A sports injury is commonly caused by overuse, direct impact, or the application of force that is greater than the body part can structurally withstand. Direct impact injury that occurs suddenly include such things as a sprained ankle caused by an awkward landing, a torn muscle or a broken bone.
Repetitive injuries from repeated overuse of muscle groups or joints include problems like rotator cuff tendon problems, patella tracking problems or hip bursitis.
Poor technique and structural abnormalities can contribute to the development of a sports injury. Proper investigation of any sports injury is important, because you may be hurt more severely than you think. For example, what seems like an ankle sprain may actually be a bone fracture.
Sports Injury – Types
Some of the more common sports injuries include:
- Ankle sprain – symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness.
- Bruises – a blow can cause small bleeds into the skin.
- Concussion – mild reversible brain injury from a blow to the head, which may be associated with loss of consciousness. Symptoms include headache, dizziness and short term memory loss.
- Cuts and abrasions – are usually caused by falls. The knees and hands are particularly prone.
- Dehydration – losing too much fluid can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Dental damage – a blow to the jaw can crack, break or dislodge teeth.
- Groin strain – symptoms include pain and swelling.
- Hamstring strain – symptoms include pain, swelling and bruising.
- Knee joint injuries – symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness. The ligaments, tendons or cartilage can be affected.
- Nose injuries – either blood nose or broken nose, are caused by a direct blow.
- Stress fractures – particularly in the lower limbs. The impact of repeated jumping or running on hard surfaces can eventually stress and crack bone.
First aid for sprains, strains and joint injuries
Suggestions on immediate treatment for sprains, strains and joint injuries, to prevent further damage include:
- Rest – keep the injured area supported and avoid using for 48-72 hours.
- Ice – apply ice to the injured area for 20 minutes every two hours for the first 48-72 hours.
- Compression – apply a firm elastic bandage over the area, extending above and below the painful site.
- Elevation – raise the injured area above the level of the heart at all times.
- Referral – as soon as possible
Treatment for sports injuries
Treatment depends on the type and severity of the injury. Always see your Osteopath if pain persists after a couple of days. What you may think is a straightforward sprain may actually be in need of specific care.
Osteopathy can help to rehabilitate the injured site and, depending on the sports injury, may include exercises to promote strength and flexibility. Returning to sport after a sports injury depends on your assessment.
Trying to play before the injury is properly healed will only cause further damage and delay recovery. The biggest single risk factor for soft tissue injury is a previous injury. While the injury heals, you can maintain your fitness by choosing forms of exercise that don’t involve that part of your body, if possible.
Prevention of a sports injury
You can reduce your risk of a sports injury if you:
- Warm up thoroughly by gently going through the motions of your sport and performing slow, sustained stretches.
- Wear appropriate footwear.
- Tape or strap vulnerable joints, if necessary.
- Use the appropriate safety equipment, such as mouth guards, helmets and pads.
- Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after the game.
- Try to avoid exercising in the hottest part of the day, between 11 am and 3 pm.
- Maintain a good level of overall fitness, particularly in the off season (in the months between playing seasons for a sport).
- Cross-train with other sports to ensure overall fitness and muscle strength.
- Ensure training includes appropriate speed and impact work so muscles are capable of the demands of a game situation.
- Don’t exert yourself beyond your level of fitness. Gradually increase intensity and duration of training.
- Use good form and technique.
- Cool down after sport with gentle, sustained stretches.
- Allow adequate recovery time between sessions.
Thank you to Better Health Channel for the great information