Common Sports Injuries
Prevention of Common Sports Injuries
The following are some general rules for injury prevention no matter what sport you play. While it is impossible to prevent every injury, research suggests that injury rates could be reduced by 25% if athletes took appropriate preventative action, including:
Be in proper physical condition to play a sport
Keep in mind the weekend warrior has a high rate of injury. If you play any sports, you should adequately train for that sport. It is a mistake to expect the sport itself to get you into shape. Many injuries can be prevented by following a regular conditioning program of exercises designed specifically for your sport.
Sports Injury Treatment & Recovery
Sports injury treatment is vital to the healing and rehabilitation process and should be performed as soon as possible - but what sort of treatment should be used - and for what types of injuries?
Most of the pain in common sports injuries is caused by inflammation or swelling. This is why physicians generally recommend the use of ice, sprays or sports creams to reduce the swelling prior to the rehabilitation exercises.
If you suffer from a long-term injury and use sprays or sports creams to numb the pain, the best thing for you to do is get your injury diagnosed so it can heal and recover fully, before it leads to a more serious injury.Achilles Tendon Rupture
Description: The exact cause of rupture of the Achilles tendon is not known. As with Achilles tendonitis, tight or weak calf muscles may contribute to the potential for a rupture.
Description: The most common of all ankle injuries, an ankle sprain occurs when there is a stretching and tearing of ligaments surrounding the ankle joint.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament(ACL) Injuries
Description: ACL partial or complete tears can occur when an athlete changes direction rapidly, twists without moving the feet, slows down abruptly, or misses a landing from a jump
Description: A fluid-filled sack on the surface of the skin that commonly occurs on the hands, or the feet.
Clavicle Fractured (Broken Shoulder)
Description: A shoulder fracture typically refers to a total or partial break to either the clavicle (collar bone) or the neck of the humerus (arm bone). It generally is from an impact injury, such as a fall or blow to the shoulder
Description: A concussion is typically caused by a severe head trauma where the brain moves violently within the skull so that brain cells all fire at once, much like a seizure.
Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness
Description: Muscle pain, stiffness or soreness that occurs 24-48 hours after unaccustomed, or particularly intense exercise.
Hamstring Pull, Tear, or Strain
Description: Hamstring injuries are common among runners. The hamstring muscles run down the back of the leg from the pelvis to the lower leg bones, and an injury can range from minor strains to total rupture of the muscle.
Description: Knee pain is extremely common in athletes. In order to treat the cause of the pain, it is important to have an evaluation and proper diagnosis. Common reasons for knee pain in athletes include the following.
Iliotibial (IT) Band Friction Syndrome
Description: Knee pain that is generally felt on the outside (lateral) aspect of the knee or lower thigh often indicates Iliotibial (IT) Band Friction Syndrome.
Description: A cramp is a sudden, tight and intense pain caused by a muscle locked in spasm. You can also recognize a muscle cramp as an involuntary and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax.
Description: Overtraining syndrome frequently occurs in athletes who are training for competition or a specific event and train beyond the body's ability to recover.
Description: Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain on the bottom of the heel and usually defined by pain during the first steps of the morning.
Description: Shin Splints describes a variety of generalised pain that occurs in the front of the lower leg along the tibia (shin bone). Shin Splints are considered a cumulative stress injury.
Shoulder Tendinitis, Bursitis, and Impingement Syndrome
Description: These conditions similar and often occur together. If the rotator cuff and bursa are irritated, inflamed, and swollen, they may become squeezed between the head of the humerus and the acromion.
Description: These are acute injuries that vary in severity but usually result in pain, swelling, bruising, and loss of the ability to move and use the joint.
Description: Stress fractures in the leg are often the result of overuse or repeated impacts on a hard surface
Description: Tendonitis is a common sports injury that often occurs from overuse. Tendonitis can cause deep, nagging pain that is caused by inflammation of tendons. Treating tendonitis consists of rest, medication, physical therapy or changes to equipment or technique
Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
Description: the number one reason people see their doctor for elbow pain. It is considered a cumulative trauma injury that occurs over time from repeated use of the muscles of the arm and forearm that lead to small tears of the tendons.
Torn Rotator Cuff
Description: A common symptom of a rotator cuff injury is aching, and weakness in the shoulder when the arm is lifted overhead.
The R.I.C.E. Method of Acute Injury Treatment
- Rest: If you are injured, stop playing, get medical attention if necessary and rest. Resting an injury is important immediately after injury for two reasons. First, rest is vital to protect the injured muscle, tendon, ligament or other tissue from further injury. Second, your body needs to rest so it has the energy it needs to heal most effectively.
- Ice: Use ice bags, cold packs or even a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a thin towel to provide cold to the injured area. An ice massage is another extremely effective way to direct cold to the injured tissue.
Cold provides short-term pain relief. It also limits swelling by reducing blood flow to the injured area. Keep in mind, though, that you should never leave ice on an injury for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Longer exposure can damage your skin. The best rule is to apply cold compresses for 15 minutes and then leave them off for at least 20 minutes. (Read The Proper Use of ICE).
- Compression: Compression helps limit and reduce swelling, which slows down healing. Some people also experience pain relief from compression. An easy way to compress the area of the injury is to wrap an ACE bandage around the swollen part. If you feel throbbing, or if the wrap just feels too tight, remove the bandage and re-wrap the area so the bandage is a little looser.
- Elevation: Elevating an injury reduces swelling. It's most effective when the injured area is raised above the level of the heart. For example, if you injure an ankle, try lying on your bed with your foot propped on one or two pillows.
After a day or two of R.I.C.E., many sprains, strains or other injuries will begin to heal. But if your pain or swelling does not decrease after 48 hours, make an appointment to see your primary care physician or go to the emergency room, depending upon the severity of your symptoms.
Once the healing process has begun, very light massage may improve the function of forming scar tissue, cut healing time and reduce the possibility of injury recurrence.
Gentle stretching can be begun once all swelling has subsided. Try to work the entire range of motion of the injured joint or muscle, but be extremely careful not to force a stretch, or you risk re-injury to the area. Keep in mind that a stretch should never cause pain. For proper stretching technique, review Flexibility Exercises.
Heat may be helpful once the injury moves out of the acute phase and swelling and bleeding has stopped. Moist heat will increase blood supply to the damaged area and promote healing.
Finally, after the injury has healed, strengthening exercises can be begun. Start with easy weights and use good form.