Whether you're an avid athlete or a weekend warrior, sports injuries are a common occurrence. While some of these injuries can be managed with at-home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, there are some instances where orthopedic care is necessary. 

Here are some of the most common sports injuries that require professional orthopedic treatment. 

Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff is actually four muscles and their tendons which stabilize the shoulder joint. This type of injury is most commonly seen among people who do a lot of overhead activities, such as throwers, swimmers, weightlifters, and baseball players. These types of tears usually occur when lifting heavy objects or falling onto an outstretched arm. Symptoms include pain in the shoulder and upper arm that worsens when raising your arm overhead or reaching behind your back.

An orthopedic doctor can diagnose this tear through tests such as X-rays or MRI scans and then treat it with physical therapy, steroid injections, or even surgery if needed. You can also work with the doctor to create an individualized treatment plan to get you back on track.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the shin bone and thigh bone. It helps provide stability during movement, such as changing direction quickly while running or jumping up for a layup during basketball games. ACL injuries are common among athletes who play contact sports like football or soccer. However, they can also occur from noncontact activities, such as landing awkwardly after jumping up for a rebound in basketball.

Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may involve rest and rehabilitation exercises to help restore strength and flexibility in the affected area. If surgery is required, an orthopedic surgeon will be able to advise on what procedure would best suit your situation.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow (or lateral epicondylitis) occurs when tendons in your forearm become irritated due to overuse from repetitive motions like serving in tennis or golf swings—hence its name. Unfortunately, for many athletes who suffer from this condition, simple home remedies such as rest and icing can often only provide temporary relief before their symptoms return with even more intensity than before.

Orthopedic care is often recommended for cases like this since doctors may prescribe physical therapy programs designed to reduce pain while building strength in your wrist and forearm muscles. This way, you can get back to playing without any issues.

Sports injuries are an unfortunate consequence of being active—but that doesn't mean you have to put up with them. If you experience any type of pain that persists despite home remedies and OTC medications, it may be time to seek orthopedic care from an experienced specialist. They can diagnose your condition accurately and provide effective treatment options so you can get back into action quickly and safely.

Contact a local sports medicine service to learn more.