Causes of upper limb sports injuries

  • Poor technique
  • Not using proper equipment
  • Pushing oneself too hard

Symptoms of injury

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Restricted movement of that particular affected area

Treating minor sports injuries at home through –


  • Rest
  • Apply Ice
  • Compress the injury with bandage or splint
  • Elevate the injury

What is a sport injury?

Sports injuries are injuries that occur when engaging in sports or exercises. Bruises, strains, sprains, tears, and broken bones can result from sports injuries. Soft tissues like muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and bursae may be affected.

Upper limb injuries occur very frequently in sports and can be caused as a result of a fall whilst playing sports or a direct heavy blow. It can happen because of poor technique, not using proper equipment or if you push yourself too hard. Upper limb, knees and ankles are particularly prone to injury.

What to do if you have an injury?

After an injury you may have pain, swelling, bruising and restricted movement of that particular affected area. Sometimes these symptoms come after several hours of playing sports. Stop playing sports if you feel any pain. Continuing to exercise whilst injured may cause further damage and slow your recovery.

If you have a minor injury with minor above symptoms look after yourself at home. If however you have a severe injury like a broken bone, shoulder or elbow dislocation, severe soft tissue swelling or ligament sprain then you will need to see your doctor.

How do you treat sports injuries?

RICE is often the best first line of treatment for minor acute sports injuries:

  1. Rest the injury
  2. Ice the injury once every hour for 20 minutes.
  3. Compress the injury by wrapping it with a bandage or immobilize with a splint.
  4. Elevate the injury above the heart to decrease blood flow and reduce swelling

If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if your symptoms are severe then you should seek an appointment with your doctor.

When do you ice and when do you heat?

Heat therapy is particularly helpful with chronic conditions, especially muscle stiffness and soreness. Localized stiffness may benefit from heating packs while regional stiffness and denser tissues may respond better to a warm bath.

If the upper limb pain is the result of a recent injury, such as a muscle strain, it’s best to follow the R.I.C.E. method for the first few days then, after about 72 hours, transition to heat therapy is advisable.

What is good for muscle strain?

Rest the strained muscle and apply ice for the first few days after the injury. Anti- inflammatory medicines also help reduce pain and swelling. As the pain decreases, you can use heat on the muscle (after 72 hrs ). Stretching and light exercises to bring blood to the injured area can also be useful.

What is the difference between sprain and strain?

A sprain is a stretch or a tear in a ligament. Ligament is a band of fibrous tissue that connects bone to a bone at your joints. A strain is also a stretch or a tear, but it happens in a muscle or a tendon.

Symptoms of a pulled muscle include:

  1. Bruising, swelling or redness at the injury site
  2. Difficulty using the affected muscle
  3. Muscle weakness
  4. Sudden pain when using the affected muscle
  5. Pain when the muscle is at rest

How to prevent sports injuries?

You can reduce your risk of getting injured by warming up properly before sports, using the right equipment, not pushing your body beyond your current fitness levels and depending on the sport getting it right by training with a qualified fitness trainer or a qualified sports coach.