Sports Injuries

We have information on hundreds of sports injuries and conditions. We explain symptoms & diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation exercises.

If you are not sure what your injury is try our sports injury symptom checker.

Select from injury/pain location:

Sports Injuries by type

Most sports injuries are related to either muscle, joints or bone:

Sports Injuries Affecting Children

Muscle injuries

The following are different types of sports injury which are muscle related:

Muscle strains

A muscle strain is a tear of muscle, or part of the muscle. Muscles contract to produce movement and strains are some of the most common acute (sudden onset) sports injuries.


A contusion is a muscle injury caused by direct trauma or impact. The muscle is often crushed against the bone. Often referred to as a ‘charley horse’ or a ‘dead leg’, the most common sites for a contusions are in the thigh, lower leg, shoulder and arm.

Myostis ossificans

Myositis ossificans can occur as a complication of not treating a contusion correctly. It involves a small growth of bone within the muscle and usually occurs a while after the original injury.

Compartment syndrome

Compartment syndromes occur when the muscle swells up too big for the sheath that surrounds it. Compartment syndromes can be acute (sudden onset) caused by bleeding withing the muscle. This is often a medical emergency so seek professional advice immediately. Chronic (gradual onset) compartment syndromes are caused by the muscle growing too big for the sheath surrounding it.


Cramp is a painful involuntary contraction of the muscle. Cramp affects most hard training athletes at some point in time, with the hamstring muscles commonly affected.

Tendon strain

A Tendon strains is a tear of a tendon which joins muscle to bone. Not to be confused with a sprain which occurs in ligaments which join bone to bone.

Fascia tear

This is a tear to the fascia or sheath that surrounds a muscle, or part of a muscle. If the fascia is torn, then blood can escape the muscle compartment resulting in visible bruising.


This is delayed onset muscle soreness and occurs 24 to 48 hours following a bought of hard, or unacustomed exercise.


This is a gradual onset injury to a tendon, usually resulting from overuse. It is often linked to or confused with tenonitis. The ‘itis’ infers acute inflammation, which may be present. However, most chronic tendon injuries are the result of wear and tear, hence tendinopathy is a more appropriate term.

Bone injuries

The following sports injuries occur in bones:

  • Acute fractures
  • Periosteal contusion
  • Stress fractures
  • Apophysitis
  • Osteitis
  • Periostitis

Joint injuries

Injuries to joints result in damage to a range of structures:

  • Ligament sprains
  • Meniscus tear
  • Articular cartilage
  • Dislocations
  • Impingement


Learn about sports injuries the easy way with our simple, fun sports injury quizzes.


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