Twisting joints: Knowing which joint is at risk because of your favourite sport/hobby

As we all know ‘prevention is better than cure’. So, if you knew which body part could get injured while enjoying that weekly game of cricket, basketball or football, wouldn’t you be more careful?

Joint injuries are among the most common type of sports injuries.

What can cause joint injuries?
Joints are the location where bones connect. Poor training practices, improper equipment and inadequate warm up or stretching, over training or an accidental incident such as awkward landing can all lead to joint injuries.

What are the joints at risk and what are the common types of injuries?
Knees – runner’s knee and jumper’s knee
Runner’s knee occurs when there is repetitive movement of the kneecap against the thigh bone. Activities like running, basketball and volleyball can trigger runner’s knee.
Jumper’s knee is a condition in which there is swelling in the tissue connecting the kneecap to the shin bone. In sports like badminton, where frequent jumping on hard surfaces is involved, overuse of the knee joint may lead to jumper’s knee.

Elbows – tennis elbow
Overuse of or repeated pressure on the elbow joint can cause tennis elbow. As the name suggests, swinging of the elbow in activities like tennis or golf can trigger tennis elbow. This condition more commonly affects individuals in the age group of 30-60 years.

Shoulders – joint dislocations and joint sprains
Shoulder dislocation occurs when the upper arm bone snaps out of the cup shaped socket in the shoulder. This can happen when a person falls with the arms outstretched. There is a risk for shoulder dislocation in contact sports such as football and hockey and activities such as gymnastics and volleyball.

In sports like hockey and rugby, players often fall on their shoulders. This may manifest as a mild to moderate swelling on top of the shoulder due to spraining of the shoulder joint, which connects the shoulder blade with the collarbone. More severe injuries may result in the edge of collarbone appearing as a bump under the skin.

Ankles –ankle sprains and ankle fractures
Have you or are you going to run in a marathon? Do you normally run daily for to maintain good health? If yes, then you have either experienced or may experience ankle sprains. When the ankle joint is twisted too far out of its normal position, it may get sprained. Ankle sprains are accompanied by pain, swelling and bruising. Individuals with a sprained ankle may even find it difficult to walk.

If you have injured your ankle and it is tender or aches when you touch it, then it could be an ankle fracture.
The next time you are in the badminton court or on the cricket field, be a more cautious of any pain or swelling in the joints.