Frequent Injuries Among College And Professional Athletes

TyRel Thompson & Jarod Hamilton, Editor & Lead Reporter

The ten most common injuries in sports are hip flexors, Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears, concussions, groin pulls, shin splints, sciatica’s, tennis or golf elbow, hamstring strains, shoulder injuries, and Patellofemoral syndrome.

Shoulder injuries are the second most common injury in sports and the most common injured joints in the body. The unique and complex anatomy of the shoulder makes it the joint with the highest range of motion, but it is the least stable. This ultimately makes it more prone to strain, repetitive injuries, and aging than other joints.

Two common shoulder injuries are shoulder tears which can leave athletes out of play for about 6-8 months and shoulder sprains which can leave athletes out for 6-8 weeks. These injuries can leave athletes out longer depending on the severity of their injury.

The rehabilitation process is a soul-searching time period for players, due to doubts and negative mindsets on just getting through the injuries and getting back in shape.

A great start to building the strength back in the shoulder is knowing the proper workouts to get it back intact.

“You want to use resistance bands when rehabbing because weights can put a lot of strain on your joints and muscles. A good exercise to use is the YTWL shoulder exercise to help build back that range and motion in the shoulder,” said Markevion Pittman, N.C. A&T Alumnus and personal trainer.

Injuries affect people in many different ways. It has caused some athletes to sit out an entire season of their sport and sometimes more.

One athlete, in particular, is All-Pro Indianapolis Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck. Luck tore the labrum in his right shoulder against the Tennessee Titans near the end of the 2015 NFL season. In early 2016, Luck injured that same shoulder, tearing his AC joint, while he was snowboarding.

These injuries caused Luck to miss the entire 2017 season and during rehabilitation, he considered retiring, or if playing in the league was even worth it.

However, in spite of these doubts, Luck re-emerged in the 2018 season throwing for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns. He was also named to the 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando, FL.

All-Pro quarterback Cam Newton suffered a shoulder injury in the middle of the 2018 NFL season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He played through the injury but, after a painful Monday Night Football performance against the New Orleans Saints, he was sidelined for the remainder of the season.

There are talks Newton may have to sit out for the 2019 NFL season, and there is a lot of question about the future of the NFL’s 2015 Most Valuable Player.

The shoulder plays a pivotal role in the mobility of many aspects levels. Stability in the shoulder is controlled by the soft tissues within it. Whenever those soft tissues such as the labrum or rotator cuff are injured, it prevents the mobility of upper arm movement.

It would be wise to take up advice from an orthopedic specialist on the ways to treat different shoulder injuries. Lack of treatment pertaining to these injuries can cause lifelong problems in the future such as; arthritis, inability to raise the shoulder, and the risk of your joint wearing out due to instability from a shoulder tear.

North Carolina A&T football player Jamaal Darden has been affected by shoulder injuries. Darden has broken both of his shoulders causing him to sit out from playing.

With an injury, this severe a person’s everyday life is definitely impacted in more ways than none.

“I couldn’t do anything comfortably. Waking up in the middle of the night because of pain, it was just so much pain,” said Darden when asked on the impact that the injuries had on him.

Darden came back in the 2017 season, starting in all eight games he played, and he played well with 25 tackles, two interceptions, five pass deflections, and a forced fumble.

In the 2018 season, Darden was second on the team with 57 total tackles, one interception, and four pass deflections.

“At first I tried to tackle different but, after a while, I didn’t think about it, I was just sad that I wasn’t on the field,” said Darden when asked if he thought he’d come back as the same player or not.

Ultimately, Darden is fully recovered from his injuries. He ended his time at North Carolina A&T well. He added another Celebration Bowl win to his name and another championship ring to his finger.

Being an athlete definitely does possess its perks, but, unfortunately, injuries are a big part of playing sports. No one is immune to them, but, depending on a player’s workout routine and overall wellness of their bodies, one could be more fortunate in comparison to others.