. We might think that shark attacks provide the most common injuries but that’s not true. Usually, the board causes the most damage. Sometimes inexperienced surfers carry it the wrong way and it hits them in the head causing concussions or broken noses.

Meanwhile, powerful waves can also cause the board to hit the surfer hard. This usually results in facial lacerations or concussions. Fractures and broken teeth may also occur but they’re not as common. Surfing is fun but it’s one of the riskiest sports in this guide (via Surfing Life).

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Fox News


Cycling – Cyclist’s Back

This is a common malady that cyclists of all levels experience. One issue that many of them face is lower back pain. It becomes stiffer and uncomfortable to the point of being unbearable. This is especially common on mountain biking or when cycling on rough terrain forces a higher power output.

Typically, riders assume a bent position when they’re cycling harder and this places more pressure on the lumbar spine. Meanwhile, vibrations when sitting on the saddle can also affect this area. Stretching is important while core strengthening will also help. But also build up slowly to reduce the effects of lower back pain. (via Bike Radar)


Boxing – Cuts and Hematomas

Many people think that boxing is one of the most brutal sports out there. It can indeed stimulate long-term problems including CTE and dementia. However, soccer statistically causes more physical issues than boxing. The most common injuries in this combat sport are cuts, hematomas, and concussions.

A hematoma is a swelling that results from blunt force trauma. They may look alarming but usually, it’s not a big deal because it’s just collected blood under the skin. Meanwhile, some people also suffer cuts and bruises after they receive punches to the face. Nonetheless, these are mostly cosmetic injuries that don’t impact them too severely. (via Fight Camp)

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Skateboarding – Fractures

Here’s another sport where minor injuries are common. We could talk about cuts and bruises but this is a little too obvious. Skateboarders are flying about and falling around on hard surfaces so that’s not a shock. The next most common injury that they suffer is fractured bones.

Often skateboarders will extend their hand to soften their fall and break their wrists in the process. However, others endure hairline fractures in their legs or arms from heavy landings. There are even stories of people hitting themselves in the face with their boards when they try to pull off crazy stunts (via Rolling Stone).

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Pickleball – Calf/Hamstring Injuries

Millions of people are playing pickleball after an explosion in popularity. It’s like a combination of tennis and ping-pong but it’s not as dynamic as the former. The benefits of playing pickleball are much greater than the risk of injuries. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re impossible.

Medical experts noted that pickleball injuries are on the rise because of the sport’s growth. Usually, they deal with calf or hamstring strains because people play the sport casually. They don’t warm up and they overstretch their cold muscles when they play. It’s very avoidable but most players don’t think of it. (via BSW Health)

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World Lacrosse

Lacrosse – Ankle/Knee Ligament Sprains

Many people don’t realize that lacrosse is North America’s oldest organized sport. It doesn’t have the same profile as other games but it’s still popular up to college level. This dynamic field sport requires many quick changes of direction and speed. That’s why ligament problems are the most common injuries.

Lacrosse isn’t the only field sport that has this problem. Soccer and football also have high frequencies of ligament injuries. Athletes twist their ankles when they fall or collide with another player. Sometimes they misstep or catch their foot on the ground and suffer sprains (via USA Lacrosse).

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Cornerstone Physiotherapy

Swimming – Swimmer’s Ear

We could talk about Swimmer’s Shoulder but it’s another rotator cuff injury. It’s easy to understand how this happens because strong strokes can cause swelling and damage. However, there’s another common swimming condition that’s more unique to the sport. We’re talking about Swimmer’s Ear which is a bacterial infection.

The water creates a damp environment inside the ear that can cause a bacterial infection. Mild symptoms include itching and discharges of colorless fluid. But untreated Swimmer’s Ear may progress and become very painful. Fever and other serious issues may occur and medical attention will be necessary (via Mayo Clinic).

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Figure Skating – Fractures

Many people don’t appreciate how difficult figure skating is. This is an elite activity where athletes combine multiple disciplines. They perform dramatic dance moves like ballet but they do it on ice. It’s also dangerous because they’re going to have a hard fall on the ice if it goes wrong.

Bruises are common but some of them also suffer fractures from the impact. Pair skating is also risky because there’s another person involved. Their partner must be careful because they don’t want to suffer lacerations from their blades. Nor do they want to drop their partner on the icy surface (via Science Direct).

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Tennis – Tennis Elbow

This is one of the most famous sport-specific injuries on this list. Many tennis players suffer from tennis elbow because they’re putting their limbs under strain. The official name is lateral epicondylitis but there’s an easy explanation. It happens when the tendons swell or tear after excessive wear.

Tennis players constantly swing their racquets in aggressive motions. Elite stars like Venus Williams and Andy Murray suffered from the malady because of their forearm swing. It’s a painful injury that can affect their play over time. Some of them take painkillers to alleviate it during games (via Penn Medicine).

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Ultra X

Ultra Marathons – Runner’s Knee

Many runners experience knee problems because of their gait or the impact of their feet on the surface. Some can’t run on concrete because it’s too painful. It feels like the kneecap is grinding together and it’s very uncomfortable. Ultramarathon runners may suffer even worse because they put their bodies under intense pressure.

