Our Caldwell Urgent Care and Family Medicine Practice Helps Get You Back in Action

Regular exercise is essential to physical health and mental well-being. However, playing sports almost always carries a certain measure of risk. Among athletes, injuries are a common—if unwanted—occurrence, often caused by overuse or extreme applications of force. Core Medicine of Idaho is committed to helping Caldwell athletes and sports enthusiasts recover from unexpected accidents and painful overuse injuries. Read more to learn about common sports injuries, or contact us today to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. 

An Overview of Sports Injuries

Almost anyone who leads an active lifestyle could be hurt on the track or in the field, but some people are more likely to sustain injuries than others. Risk factors include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Age, with children and older adults being more susceptible to certain kinds of injuries 
  • Certain types of activities, especially contact sports 
  • Practicing repetitive or choreographed movements which strain the same parts of the body over and over again
  • Failing to wear the proper protective equipment while playing contact sports 
  • Exercising without stretching, warming up, or cooling down 

Acute and Chronic Sports Injuries

Sports injuries can have very different causes, symptoms, and treatment plans. However, most types of sports injuries can be placed into one of two categories: 

Both acute and chronic conditions can take professional athletes and weekend warriors off the playing field for extended periods. Although some minor injuries can heal on their own, without the need for prolonged bed rest or a professional intervention, many seemingly low-grade wounds can have longer-term consequences. Recognizing the early-warning symptoms of an injury and taking appropriate action is often crucial to ensuring a rapid recovery. 

Assessing the Symptoms of a Sports Injury

Indications of a medical issue generally depend on the type of injury, its cause, and what parts of the body are affected. Some of the more common indications of a traumatic or emerging injury may include: 

  • Aches and pain lasting longer than expected or don’t respond to over-the-counter medication 
  • Bruising or swelling around the site of a suspected injury 
  • Difficulty moving an appendage, limb, or joint
  • Difficulty putting weight on an appendage, limb, or joint
  • Hearing a loud pop or crack after sustaining a sudden impact or twisting a limb
  • Skin that feels warm to the touch 

Many sports injuries can be surprisingly complex and may involve damage to various parts of the body. Furthermore, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries display subtle cognitive effects, which could cause confusion or a general feeling of uneasiness. 

Diagnosing a Sports Injury

Minor sports injuries such as cuts and bruises can usually be diagnosed and treated at home. However, if your condition is the source of significant pain or is taking longer than expected to heal, a visit to urgent care may be needed to accurately identify the origin of injury-related symptoms. At Core Medicine of Idaho, our experienced team of providers takes a multifaceted approach to diagnosis. We might: 

  • Conduct a physical examination to locate the probable site of injury.
  • Review your symptoms and assess how they affect your mobility.
  • Order imaging tests—such as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI—to check for internal damage, like a fractured or displaced bone.

Most Common Types of Sports Injuries Health care professional helping patient with lower leg sports injury

Sports injuries can affect almost any body part, from the head, brain, and neck to legs, toes, and feet. However, most are diagnosed in the joints of different extremities—the parts of the body most often involved in producing and sustaining motion, such as: 

  • Achilles tendon
  • Ankles and feet 
  • Elbows 
  • Head
  • Knee
  • Shoulders

Athletes are more likely to sustain specific injuries to the ankles and shoulders than people who lead comparatively sedentary lifestyles. Let’s review some of the most common sports injuries. 

Bone and Growth Plate Fractures

A fracture is a break in a bone caused by trauma often triggered by either a sudden, intense application of force or more gradual overuse. Most fractures are categorized as: 

  • Acute fractures. These are caused by slip and falls, blows, and other applications of physical force. An acute fracture can involve damage to a small region of the bone or more than one part of the musculoskeletal system. 
  • Stress fractures. These typically affect bones involved in load-bearing. They’re common in dancers, runners, and gymnasts. 

Growth plate fractures are unique to children. Small regions of cartilage located on either side of many of the body’s major bones expand as children grow taller and older. 


This condition is a separation of bones that connect to form a joint. Dislocations are common contact sports injuries and usually require immediate medical attention. Symptoms include immediate and intense pain. 

Sprains and Strains 

A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament—bands of connective tissue that join bones to one another. Strains are twists, pulls, or tears of tissue connecting muscle to bone. Both sprains and strains can be caused by sudden trauma or overuse. 

Shoulder Injuries 

Some athletes have a higher-than-normal risk of shoulder injuries. The most common include: 

  • Rotator cuff injuries. A group of muscles and tendons help stabilize the shoulder joint, healing the rotator cuff might require several different treatment methods.  
  • Impingement. This happens when the top of the shoulder blade puts pressure on the soft tissue underneath it. Impingement-related injuries can lead to further complications, such as tendinitis and bursitis. 
  • Instability. When the upper arm bone is displaced from its socket, connecting tissues—such as tendons, muscles, or ligaments—become loose, increasing the risk of sustaining similar injuries in the future. 

Elbow Injuries

These are frequently caused by chronic use and repetitive motion. At Core Medicine of Idaho, we often see patients with: 

  • Tennis elbow, triggered by the progressive tearing of the tendons in that area. Professionals who work with their hands and arms, like carpenters, can also develop tennis elbow. 
  • Golfer’s elbow, which causes pain on the inside of the joint. In some cases, this pain spreads to the forearm and wrist. 
  • “Little League” elbow, a common condition in children and young adults, and most often the result of repetitive throwing. Children with this condition may feel dull or recurring pain around the inner part of their elbow, especially in their throwing or pitching arm. 

Knee and Leg Injuries

The lower body is vital to most activities, so it’s no surprise that many sports-related injuries affect this area, such as:

  • Runner’s knee. This painful and sometimes chronic condition causes pain and tenderness under the kneecap. Hikers and cyclists are at risk for runner’s knee, too. 
  • Meniscal tears. The meniscal cartilage helps absorb shock when running or jumping and can be damaged if an athlete twists or lands at an awkward angle. Many meniscal tears are also due to knee ligament damage.
  • Groin pulls. These are inner thigh muscle strains. People who play sports like hockey, football, and baseball are more likely to pull their groin muscles. 
  • Shin splints. An injury prompted by inflammation of the muscles, tendons, or bone tissue. Shin splints are painful, with symptoms usually emanating from the inner edge of the lower leg bone. 

Ankle Injuries

Ankle sprains—caused by a twisted, rolled, or awkwardly turned ankle—are the most common type of ankle injuries. However, some athletes could develop Achilles tendonitis, a more complex syndrome provoked by a stretch or tear to the tough tendon connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone. Achilles tendonitis can be chronic and may require a surgical intervention to correct it permanently. 

Count on Our Quality Care to Get You Back in the Game

Our medical professionals are highly skilled in triaging acute needs and prioritizing care for those who need it most. We provide professional interventions and in-office procedures to put you on the road to recovery. Our Caldwell urgent care services typically have shorter wait times and lower treatment costs than an average trip to the emergency room. Best of all, we have walk-in options and same-day appointments available for patients with acute medical conditions.

Core Medicine of Idaho is proud to serve patients of all ages throughout Canyon County for their family medicine needs, including residents of Caldwell, Middleton, Nampa, Star, and the surrounding areas. We accept many forms of insurance and offer self-pay and cash options. Contact us today by calling or texting 208-508-0345 or completing our online form to make an appointment.