Regardless of the specific structure affected, sports injuries can generally be classified in one of two ways: acute or chronic.
Acute injuries, such as a sprained ankle, strained back, or fractured hand, occur suddenly during activity. Signs of an acute injury include the following:
Chronic injuries usually result from overusing one area of the body while playing a sport or exercising over a long period. The following are signs of a chronic injury:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease (NIAMS)
National Institutes of Health