Sports injuries are almost a guarantee if you’re dedicated to any sort of physical activity. When we refer to a sports injury, we mean anything from annoying strains to full-blown breaks and tears. You can only put your body under so much stress before something in you starts to act up.
If you look across a variety of sports, you might notice some patterns in terms of the types of injuries athletes tend to sustain. Thankfully, there is much you can do to nurse soft tissue injury and get back in peak shape faster.
Let’s go over some of these common injuries and how you can address them.
3 Common Sports Injuries
1. Back Injury
There are a few reasons why back injuries are so common.
First of all, you need your back for nearly everything you do, from heavy deadlifts to running a marathon to walking to the mailbox. It’s got a big job to do and the body makes significant demands on it every single day.
Secondly, when we say “back,” we’re really referring to a large area compromised of various tissues, muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments, and bones. There are a lot of moving parts, literally. Some of those moving parts are incredibly small but still carry a huge load. And if one thing goes wrong, if there’s one weak link, it can throw the whole foundation off balance.
Finally, the back is special because along with your hips and glutes, it helps to connect your upper and lower body and bring everything together into one unified skeleton. For this reason, injuries that started elsewhere can sometimes end up in your back.
For instance, nagging lower back pain might not be a back issue at all, but rather a result of tight hip flexors. Or, as another example, a weak core can sometimes translate to back problems.
Your back might not be the start of a soft tissue injury, but it could be the end.
2. Knee Injuries
The knee is in a unique position — a very vulnerable one. It’s the joint that connects the two longest bones in your body. All of your weight passes to and ends in your feet through your knees. Furthermore, the knee’s stability decreases as it bends.
For these reasons, it’s especially prone to injuries.
Similar to the back, knee injuries are often a result of trouble happening elsewhere, particularly the hips. Tight, immobile, or strained hips can turn into significant knee pain. The ankles are also a common culprit.
3. Neck Injury
A third area sports injuries often plague is the neck. Like the back, it’s made up of many muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments, and bones. Neck pain is common because it can come from simple overuse. Pain and injury can also end up there due to problems with your shoulders, arms, head, and jaw.
This can worsen further if the pain originates from a lifestyle habit, such as sitting at a computer for much of the day, staring down at your phone excessively, or sleeping in an awkward position.
This brings us to another important point.
Your Lifestyle Plays a Role, Too
Sports injuries might seemingly be triggered by the physical activity you participate in. However, what we do outside of the gym is just as important and can absolutely contribute to bodily injury — possibly even cause it. One example, we already mentioned: a sedentary lifestyle. Excessive sitting leads to a number of health issues, including weakened muscles, substantially increased pressure on the back, and severely impacted mobility. (And mobility is a common cause of injury!)
Now, imagine hitting the gym under these circumstances. It’s easy to see why this could lead to a sports injury.
Now that you have a good idea of the most common sports injuries, why they occur, and where they come from, let’s move on to something equally (if not more) important: what you can do about them.
Using Electric Muscle Stimulation for Soft Tissue Injury
Electric muscle stimulation (EMS) went from being a sort of buzzword in the fitness industry to a legitimate way to treat pain. It actually originated in doctors’ offices but is now accessible and affordable for the everyday athlete.
How can it help with your sports injury?
Let’s start with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS. TENS is most commonly used for pain relief. PowerDot’s Smart TENS accomplishes this by sending a series of electrical pulses across your skin and nerve strands.
What happens then is these pulses actually distract your brain from the pain signals it’s receiving. According to the Gate Control Theory, a non-painful stimulus such as TENS can close the “gates” to your central nervous system. This is how it prevents your brain from perceiving pain.
Plus, TENS stimulates endorphins — your body’s natural painkillers.
TENS units have been available over-the-counter for quite some time, and for a reasonable cost. However, they’re not usually FDA-approved. PowerDot is, on the other hand.
Additionally, PowerDot uses proprietary algorithms to take the information it collects during your use and create a program specialized for you.
Pick the area of your pain, confirm the kind of discomfort you’re experiencing (such as sports injury-related, chronic, or acute), and set your pain score or tolerance.
Don’t forget, too, that PowerDot is also an NMES device — once again, FDA-approved. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation uses electrical signals to stimulate your slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers.
When this happens, it improves blood flow and circulation, increases strength, flushes out lactic acid, and speeds up recovery — obvious benefits for any athlete experiencing a sports injury.
Injury doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to stop moving your body completely. It means that you need to adapt and temporarily change your approach. Pain can be discouraging, but you can take specific action to feel better sooner rather than later. Using electric muscle stimulation and always keeping your PowerDot device nearby, you can fight pain, quicken recovery, and safely work your way back toward your regular training and lifestyle.
If your sports injury ended up in your back, learn more about how to relieve chronic back pain.Shop PowerDot’s collections today.