Traumatic injuries account for most injuries in contact sports such as ice hockey, association football, rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules football, Gaelic football and American football because of the dynamic and high collision nature of these sports. Collisions with the ground, objects, and other players are common, and unexpected dynamic forces on limbs and joints can cause injury.

Traumatic injuries can include:

  • Contusion or bruise - damage to small blood vessels which causes bleeding within the tissues.
  • Strain - trauma to a muscle due to overstreching and tearing of muscle fibers
  • Sprain - an injury in a joint, caused by the ligament being stretched beyond its own capacity
  • Wound - abrasion or puncture of the skin
  • Bone fracture
  • Head injury
  • Spinal cord injury

In sports medicine, a catastrophic injury is defined as severe trauma to the human head, spine, or brain.

Concussions amongst athletes became a major issue in the United States in the 2000s. Studies showed evidence connecting repeat concussions with chronic traumatic encephalopathy and increased suicide risk.

Overuse and repetitive stress injury problems associated with sports include:

  • Runner's knee
  • Tennis elbow
  • Tendinosis

Some activities have particular risks:

  • Bicycle safety
  • Gun safety
  • Boating accidents
  • Skateboarding

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