More than 10 million sports injuries occur each year, most of which are due to traumatic injury or overuse of muscles or joints. Knowing your body and how much it can take during a strenuous physical workout may help you prevent injury, but most athletes suffer from some form of injury sooner or later. Recognizing the symptoms of an injury before it becomes worse may help you to reduce pain and recover more quickly. Sprains, strains, and bruises are easily noticed because of particular symptoms, such as skin discoloration or swelling, but other injuries can easily be overlooked. For instance, if you have joint stiffness or impaired movement in a knee, you might have torn cartilage, or if a small bump appears on your shoulder you may have sustained a slight shoulder separation. In most cases, broken bones are noticed right away, but stress fractures are often disregarded and not taken seriously. There’s usually little or no swelling in bone-stress fractures, but pain and tenderness often increases during movement. Inflammation is a healing response to injury, and is usually accompanied by swelling, heat, redness and pain. If you experience these symptoms, you may have unknowingly sustained an injury.
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