While exercising is very good for your overall health, injuries can happen. In most cases, these are minor injuries like bruises or grazes, sometimes a more serious injury like broken bones can occur. Sports injuries can be sudden, or they may be gradual, like repetitive strain problems suffered by many athletes. Most sport related injuries are caused by an accident, incorrect technique, dodgy equipment or not doing a proper warm up before exercising. Injuries become apparent if there is pain and swelling. Here are four of the most common sports injuries and how you should treat them if you think you may have experienced one.

Groin pull

A pull in the groin is experienced when too much stress has been applied to the muscles of the groin and thigh. It is an injury common in sports like hockey and football where players are involved in many sudden lower body movements. If you think you may have strained your groin, apply a cold compress to the area and avoid any sporting activity that could injure you further. If you notice a lot of swelling in the groin, you should consult your doctor.

Shin splints

Runners often experience shin splints. This is a dull pain experienced on the inside of the shinbone that worsens during exercise. They are caused by repeated impact on the area of the leg, which is why they are common among runners and those involved in jumping sports. Shin splints are usually minor and can be treated with rest and ice. Once the swelling has subsided, do some strengthening exercises before gradually returning to activity. However, it is always a good idea to see your physician so they can rule out other potential causes such as stress fractures.

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Rib fracture

Fractured ribs are common injuries in contact sports where hard blows to the chest area are a risk. If your ribs are broken, there will normally be swelling around the site, and the athlete will experience pain when breathing deeply and coughing. If you think you have a rib fracture, it is important to see your physician so they can confirm that this is the correct diagnosis. If your ribs are cracked or broken, a chiropractor may be able to help. The initial pain can also be treated with painkillers and rest from activity.

Ankle sprain

Ankle sprains occur when through exercise the ankle is suddenly bent inwards. It is a very common injury where the ligaments around the ankle bone become stretched or torn. In the most serious of cases this can cause pain, swelling and bruising around the joint. The treatment for ankle sprains is the same for other body sprains and is known in the medical field as PRICE. Protect, rest, ice, compression and elevation. Protect the area from further injury. Rest from the exercise that caused the injury. Apply ice to the injury for the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury. Compress or bandage the injury. And finally, keep the injury elevated.

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