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Sprains, Strains and Sports Injury Prevention

Author: Holly J. Benjamin, MD, FACSM
Professor of Pediatrics, Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine
Director, Primary Care Sports Medicine
Course Title: Sprains, Strains and Sports Injury Prevention
Activity Type: Enduring Material, video with PPT, eLearning
Activity Length: 17 min
Test Time: 10 min

Short Description: Overuse and acute injuries occur frequently in sports. Common injuries that are seen include sprains, strains and tendinitis as well as stress fractures. This talk will focus on soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains by defining the common types of sports injuries, by discussing the basic approaches used in evaluation and treatment, and by identifying strategies for injury prevention. 

Disclosure: As a provider accredited by the ACCME, The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, requires everyone who is in a position to control the content of an education activity to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. The ACCME defines "relevant financial relationships" as financial relationships in any amount, occurring within the past 12 months, including financial relationships of a spouse or life partner, that could create a conflict of interest.

The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, requires Authors to identify investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, at first mention and where appropriate in the content.

Holly J. Benjamin, MD, FACSM has no financial relationships to disclose.

The staff of the University of Chicago Center for Continuing Medical Education have no financial relationships to disclose. 

CME Information:

Learning Objectives: After completing this activity, the participant will demonstrate the ability to:


  1. Define common types of sports injuries such as sprains and strains;
  2. Discuss basic approach to evaluation and treatment including indications for imaging;
  3. Identify strategies for injury prevention and review guidelines for safe return to play following an injury.


Primary Audience: Primary care providers and specialists interested in injury prevention, treatment of acute injury, and recovery from injury for pediatric patients.

Accreditation and Credit Designation: The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum .5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurses and other healthcare professionals will receive a Certificate of Participation.  For information on the applicability and acceptance of certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME, please consult your professional licensing board.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this activity is for continuing medical education purposes only.

The opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, the University of Chicago Medicine, or the Department/Section.

Instructions for Participation and Credit: This online educational activity (enduring material) is designed to be completed within the time designated. To successfully earn credit, participants must complete the activity online during the valid credit period. To receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ , the participant must complete the activity evaluation and correctly answer 6 out of 8 questions (75% pass rate) on the post-test. The test can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate certificate link at the top of this page. Upon successful completion, the participant may save or print their certificate (pdf).

Certificate of Credit     

Physicians: Only physician participants(MD, DO, or equivalent international medical degree) are eligible to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Certificate of Participation 

Non-Physicians: will receive a certificate indicating participation in this AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ approved activity. For information on the applicability and acceptance of certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME, please consult your professional licensing board.

For questions about CME credit, please contact the Center for CME at The University of Chicago at 

Commercial Support: This CME certified activity has not received any support or funding from commercial interests.  This includes, but is not limited to, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.

Selected Publications: View a partial list of Dr. Benjamin's publications through the National Library of Medicine's PubMed online database.

Additional References: 

Jawetz T, Shah PH, Potter HG.  Imaging of physeal injury:  overuse.  Sports Health 2015 March; 7(2): 142-53.

Bowerman EA, Whatman C, Harris N, Bradshaw E.  A review of the risk factors for lower extremity overuse injuries in youth elite female dancers.  J Dance Med Sci 2015;19(2):51-6.

Kox LS, Kuijer PP, Kerkhoffs GM, Maas M, Frings-Dresen MH.  Prevalence, incidence and risk factors for overuse injuries of the wrist in youth athletes:  a systematic review.  Br J Sports Med 2015 Apr 14.

Denton JM, Waldhelm A, Hacke JD, Gross MT.  Clinician Recommendations and Perceptions of Factors Associated with Ankle Brace Use.  Sports Health, 2015 May;7(3): 267-9

Weiss K, Whatman C.  Biomechanics Associated with Patellofemoral Pain and ACL Injuries in Sports.  Sports med 2015 Jul 1. (epub ahead of print)

Ebell MH.  Evaluating the patient with an ankle or foot injury.  American Family Physician 2004 Oct 15;70(8): 1535-6.

Judd DB, Kim DH.  Foot fractures frequently misdiagnosed as ankle sprains. Am Fam Physician 2002 Sep 1;66(5):785-94.

DiFiori JP, Benjamin HJ, Brenner J, Gregory A, Jayanthi N, Landry GL, Luke A. Overuse injuries and burnout in youth sports: a position statement from the American Academy of Sports Medicine.  Clin J Sports Med 2014 Jan 24(1):3-20.

Runyon MS.  Can we safely apply the Ottawa Ankle Rules to children? Acad Emerg Med 2009 Apr; 16(4):352-4.

Kancheria VK, Caggiano NM, Matulio KS.  Elbow injuries in the throwing athlete. Orthop Clin North AM. 2014 Oct;45(4):571-85.

Nalliah RP, Anderson IM, Lee MK, Rampa S, Allareddy V.  Epidemiology of hospital-based emergency department visits due to sports injuries.   Pediatr Emerg Care 2014 Aug;30(8):511-5.

Stein CJ, Tyson KD, Johnson VM, Popoli DM, d’Hemecourt PA, Micheli LJ.  Injuries in Irish dance.   J Dance Med Sci 2013 Dec;17(4):159-64.

James AM, Williams CM, Luscombe M, Hunter R.  Haines TP.  Factors Associated with Pain Severity in Children with Calcaneal Apophysitis (Sever Disease) J Pediatr Orthop 2015 May 6 [Epub ahead of print]

 Ueblack P, Mueller-Wohlfahrt HW, Ekstrand J.  Epidemiological and clinical outcome comparison of indirect (“strain”) versus direct (“contusion”) anterior and posterior thigh muscle injuries in male elite football players:  UEFA Elite League study of 2287 thigh injuries (2001-2013).  Br J Sports Med 2015 Mar 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Release Date: 08/31/2015     Expiration Date: 08/31/2016


Holly Benjamin, MD

Holly Benjamin, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics
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