Professional sports and injuries go hand in hand. While professional sports are all about pushing your body to your limit, injuries typically occur when a body has been pushed too hard.
Bruises, strains and cuts are common and can be played through despite a bit of pain - but what about the injuries that mean you have to rest up and take some time off? These are what professional sports hate the most, and are investing millions in sports science medicine trying to prevent. After all, no one wants their star player out on the sidelines for an extended period of time.
Here at AceOdds, we’ve decided to look into injuries across multiple sports to answer that age old question… which athletes are the toughest?
A study from UK Sport showed that 43% of athletes will get at least one injury per season, with the Emergency Medicine Journal (EMJ) attributing 70% of those to soft tissue injuries.
The question is, though, how often does a player typically get injured in their chosen sport? There are plenty of sports out there to choose from, and not all sports are created equally.
|Sport||Injury %||Games before Injury|
|Jump Horse Racing||6.09||16.4|
|Flat Horse Racing||0.41||244.8|
According to our research, jump horse racing is the most dangerous with a 6.09% chance of injury, which means they’re likely to pickup an injury within 16 times of going out on the course.
By this logic, you would assume that sports involving horses were the most dangerous, when actually, horse racing on a flat surface proved to be the least dangerous with an injury percentage of 0.41% so they’d expect to pickup an injury every 244 races. Perhaps removing the jumps all together would save a lot of broken bones in the long run!
The most dangerous sport not involving a horse proved to be American Football, with a 4.10% chance of injury - which means they’re likely to get injured around the 24-game mark.
Of the most common injuries in football, the vast majority are based in the… you guessed it: legs. Accounting for 90.8% of all injuries, it’s safe to say that football is pretty tough on your legs. Complaints about hamstring strains, and knees/ankles injuries were the most frequent causes for concern in this sport.
Somewhat surprisingly, head injuries were the second most common injury, just ahead of arm injuries. The most common head injury was a concussion, which appears to be a running theme across most contact sports.
Sometimes it feels like your team is the only one who ever gets so many injuries piled up. Unluckily for you, if your team is Newcastle, Liverpool or Everton you may very well have a case! All three northern clubs scored over 50 separate injuries across the timeline we observed, perhaps it’s time for a change in club doctor?
Of the clubs who weren’t promoted or relegated during this timeline, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Brighton were the three teams with the least injuries.
Looking across the Premier League, we decided to identify players that presented with separate injuries to see just how is the most injury prone across English football.
Everton’s Yerry Mina takes this (probably unwanted) accolade - finding himself with SEVEN separate injuries across the four months that were monitored.
Coming just behind with six separate injuries apiece were Leicester City’s James Justin, Newscastle’s Fabian Schar & Emil Krafth, Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek and Manchester City’s John Stones.
While Basketball was similar to football insofar as leg injuries were the most common, there was certainly more of a spread throughout the body.
Of the most common leg injuries, lateral ankle sprains were the most common, making up 15% of all injuries. Patellofemoral inflammation (that’s the knee, to you and me) and lumbar strain injuries made up second and third most common injuries, respectfully.
Once again legs are the most affected area, making up almost three quarters of all injuries with 73.8%. Arms were second most likely to be injured, with 12.8%.
The three most injury-ridden positions in the NFL are Linebacker, wide receiver and the cornerback. All three of these positions scored higher than 10% for the injury rate.
Looking at positions generally, whether they’re offensive, defensive or special tells us one thing - if you don’t like risk then one of the special positions is where it’s at! Offensive and Defensive were fairly similar in terms of their injury rate, with offensive just edging it.
One of the few sports where injuries to the legs aren’t the most common - though that’s probably because they’re only used to walk to the next tee!
Injuries from golf occur most commonly in the lower back, from all the twisting, and the wrist, from all the swinging!
While there was no available data on which specific body parts got injured, we did manage to find some useful information about the types of injuries sustained.
Soft tissue injuries proved to be the most common, with fractures coming in second. An alarmingly high average 10% rate for concussions across both jump and flat racing was also notable.
Jump racing saw a significant increase in fractures compared to the rest, which probably comes as no surprise given the element of danger involved!
Given how concussions are some of the most serious injuries one can suffer, we decided to take a look at the likelihood of receiving one depending on the sport you play.
Thanks to a study conducted by accredited neuropsychologists, we can accurately predict which sports are most likely to result in head trauma - something to consider when trying to play without a helmet!
Wrestling and martial arts are by far and away the riskiest sports when it comes to head trauma, though a finding we didn’t expect to uncover appeared in our research… cheerleading is apparently more dangerous than football when it comes to likelihood for head trauma. Perhaps those cheerleaders better incorporate helmets into their routines!