In sports or any sort of athletic competition, injuries are a part of the game. Athletes push their bodies to such a degree that eventually, something has to give. Although there is more information available today on sports injuries and how to maintain the body to avoid them, they’re still oftentimes inevitable. These are the sports with the most injuries and which are ranked from sport with the most injuries to sport with the least injuries.
Football-related injuries are the norm. The NFL has been heavily scrutinized for the piling list of injuries and the lack of care the organization has shown its current as well as former players. This isn’t simply an NFL or CFL problem however. No matter the level of football you play, it’s still body contact at the highest level. Football remains one of the dangerous sports to play in Canada or the United States, as it relates to the risk of injury.
Although basketball may surprise some people as the #2 choice on this list, basketball’s still an injury-heavy sport although unlike football, a lot of the injuries tend to be more minor. In many cases, it’s wear-and-tear on the body from the hardwood floors, knee and ankle twisting, and fast play. While basketball’s far from the most dangerous sport on this list, it’s still one wherein athletes must invest the time to properly care for their bodies with common physical therapy and physiotherapy treatment sessions.
Soccer’s a sport of many injuries. While it’s not a contact sport, the speed and contact that there is can cause a lot of harm. Players are also running out there on shoes with spikes on the bottom. That’s a weapon in and of itself. Soccer’s also a low-scoring sport which means every point matters. The play is quick, fast, and risk-heavy, and plenty of careers have come to an end in soccer, including some people who have even died.
4. Professional wrestling
Although not technically a competitive sport, professional wrestling involves athleticism. One might interpret wrestling as ‘fake fighting’ however there’s plenty of body contact, lifting, hitting the floor, and beyond that – unlike the other sports on this list – there is no off-season. Pro wrestlers actually work more than any other athlete in the United States. All of this factors into injuries, ranging from neck injuries to concussions, torn ACLs, shoulder problems, and more.
MMA and boxing are grouped together just because a lot of the training patterns are similar. Athletes train extensively for single fights that generally come few and far between. Unlike other athletes on this list, a lot of MMA injuries end up occurring in training. Then, there’s what happens after the bell has rung. After all, the main goal is to knock the other person out or into submission. Although athletes know fully what they’re getting involved with when they start on a career in boxing and/or MMA, that still doesn’t change the risk of injury.
Hockey’s another high-impact sport wherein concussion, knee injuries, and shoulder injuries are very common. Play moves quickly, there’s a lot of contact, and it’s a sport characterized by toothless athletes in exhaustion. Hockey is fun but it comes with its risks. Although a lot has changed in the past hundred years with padding, helmets, and other accessories to help improve the risk, hockey’s one sport where – similar to football – the risk is always there.
Rugby receives little to no media attention in North America however the argument can be made that it’s one of the most violent sports out there. Think of rugby as a sort of combination of football and soccer, except the players are wearing way less protective gear and making just as much, if not more, contact. The risks in rugby are very real and are seemingly unavoidable as the game relies on players’ body-on-body physicality to get the ball to where it needs to go.
Skiing and snowboarding are grouped together for their similarities and similar rate of injury. Both are incredibly dangerous and the risk of injury, particularly among less experienced athletes, is troubling. A human being is strapped into or on top of a board, in snowboarding for example. Changes in direction or balance can have dire consequences. Add to that speed and the unexpected snow conditions, and every athlete here is bound to run into their share of bloody noses, sore limbs, torn ligaments, and hopefully nothing much worse than that.
9. Baseball and softball
Baseball is a relatively low-risk sport as it relates to injury however they do still occur. Surprisingly, baseball also has the highest fatality rate of any sport among children ages 5 to 14 in the United States. In adults and professional players, a lot of baseball’s injuries focus on the joints around the shoulder and knees. Common baseball injuries include rotator cuff tears, UCL injuries, knee injuries relating to the ACL or MCL, muscle sprains and strains, and spondylolysis.