Sports injuries


HCA UK has the expertise to diagnose a range of sports related sprains, splints and strains

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About sports injuries

Sports-related injuries are injuries that occur during sport or exercise. They can occur for a number of reasons,but are most commonly the result of a fall, heavy blow, using equipment incorrectly, not warming up properly, or pushing yourself too hard.

Injury mainly occurs in the muscles, bones, joints and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments).

Need to know

The most common type of sports injuries occur in the ankle, foot, wrist, thumb, knee, leg or back. They can be a sprain, strain or splint. 

  • A sprain: when a ligament is twisted, stretched or torn.
  • A strain: when muscle fibres are torn (or pulled).
  • A splint (such as shin splint): when the tissue around the bone is inflamed.

The most common symptoms of sports injuries

  • Pain, tenderness, swelling and bruising of an area that occurs immediately while playing sport or exercising.
  • Restricted movement or stiffness in the area that is affected In some cases symptoms may only occur several hours after you have played sports or exercised.

If you have severe pain or injury, you should visit your nearest Emergency department straight away.

If your symptoms are minor, you may be able to manage them yourself with pain relief, by resting the affected area and by applying an ice pack. If they don't improve in time, contact your GP or consultant for advice.

Sports injuries can be diagnosed in several ways. Your GP or consultant will discuss your symptoms with you. Tests they recommend may include:

  • physical examination of the affected area to check for pain, swelling or restricted movement
  • X-ray to check for torn tendons and ligaments

Treatment options for sports injuries depend on the type of injury you have and your overall health and fitness. These may include:

Our Sports injuries locations

Institute of Sport Exercise and Health (ISEH)

170 Tottenham Court Road W1T 7HA London
The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.