Sports injuries are a very real and very serious impairment that can be disguised as something else.  A couple years ago I was training for a marathon (26.2 miles).  Even though I had trained for a marathon before, I had it in my head that I wanted to be the strongest runner I could be going into the marathon.  My personal training scheduled included 4 days of heavy lifting plus 4-5 days of running.  When you add this together, I was training approximately 1.5 – 2.5 hours on a regular basis.  To top it off, I wasn’t consuming enough calories to keep up with not only the physical demands of my workout but also my work schedule that kept me constantly on my feet.

While I was increasing my running mileage, running 12+ miles on long run days, I was feeling an odd pain in my right hip, gluts area.  Due to prior experience and knowledge I thought I was experiencing piriformis, a muscle in your gluts,  tightness.  Since I was in training, I tried to “fix the problem” by foam rolling and having massages.  After an 1.5 hour long massage and constantly telling my massage therapist that she could dig even deeper into this muscle in the hope that it would break up the myofascia I couldn’t get rid of the pain.  Finally, after dealing this this debilitating pain and inability to walk for three weeks I went to the doctor.  After a couple physical tests and an MRI the results were in…fracture in my right fewer which meant crutches for the next 6 weeks.

I tell my story because sports injuries can be very difficult to diagnose as athletes, recreational or professional, as they may not completely stop us from doing activities of daily living.  So what are sports injuries you might ask, in a broad sense they refer to injuries that occur as an accident caused by poor training, improper equipment, lack of condition, or insufficient warm-up/stretching.


Common types of sports injuries include:

  • Muscle Sprains
    • Sprain –> stretch or tear of a ligament, connective tissue that joins the end of one bone with another.
      • Caused by trauma such as a fall or blow to the body that knocks a joint out of position
      • Areas most vulnerable to sprains include: ankles, knees and wrists.
      • Signs of a sprain include: pain, bruising, inflammation, swelling, inability to move a limb, and more.
  • Knee Injuries
    • Can sometimes be known as “runner’s knee” which includes pain or tenderness close to, under or on the sides of the knee cap
    • Injuries to the knee can be caused from a blow to or twist of the knee, running too hard, too much, or without proper warm-up.
  • Shin Splints
    • Refers to pain along the tibia or shin bone which is located in the from or lower part of the leg.
    • The pain can occur at the front outside of the lower leg including the foot and ankle.
    • This injury is primarily seen in runners.
    • Risks for shin splints increase with overuse, incorrect running technique, improper running shoes, overtraining and more.
  • Achilles Tendon Injuries
    • These injuries occur for a stretch, tear, or irritation to the tendon connecting the calf muscle to the back of the heel.
    • Achilles Tendon Injuries occurs in individuals who do not exercise regularly or stretch properly
  • Fractures
    • This is a break in the bone that occurs due to a one-time injury to the bone or from repeated stress to the bone over time.
    • Symptoms of a stress fracture is pain at the site that gets worse with weight-bearing activities.
    • Stress fracture –> occur mainly in the feet and legs and are common in sports that have repetitive impact like running and jumping.


Even though this is not an all encompassing list of all the injuries that can occur the best measure when pain occurs is to rest, ice and stretch.  If things don’t improve over the course of a couple days it is time to visit your primary care physician! Finally, don’t let this injury discourage you but use it as a way to learn how to making your training program better the next time around.