Injuries to the foot can be acute (sudden onset) or chronic which come on gradually often through overuse. We have categorised foot pain injury heel pain, midfoot pain, forefoot pain including pain under the ball of the foot, toe injuries and skin conditions such as athletes foot and blisters. If you have suffered a recent foot injury then you should apply immediate first aid for foot pain. We also explain under which circumstances you should see a doctor.
Ankle injuries are classified as sudden onset (acute ankle injuries) or gradual onset injuries, often referred to as chronic injuries. The most common ankle injury is a sprained ankle. However, there may be other complications that arise from ankle sprains which are not initially diagnosed.
Shin pain usually occurs gradual and affects the inside lower part of the shin but can also affect the outside of the shin. Calf pain can be sudden onset or acute such as in a calf strain or it can develop gradually through overuse.
Sudden onset or acute knee injuries are usually the result of twisting or a hard impact and will likely involve ligament, tendon or cartilage joint injury. Pain which comes on gradually can affect the front (anterior), back (posterior), inside (medial) or outside of the knee (lateral knee pain). If you are not sure what is causing your pain then why not try our sports injury symptom checker.
Thigh pain can occur at the back of the thigh as in a hamstring strain or at the front with a quadriceps muscle strain. Most thigh injuries are sudden onset but can also be chinic injuries and occur gradually, especially if an acute injury has not been treated correctly or healed properly.
Buttock hip and groin pain is often connected or might be pain referred from another area such as the lower back. The hip and groin area is one of the most challenging areas of the body to treat by sports injury specialists. The reason for this is that there are a large number of possible structured that can be injured and cause pain in this area and also because most of the structures are very deep within the groin area (including the hip joint).
If you have sustained any kind of head injury it is always advisable to seek medical attention. A direct blow to the head can be a minor injury right through to something more serious or even death.
Shoulder injuries can be either acute or chronic depending on when they are diagnosed and how long the pain / disability has been felt for. If you are not sure what your injury is why not check out our symptom checker! Or use the links below to view specific shoulder injuries. An acute shoulder injury occurs suddenly either through direct impact, over stretching a muscle, tendon or ligament, overusing a muscle or tendon or twisting of the shoulder joint. The top five most common categories of shoulder injury are listed below.
Arm and elbow pain covers pain on the outside of the elbow (lateral elbow pain), inside elbow pain (medial elbow pain), pain at the back of the elbow, upper arm pain and forearm pain.
The most common wrist and hand injuries are wrist sprains and fractures (broken wrist or broken finger). Sudden onset injuries are called acute injuries and are usually caused by a fall onto the hand with an outstretched arm or a forced twisting movement. If a broken bone (fracture) is suspected, then always seek medical advice immediately. Gradual onset injuries or chronic injures occur over a period of time and often cannot be traced back to a single incident or cause.
Back pain can be particularly difficult to diagnose due to the complexity and the number of structures and tissues in the lower back that can cause pain. The most common causes are slipped discs and this can sometimes cause leg pain called Sciatica. In addition, scoliosis, spinal canal stenosis, spondylytis, spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, spondylosis, transverse process fracture, facet joint pain and more.
Chest pain in the athlete can be anything from indegestion to a heart attack so if you are at all unsure seek medical advice. Moderate to severe chest injuries should always be assessed by a doctor to ensure the ribs, lungs or other internal organs including the heart have not been affected or damaged. However, in view of the possible consequences from any chest or abdominal injury, if in doubt, always consult a doctor.
Upper back and neck injuries are relatively rare in sport and more often occur from activities of daily living, such as waking up with a wry neck (torticollis). Neck injuries that are sustained in sport must be taken very seriously, especially if they are associated with symptoms of concussion or referred pain into the shoulders and arms.
This section covers general medical conditions that do not fit into specific areas of the body.
View sports specific injuries here.