Some ultras are up to 200km long so this is a huge endurance challenge. Athletes must take care because if they don’t manage their bodies correctly they won’t complete the race. All runners may deal with knee problems at some stage in their lives, even casual joggers (via AAOS).

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Yoga – Overstretching Joints

Many people love yoga because it can be relaxing and it helps them maintain a supple body. However, even this activity has risks if we don’t take care. The most common injuries involve overstretching joints and this can be very uncomfortable. Often, yoga forces us to activate muscles we don’t usually use in our daily lives.

This is good if we don’t overdo it but if we push too hard it can be painful. Usually, the uncomfortable feeling fades quickly but pulling muscles and overstretching joints may take longer to heal. This isn’t an attack on yoga because it’s a great activity. It’s a message to know our bodies and to exercise caution (via UW Health).

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Snowboarding Days

Snowboarding – Fractured Wrists

Everyone knows that snowboarding is cooler than skiing. Each winter people hit the slopes and enjoy this winter sport. Meanwhile, it’s one of the most popular Winter Olympic events with stars like Chloe Kim producing spectacular stunts. But it’s also dangerous with a risk of broken bones.

Fractured wrists are one of the most common injuries because people have hard landings. The snow is denser than they expect and they put their hands out to reduce the impact. It can take up to 12 weeks for a wrist fracture to heal depending on the severity of the damage (via Active Safe).


Volleyball – Sprained Ankles

There are different forms of volleyball but they’re all hard on the knees and ankles. That’s because there are so many jumping and direction changes in the sport. It’s so easy to twist the wrong way or land in an awkward position. Many top coaches spend time on proper take-offs to reduce the risk.

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in volleyball. Medical experts recommend the RICE treatment method of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Most sprains will heal relatively quickly after a week. However, more severe ones may require medical attention (via Performance Health).

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Gridiron Football – Concussion

It won’t shock anybody to learn that concussion is one of the most common injuries in football. Gigantic 250-pound men collide with each other at speed and rock each other’s bodies. It’s a serious issue that lawsuits and changing attitudes have forced sports leagues to address.

Many parents don’t want their children to play the sport because of the risks. Meanwhile, the NFL is currently embroiled in a massive legal battle with hundreds of former players. Concussions can end careers because they make it too risky to continue. Long-term side effects include an increased risk of CTE and Alzheimer’s Disease (via ESPN).

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Washington City Paper

Bowling – Bowler’s Elbow

Here’s another elbow injury that afflicts bowlers. Most people might not think of it as a sport but it’s a very competitive activity in North America. There are many bowling leagues with thousands of participants across the U.S. Some of them suffer from one of the sport’s most common injuries; Bowler’s Elbow.

This is another form of tendinitis that occurs through overuse of the elbow. Bowling balls are heavy and this places strain on the area. Inflammation develops and it can be very painful. Rest and ice will reduce minor symptoms but sometimes medical attention is necessary for serious cases (via Motus Heals).

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The Telegraph

Rugby – Shoulder Dislocation

Here’s another ferocious sport where gigantic men crash into each other. There are also many concussions in rugby but it also has another relatively common injury. Shoulder dislocations frequently occur in games during scrums and mauls. These are fixed positions where the athletes link arms like in the photo below.

There’s a risk of shoulder dislocations if something goes wrong during these passages of play. It’s very painful and it will also take time to heal otherwise it can pop out again. They may take four months to heal which is depressing because it can end a player’s season (via Sydney Shoulder Clinic).

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The Athletic

MMA – Bruised Legs

Critics hate mixed martial arts because they say it’s human cockfighting. However, the reality is quite different because there’s less sustained head trauma than in boxing. Meanwhile, athletes can win matches without throwing a single strike. Nonetheless, the most common injuries in the sport are cuts and bruises.

Some experience bruised calves and thighs because they’ve received leg kicks. This is more painful than cuts or hematomas on their head and face because it affects their walking. Leg kicks slow athletes down and prevents them from using their movement so it’s a very effective technique (via Evolve MMA).

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Baseball – UCL Damage

Many baseball pitchers suffer Urnal Collateral Ligament damage at some point in their careers. Before 1974 this was a death sentence for their careers because they couldn’t throw with the same power. The UCL is a ligament in the medial elbow and it’s vulnerable to wear and tear or hyperextension.

Now there’s a famous procedure called Tommy John Surgery that many pitchers undergo to treat it. It replaces the UCL with another tendon from elsewhere in the body and is named after the first player who received the operation. Shohei Ohtani is one of many athletes who had the procedure (via AP News).


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The Canadian Press

Soccer – ACL Tears

ACL tears are a nightmare in any sport because they take so long to rehab. Many athletes would prefer to suffer a clean break because they will heal relatively quickly. Previously, ACL tears were a death sentence for athletic careers but it’s not as bad these days. However, it still takes months to return to action.

They’re very common in soccer because athletes slide into tackles and suffer constant collisions with opponents. Meanwhile, they’re twisting and turning away from opposition players so it’s easy to twist a knee in the wrong direction. Female soccer players are even more prone to ACL tears than male athletes (via The Conversation).