Sports Injuries

By | June 10, 2022

Sports injuries and sports accidents are physical damage of all kinds that recreational and competitive athletes incur when exercising. The injury pattern differs significantly from injuries that occur, for example, in everyday life. Considering all accidents as a whole, 20% are sports accidents. This corresponds to an annual figure of approx. two million Germans. A distinction must be made here between overuse injuries and acute sports injuries. If overuse injuries are subject to a rather gradual process in which the injury cannot be traced back to a real accident event (e.g. Achilles tendonitis), acute injuries result from a sudden incident (e.g. a fall).


The causes of a sports injury or a sports accident can be very diverse. It can be seen that the causes of injuries in recreational athletes differ from those in competitive athletes. The injuries to be diagnosed in recreational athletes are often based on insufficient heating or a lack of physical condition on the part of the athlete. Overestimating one’s own sporting ability often leads to a drop in performance (e.g. endurance running, alpine skiing). For membranous glomerulonephritis overview, please visit

The result is a faulty technique that can lead to serious injuries. In addition, defective or inadequate equipment (e.g. mountain biking) and the lack of special clothing (cold, wet, etc.) are responsible for many sports accidents. In contrast, sports injuries in competitive athletes are often due to overloading of the body and insufficient healing of an injury.

Common & typical sports injuries

Typical and common sports injuries and sports accidents are bruises and sprains (35.5%), dislocations (28.4%) and injuries to ligaments, tendons and muscles (20.3%). Acute sports injuries are characterized by a clear event with immediate onset of pain, precise pain localization and the occurrence of recognizable symptoms ( swelling, bruising, reddening, etc.).

Bruises and sprains are typical consequences of a sports injury and are caused, for example, by a blow, impact or fall. In the case of a bruise (contusion), tissue is squeezed, whereas sprains (distortions) always affect a joint.

The affected ligaments are overstretched by excessive movement and small tears in the ligaments are the result. The resulting leakage of blood plasma into the tissues creates swelling, redness, and bruising.

Stretched ligaments or tears in shoulders, knees, fingers, etc. are often caused by uncontrolled movements that go beyond the normal range. Practically every sport has its typical injury pattern and symptoms of overuse. Hours of overexertion of individual muscle groups with monotonous movement sequences are inevitable. Depending on the type of sport, ligaments, tendons and muscles are stressed to varying degrees. Injuries to legs and feet occur particularly frequently in sports such as squash, soccer or skiing.

The rupture of the Achilles tendon, for example, causes a bang-like, whip-like noise. Sports in which the activity involves the upper limbs such as shoulders, arms and hands are also more susceptible to injury (e.g. torn extensor tendons in the fingers due to an attack hit in volleyball).

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Due to numerous sports and the associated stresses on bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments, a wide variety of injuries can occur. The symptoms that occur often allow a quick conclusion to be drawn about the type of injury. A cruciate ligament tear in the knee often causes a cracking noise.

A significant swelling forms on the knee, and bruising can also be seen. The lack of joint stability makes the gait unsteady. Symptoms of a muscle fiber rupture are a sudden stabbing pain and, after a short time, a large area of ​​bruising.

The affected muscles can no longer be used. Signs of a meniscus injury are severe, stabbing pain and swelling in the knee area. An injured medial meniscus causes pain during bending and twisting movements. If the gap between the upper and lower leg hurts, this indicates a lateral meniscus injury.

A painful swelling with a bluish discoloration indicates a bruise. Symptoms of a shoulder bruise can appear as a graze, bruise, and bruise. The affected shoulder can only be moved to a limited extent due to the pain. A grinding noise, swelling, bruising and severe pain indicate a broken shinbone.

If the bridges are displaced, deformations of the lower leg can be detected. An open fracture is visible externally through a soft tissue wound. Symptoms of a concussion include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. The person affected may have lost consciousness for a short time and complain of memory gaps.


Complications following sports injuries usually occur when the injury is inadequately treated or when training resumes too soon. During the healing phase of injured muscle fibers, connective tissue remodels into scar tissue, which is far less stretchy than muscle tissue. Excessive stress that is too early leads to further tears and bleeding, which result in renewed scarring.

In the long term, the performance of the muscle is significantly restricted and can often only be restored with the help of surgical removal of the scar tissue. Extensive bruises and bruises are often associated with intramuscular bleeding, which, if left untreated, can cause chronic inflammation in the area of ​​the injury. Under unfavorable circumstances, this results in the formation of calcium deposits, which can ossify and impair mobility (myositis ossificans).

