Taking athletics seriously can sometimes mean putting your body in harm’s way. Even if you do everything by the book, accidents outside of your control can happen. From the tight end on the high school football field to the pro basketball player, Dr. Ron Glousman, an expert in orthopedic surgery, knows that sports injuries are a likely and troublesome part of physical competition. Here are the four most common types keeping players out of the game.

Tear or Strain in the ACL

Knees will always be susceptible to injury, and no part more so than the ligament known as the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament. Sprain or tear can be caused by sudden stopping, sudden change in direction, a sudden slowdown from a run and, of course, taking a direct hit to it. Tears must always be surgically repaired, with plenty of rehab afterward to strengthen the hamstring.

Quad Sprain

Quads are a group of four muscles (hence their name) located in the front of your thigh. Along with hamstrings, powerful muscles of this type enable athletes to run hard, fast and for long distances, making them essential to excel in football and soccer. Yet pushing quads too hard and for too long can cause painful spraining, which may take 10 days or more to heal.

Pulled Hamstring

Like the quads, hamstrings are a group of muscles (three), which run along the back of your thigh. They can also be pulled by simply pushing the muscles too hard one time, or working them when they’re not properly warmed up. Luckily, they heal on their own for the most part, with some rest and some ice, but more serious cases can require surgery.

Getting injured is not only painful, it takes athletes out of the game and away from what they love doing most. With that in mind, it’s always important to listen to your body – if it’s telling you that it’s fatigued and needs to rest, don’t push on and end up hurt!

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