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What are the signs of an acute sports injury?

While many Pennsylvania residents may think that sport injuries only happen in professional or extreme sports, injuries can and do occur across all age groups and types of sports. Sports injuries can run the gamut from simple muscle strains or a minor sprain all the way to broken bones and traumatic brain injury. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, sports injuries can be classified as either acute or chronic.

While a chronic injury is one that comes from years of playing a sport — often involving repeated impacts or repetitive motions — acute injuries come on more suddenly. These injuries are often the result of a specific accident or trauma, such as a blow to the head, fall or significant impact.

Signs of an acute injury include a sudden appearance of symptoms, severe pain and a visible issue such as a broken bone or dislocated joint. A person with an acute sports injury may also experience swelling around the affected area, extreme tenderness or the inability to move a joint or place weight on the leg or foot.

Sports injuries should always be treated immediately to prevent further damage. In minor cases, the injury may be able to be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation, — often referred to in the sports world as the "RICE" method — but most injuries will require a medical evaluation.

If you or someone you know has been injured while playing sports, depending on the events surrounding the incident and the extent of the injury, a personal injury may be a possibility. Any monies awarded can be used to help pay for physical therapy or other needed treatments.

Source: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, "What Are Sports Injuries? Fast Facts: An Easy-to-Read Series of Publications for the Public" Oct. 04, 2014

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