May 7th, 2021

// Common Joint Problems Athletes Face and How to Overcome Them

Common Joint Problems Athletes Face and How to Overcome Them

Part of being an athlete is pushing yourself, but pushing too hard may result in joint injuries which aren't always something you can overcome on your own. Joint problems can be severe and lead to long-lasting consequences. You must focus on recovery, allow yourself to heal, and get the right treatment to overcome these and other common joint problems for athletes.


A dislocated joint happens when bones are pushed from their sockets and can involve shoulder, hip, knee, elbow, finger, or toe joints. This type of injury is common in contact sports like football and is an emergency that requires immediate joint realignment by a medical professional. Immediate care helps prevent soft tissue damage and lingering pain. Even if you know how to pop your dislocated joint back in place, you may have already sustained damage that will cause long-term discomfort.

Knee Injuries

Complete knee replacement  procedures are common among athletes because there are so many ways a knee can be injured. Knee injuries can happen in contact sports as well as from kicking, jumping, and running. Symptoms can range from slight tenderness to an inability to walk. The joint as well as surrounding ligaments and tissues can be damaged, and injuries can have a cumulative effect, creating pain that gets worse over time. For severe injuries, knee replacement is often the only solution, especially if conservative treatments have failed.

Elbow Problems

Problems with the elbow are almost as common as knee issues. Often lumped together under the general term tennis elbow, arm issues can involve joint damage, tendonitis, and other problems from overuse and abuse that lead to pain, nerve damage, and functional impairment. Specific stretches can help relieve some elbow symptoms. When your doctor focuses only on pain relief and not correcting the underlying issues, though, the problem only gets worse. Insist on a diagnosis and treatment for the underlying injury or disease.

Back Pain

A wide range of problems can cause back pain and numbness, tingling, and weakness in the back. Back pain can also travel down the leg or arm and aggravate other medical conditions. Untreated back pain can lead to permanent back problems, such as neck pain or spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the spinal canal. The first step in treatment is symptom relief through hot or cold compresses, medication, or chiropractic treatment. However, exercises and perhaps even surgery may be necessary to help reduce pain and improve function.

Additionally, problems with the shoulders and hips are common for athletes, especially as you age. While the most common joint problems for athletes vary by sport, every joint concern has a treatment. From compresses to stretching, exercise, and surgery, getting treatment can help you get on with your passion for athletics and maintain top-level performance for as long as possible.


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