The Average Recovery Times for Common Sports Injuries

If you suffer a sports injury, the first thing on your mind will likely be how long it will take for you to recover. Here, we outline exactly how long you can expect to be out of action for common sports injuries.

While injuries are no one’s idea of a fun time, they’re an inevitable part of playing sports. No matter what sport you play, it’s guaranteed that you have been forced out of action with an injury in the past. It may have been a minor muscular injury, or something much more serious!

The Average Recovery Times for Common Sports InjuriesThe recovery time for various injuries will, of course, depend on a wide range of different factors, but there is usually an average recovery time associated with specific injuries. For example, you might only expect to be recovering for a few weeks with a sprained ankle. However, you might be recuperating for months if you’re forced to make a serious injury claim for a broken bone.

In this post, we’ve detailed what some of the most common sports injuries are, how they might occur and how long you can expect to be recovering for if you experience them. Be sure to read on below to find out more…

6 Common Sports Injuries and Their Recovery Times

1) Hip Flexor Strain

When you lift your knee towards your body, this takes the work of various different muscles, known collectively as your hip flexors. It’s very easy for people playing sports to strain hip flexors, especially if they’re overused, which can result in them becoming inflamed, sore, or painful.

The typical signs that you have suffered from a hip flexor injury are mild to severe pain and restricted movement. It may also be the case that there is visible swelling or bruising on the hip or thigh area.

Typically, it will take a few weeks for a hip flexor injury to completely heal, with severe cases taking as long as six weeks. As can be expected, failing to properly rest after suffering a hip flexor injury is only likely to make the injury worse.

Understanding the difference between malpractice and negligence becomes crucial when seeking compensation for a hip flexor injury, particularly if it was misdiagnosed or mistreated by a healthcare professional. In cases where the injury's severity is exacerbated by improper care, distinguishing between malpractice vs. negligence can significantly impact the legal approach and potential outcomes.

2) Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a condition that effects the *drumroll please* elbow, where overuse or repeated action of the muscles near the joint lead to pain. 

Tennis elbow, unsurprisingly, is a condition many tennis players are forced to deal with, but it’s also something that may occur when playing a number of other sports. The typical signs of tennis elbow are pain on the outside of the elbow, which may travel down the forearm when lifting or bending, gripping small objects, or twisting the forearm.

Unfortunately, it can take a very long time for tennis elbow to completely heal. On average, it can take between 6 months to 2 years to reach a full recovery. 

3) Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

ACL injuries are notoriously among the worst injuries anyone can experience while playing sports as, in some cases, they can bring an end to someone’s sporting career. The ACL is one of the bands of tissue that connect your femur to your tibia, so it goes without saying that injuring it can prove to be incredibly painful.

Anyone experiencing an ACL injury is likely to experience a popping sensation in their knee, followed by swelling and severe pain. 

The severity of an ACL injury will determine the recovery time, as well as the method used. Minor ACL sprains may result with about six weeks of recovery time, while an ACL tear may remove the knee’s function for a number of years. For very serious ACL injuries, surgery is usually required to repair the joint.

The Average Recovery Times for Common Sports Injuries4) Shin Splints

The term ‘shin splints’ refers to pain someone might experience along their tibia. They are particularly common among runners, dancers and gymnasts, who all put significant pressure on this part of their legs.

Shin splints are particularly common among athletes who have recently changed or intensified their training routines. Typical signs of shin splints are tenderness, soreness or pain along the inner side of the shinbone.

Minor shin splints should heal themselves within a few weeks, but failing to properly rest can extend this recovery time to at least 3 months.

5) Hamstring Strain or Pull

Your hamstring is the large muscle at the back of the thigh. Suffering a hamstring injury is very common among athletes, as the hamstring takes on plenty of stress when quickly changing direction.

When you injure your hamstring, you’ll likely feel an immediate pain and tenderness at the back of your thigh, with some swelling and bruising for more serious pulls.

The severity of a hamstring injury usually defines how long it takes to recover. ‘Grade 1’ tears take days, ‘grade 2’ tears take weeks, while ‘grade 3’ tears take months.

6) Concussion

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that temporarily affects your brain function. While many people think that you have to lose consciousness to be concussed, this is not necessarily the case.

When playing contact sports, it can be very easy to experience a concussion, which is why it’s important to be aware of the signs that can indicate someone has experienced one. The signs and symptoms of a concussion are numerous, but they’re likely to include a headache, nausea, blurry vision and dizziness. It is equally important to know when to go to ER for a concussion.

The Average Recovery Times for Common Sports InjuriesIt’s estimated that around 80 percent of concussions are resolved within 2 weeks. During that time, someone who has experienced one should not return to play sports under any circumstances, as this can set them back even further, and possibly cause further complications.

Are There Any Other Common Sports Injuries that You’d Like to Know More About?

In this post, we’ve taken a closer look at some of the most common sports injuries and how long you can expect to be recovering for if you’re unlucky enough to experience them. Naturally, there are plenty of other variables that can affect how long it takes to recover, but you stand the best chances of a speedy recovery if you make sure to take it easy.

Are there any other common sports injuries you’d like to know more about? Feel free to leave a comment below with your suggestions!

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.

Photo credits:

Photo 1 – Towfiqu Barbhuiya via Unsplash

Photo 2 – Terry Shultz via Unsplash

Photo 3 – Fakurian Design via Unsplash


About Lauren

Lauren is the Content & Community Manager for Wellness Force Media. According to Lauren, wellness is about finding gratitude and joy in doing any type of physical or self-care activity that we love. Wellness means providing ourselves with self-love, good nutrition, and the inner peace that our individual minds and bodies need.

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One Response

  1. I like that you talked about how the recovery time for various injuries would depend on a wide range of different factors. My friend recently got injured while playing sports and it seems he wants to recover faster. He should probably see a professional and ask for sports injury treatments.

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