Whether you’re a professional athlete who has been playing a sport for years or a beginner, your body is prone to a number of hand and wrist injuries when you’re on the field.
The risks surrounding an athlete’s injuries are very high. There are time constraints when it comes to the healing period because you’re required to join your team at the earliest. You have to remain physically fit; but during an injury, following a fitness routine is often impossible.
Sometimes, when you’ve incurred an injury, you might not even realize that you’re injured. This often makes the injury more severe. In case of a prolonged injury, you may even risk losing your place in your team.
Having knowledge of common injuries can help in preventing and treating them. We have prepared a list of 5 common hand and wrist injuries that athletes encounter.
Tennis elbow, clinically known as lateral epicondylitis, occurs when the muscles and tendons near the elbow joint are overused. It happens when you’re constantly putting too much pressure on your wrist and arm. While the injury happens on the forearm, the pain may extend to your arm and hand, making it difficult for you to extend your arm. According to a study, it takes 3 to 18 months to recover from tennis elbow.
It’s one of the most common basketball and volleyball injuries. It occurs because of the forced motion towards the proximal interphalangeal joint. It can happen when you’re trying to catch the ball, but instead, the ball hits the tip of your finger. Depending on how hard the ball has smashed against your finger, it can either result in a small bruise or cause serious dislocation and finger fractures.
Scaphoid fractures occur when your scaphoid bone breaks. The scaphoid bone is situated near your thumb, between your hand and forearm. This injury is frequently seen in sports that have a high use of wrist like tennis, and badminton. It occurs when you fall on an outstretched hand.
You might not realize that you have a scaphoid fracture immediately after the fall. However, after a few days, you’ll feel pain, swelling, and bruising on the thumb side of your wrist.
A study published by the World Journal of Orthopedics stated that scaphoid fractures account for 85% of carpal bones injuries among athletes.
It causes pain and inflammation in the tendons that join your forearm to the elbow. It’s common among golf, tennis, and baseball players who frequently use their wrist while playing. It’s similar to tennis elbow except it occurs on the inside of the tendon. It results in pain and tenderness when you stretch your muscles out. It can also reduce the strength in your grip.
Gamekeeper’s thumb, also known as skier’s thumb, occurs when your ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is ruptured. Your UCL is located near the metacarpophalangeal joint where your thumb connects with your hand. It’s common among skiers and occurs when an athlete exerts continuous pressure on the thumb. According to a study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, UCLs account for 86% of all thumb-related injuries sustained by athletes.
Sometimes, when you encounter an injury while playing sports, you might not realize it until your pain gets worse. So when an injury occurs, take a break from the game. Gently massage it or use an ice bag. Talk to your trainer and seek their advice. If the pain gets worse, you should seek medical help. Proper diagnosis of the injury can help prevent future risks of severe harm.
At Divergent Healthcare, our physical therapists and medical practitioners will diagnose your injury and recommend a treatment plan for you. Besides your treatment, we will also educate you on ways you can prevent injuries in the future. Our services include wrist pain treatment, chronic pain management, and massage therapy. If you’re in Calgary, get an appointment with us by calling us at 403 909 8111.