September 3, 2003 at 9:05 PM CDT - Updated June 23 at 3:46 PM
Sports Risks By: Wendy Ray
You see the hits and the blows players get every week on Heartland Football Friday.
Bruises and scrapes are easy to overcome
, but torn muscles and broken bones are another story. Even though the thought of it happening is painful, it's a reality for student athletes and adults who still like to get out and play a game every now and then. You may be surprised how easily a sport injury could happen to you.
Jason Lee never saw his injury coming. "I fell down awkwardly on my right ankle and dislocated it. My ankle was pointed 90 degrees in when I landed," Lee says. It happened several years ago during a basketball game. Lee couldn't even get up off the ground, the pain was so intense. But injuries like his are more common than you might think. Physical therapist Brent Garner says, "You get your ankle injuries, knee injuries, sprains that come and go." That list goes on and on from ligament injuries to tendonitis. Garner says they can happen to anyone, but there are things you can do to decrease your chances of getting hurt. "Your stretching, your strengthening, if you're an athlete there's off season work-outs you can go through," he says.
But there are some things you just can't prepare for, especially in contact sports like football, injuries just happen. Whether you're an athlete or just exercising for your health, the best thing you can do is to stay fit year round. Lee tries to, and protects his ankle whenever he's playing sports. "I haven't had any problems with it, when I play basketball I put a brace on it because I don't want to go through that again," Lee says.
Depending on your injury, rehabilitation can take weeks or months to get you back on track.