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Sports Injuries

If you're exercising at home, sports injuries are worth having some knowledge about so that you can make sure you look after yourself while you exercise.

When there's no qualified personal trainer on hand to keep an eye on you, you'll need to be particularly aware of the risk of sports injuries.

Sports injuries are most commonly caused in one of three ways: by overuse of a muscle group, by direct impact, or by applying more force to a body part than it can structurally withstand.

They are also divided into acute or chronic injuries. An acute injury happens suddenly, for example if you trip and sprain your ankle. A chronic injury is the result of overusing the same joints or muscle groups. Incorrect technique can also lead to the development of a chronic injury.

Here are some of the most common problems and their symptoms:


Caused by small bleeds under the skin after a blow

Cuts and abrasions

Usually caused by falls, and most common on the hands and knees

Sprained ankle

Symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness


Mild, reversible brain injury, sometimes including loss of consciousness, caused by a blow to the head. Symptoms include dizziness, headache and short-term memory loss

Hamstring strain

Symptoms include swelling, bruising and pain

Knee joint injuries

Can affect the ligaments, tendons or cartilage. Symptoms include swelling, pain and stiffness

Nose injury

A direct blow can cause either a nose bleed or broken nose

Stress fractures

Caused by repeated jumping or running on hard surfaces


Loss of fluid can cause heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Seek medical advice if you hurt yourself while exercising, because you could be hurt more seriously than you realise. For example, you may think you've sprained your ankle when you've actually fractured the bone.