How to Prevent Dislocation in Sports

Posted by The Urgency Room on Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Keywords: Dislocation Injuries

It’s great to encourage your children to become active through sports, but it’s equally important to understand the risks and be prepared for potential injuries. We’re going to walk you through the most common types, causes and how you can stay safe.

Dislocations and Sports

Getting involved in sports is an excellent way to become part of your community and engage in a physically and mentally stimulating activity. However, there are some risks to participating in sports, and injuries aren’t uncommon. 

A study in recent years showed that dislocation injuries account for 3.6% of all sports-related emergency room visits. The majority of those dislocation injuries occurred while playing basketball, which happens to be one of the most popular fall sports for middle and high schoolers. 

What Is a Dislocation?

A dislocation is where a bone in one of your joints gets pushed out of its usual place. 

We have hundreds of joints in our bodies, and these spots are where two bones meet. Any joint can be dislocated, and this type of injury can make it very painful or even impossible to use the affected area. Dislocations also have the potential to strain or injure your surrounding tissues, such as muscles, nerves, tendons, and blood vessels.

Types of Dislocation Injuries in Sports

Under the right conditions, any joint in your body can suffer a dislocation. However, certain dislocation injuries are more common in sports than others. Some of the areas most likely to experience this event include:

  • Fingers
  • Shoulders
  • Knees
  • Elbows
  • Hips
  • Jaws

Cause of Dislocation Injuries

Players on sports teams are often involved in high-intensity physical activity. A fall with enough force can cause a dislocation. Additionally, those involved in contact sports are even more likely to experience dislocation injuries because collisions can easily produce enough force to knock a bone out of its place. 

Essentially, any instance that provides enough force to jolt a bone out of place can cause a dislocation. Along with falls and collisions, this can also happen in sports through other means, such as incorrectly catching a basketball or getting hit by a fast-moving baseball. 

Dislocation Symptoms

Dislocation injuries are often very painful. It’s possible that a person might not notice a dislocation right away while in the middle of a sporting event, especially if it occurs to a finger, due to the high levels of adrenaline they’re experiencing. 

Although, if they experience the following symptoms, they should seek medical treatment as soon as possible:

  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • The affected joint looking noticeably out of place
  • Being unable to move or use the joint
  • A feeling of weakness or instability in the joint

How To Prevent Dislocation in Sports

While accidents happen, there are some ways to prevent experiencing this type of injury while involved in sports. Following these tips will help reduce the potential for a dislocation injury and ensure your child’s physical safety while they play.

  • Always wear the proper protective equipment.
  • Never try to “play through the pain.” If you experience pain, stop playing immediately and assess the situation.
  • Allow for plenty of rest after practices, games, and other times of highly physical activities.
  • Remember to stretch and warm your body properly before working out or playing.
  • Don’t forget to cool your body down with stretching and other activities after working out or playing.

Other Health Concerns to Keep in Mind

Dislocation injuries in sports aren’t uncommon, but there are other things you’ll want to keep in mind while your child plays. It’s important to ensure your child gets the nutrition and hydration needed while playing to prevent other health concerns like dehydration or heat exhaustion

You’ll also want to encourage good personal hygiene to prevent other common sports-related health concerns commonly treated at The Urgency Room, such as athlete’s foot or jock itch.

Will My Child Miss School for a Dislocation?

If your child can still move around comfortably and isn’t in a situation where they’d need to put pressure on their injured joint, then they shouldn’t miss school for a dislocation. 

However, they’ll need to avoid sports and physical activities for several weeks. Some minor dislocations can heal in as little as 4-6 weeks, but more serious injuries can take up to 16 weeks or longer to heal. 

Visit The Urgency Room for Dislocation Injuries

If you believe your child has suffered a dislocation injury, it’s important to seek medical treatment immediately and have them assessed. We treat a variety of injuries and health concerns, and we have the equipment and resources needed to quickly diagnose and treat the injury. 

Make an appointment at our in-person locations if you suspect a dislocation injury.

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