If pain and restricted mobility persist for weeks, surgical intervention must be considered. Taking blood-thinning medication after a muscle contusion favors the occurrence of a compartment syndrome: massive bleeding into the muscle can damage nerves and blood vessels, the adequate supply of the muscle is no longer ensured.

Muscle tissue can usually only be prevented from dying off by surgery. Complications of broken bones can include inflammation, wound healing disorders, signs of paralysis and sensory disorders. In rare cases, those affected develop Sudeck’s disease as a late consequence, which is characterized by severe pain, sensitivity to touch and restricted movement.

When should you go to the doctor?

If you have suffered a sports injury, you should always consult a doctor to clarify the symptoms. There may be deeper injuries that initially go unnoticed. In the long term, however, they can lead to permanent impairments. In order to avoid secondary diseases or lifelong damage, a timely clarification of the injuries sustained is advisable. If existing symptoms increase in scope and intensity, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor is needed if there are restrictions in mobility, open wounds, pain or swelling.

A diagnosis is necessary and an individual treatment plan must be drawn up. Particular caution is required with open wounds, in severe cases it can even occur. This poses a potential threat to the life of the person concerned. Sterile wound care is necessary to prevent blood poisoning. Competitive athletes in particular should consult a doctor, even if they have minor sports injuries. An emergency doctor is needed in the event of disturbances of consciousness, circulatory failure or increasing dizziness.

There are internal injuries which, if left untreated, can lead to irreversible damage. In the case of both minor and severe sports injuries, the current state of health should be checked by means of a comprehensive examination. This is the only way to rule out the possibility of long-term disorders or a decrease in physical performance in the further course.


Sports injuries and sports accidents can be prevented in different ways. However, 100% injury prevention can never be achieved. The risk of injury is only reduced.

Sports injuries are often the result of false ambition, overzealousness and overwork, overestimating one’s own abilities or inadequate or missing material conditions. This applies in particular to recreational athletes. If these components are sufficiently observed, the risk of bodily harm is minimized many times over. The so-called stretching, or active warming up of the muscles, is nowadays controversial in science. Therefore, everyone should assess for themselves whether and when a warm-up makes sense for their sport (e.g. gymnastics, ballet, etc.).

The most effective method of protecting your body from sports injuries is strength training alongside the sport. Strength training increases your performance, the musculature protects the joints and thus reduces the susceptibility to injuries. It should be noted that strength training includes the sport-specific, mainly stressed muscle groups.

However, the secondary muscles used should not be neglected in order to prevent muscular imbalances. For example, strong core muscles are necessary in almost every sport. Arms and legs, on the other hand, can only optimally and effectively develop strength against external resistance if the torso offers them a stable abutment. The use of strength training not only builds strength, but also achieves the interaction of strength, endurance and coordination and, in addition to preventing injuries, also contributes to an increase in performance.


By resting the affected body part after an injury, muscles are broken down. Therefore, a cautious approach is required when resuming training. The previous performance limit must first be reached again slowly. Too intense a load should not take place during the first training sessions.

Training at a reduced intensity can be used to build muscle after an injury. In addition, physiotherapy is useful in many cases, in which the muscles affected by the degeneration are trained in a targeted manner. Adequate warm-up of the muscles should always be carried out before the actual sport anyway.

After a sports injury, it is even more important and should not be neglected. After the training session, a so-called “cool-down” can take place, during which the muscle is loaded for a while in the lower intensity range. This prevents unhealthy shortening of the muscle.

Depending on the location of the injury, wearing a supportive bandage can prevent another injury. However, it should be noted that the support function may result in less muscle training. A combination of moderate training and targeted physiotherapy exercises is usually the best choice.

You can do that yourself

Sports injuries are a phenomenon that occurs frequently, especially among active athletes, and can be easily treated with self-help. A prerequisite for self-help, however, is that if a fracture or tear in a structure is suspected, the doctor must be consulted and such a diagnosis confirmed or ruled out.

Sports injuries are often associated with pain and swelling, which should be controlled as soon as possible. Cooling is an important factor in this context. Here it is important to ensure that ice is not applied directly to the affected area, such as a joint, in order to avoid superficial injuries to the skin area. Elevating the joint is also helpful as it reduces blood flow and can often help prevent a large amount of swelling.

Wounds must be treated in such a way that not only does the bleeding stop, but care is also taken to ensure that there are no particles such as dirt or broken glass in them. In this way, regeneration can be accelerated and the risk of infection in the affected area is often significantly reduced. Dressing larger wounds is important. Conservation is very important in the context of self-help. Athletes in particular tend to return to training and competitions too early after sports injuries and run the risk of the old injury making itself felt again.

Sports Injuries