What are sports injuries?
While exercise is essential for good health, people are often injured while exercising or participating in other activities. Sports injuries are caused by injury to a part of the body that is resulted from exercise, sports, or other activities.
Sports injuries can be either acute (sudden) and chronic (developing over time).
Sports injuries can happen to anyone.
- Are you out of shape?
- Do not wear protective gear.
- You can exercise without heating up or cooling down.
- Take part in contact sports, which may include tackling or colliding.
- Participate in activities that require jumping, running, pivoting or changing directions quickly.
Sports injuries can impact any part of the body. Most often, they affect:
- Achilles tendon: This is the thick cord connecting your heel to your lower leg (calf). It aids you to walk. However, the tendon can become stiffened, inflamed, and swollen. It can even rupture. This is Achilles tendinitis, or Achilles tendon rupture.
- Ankle: At your ankle, your leg and foot meet. It has three joints as well as many bones, cartilage and ligaments. A sprained foot is often the cause of ankle pain.
- Elbow: The joint between your elbow and your lower arm acts as a hinge. Overuse and repeated motions can cause pain in the elbow.
- Head: This refers to your head, which includes your skull, brain and face. Concussion is one of the most common head injuries.
- Knee: The knee acts as a hinge between the lower leg and your thigh. It is composed of bones, cartilage and ligaments, as well as tendons. Jumper’s or runner’s injury can cause knee pain. Meniscus tear, anterior cruciate ligament tear (ACL), and other common injuries are also possible.
- Shoulder: Your shoulder connects to your trunk and upper arm. It houses your rotator wrist, which is a set of muscles and tendon that keeps your upper arm in the socket of your shoulder. Rotator cuff tendinitis is a common sport injury.
There are many sports injuries. The most common include:
- Broken bone: When a sudden force is applied to a broken bone, it can cause bruising.
- Cartilage tear: Cartilage, a tough, flexible shock absorber that protects and covers the ends of certain bones, can cause a tear in your cartilage. Cartilage injuries may occur in your knee or shoulder joints.
- Concussion: This is a brain injury that results from a bump to the head or blow.
- Dislocation is when a bone’s end moves from its normal position in a joint. If your shoulder pops out from its socket, it is dislocated.
- Tendinitis is when the tissues connecting muscles and bones (tendons), become swollen or inflamed. This is caused by repetitive movements. Jumper’s knee (patellar tendencyitis) is an example.
- Sprains: When a ligament is stretched too far or torn, it’s called a sprain. Ligaments are what connect bones and stabilise joints. These injuries may be severe or mild and can occur in the ankle, knee, and wrist.
- Strains are when you strain a muscle by overextending it and it tears or stretches. You can see examples of hamstring strain, back strain, and abdominal strain.
Many causes of sports injuries include:
- Accidents such as a slip and fall.
- Bad habits in exercise include not warming up and stretching enough.
- Inadequate safety equipment or improperly worn gear.
- Shoes that aren’t well-fitted or don’t provide sufficient support.
- Your body may suddenly start to do something new, such as an exercise program, or a significant increase in activity.
It depends on what type of injury you are dealing with. These are some of the most common symptoms:
- Tenderness, pain, or a feeling of ache.
- Deformity is a condition that causes a bone or joint to look out of place.
- Reduced range of motion
- Grinder, crackling, clicking, or popping sound
- Inability to support weight on your hips, legs or feet.
- Warm skin.
- Stiffness or weakness
- Problems moving a body part normal (for example, it won’t go as far or locks up when you try).
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam to diagnose a sport injury. Your healthcare provider will ask you questions about your injuries and any symptoms. They may also examine the area and test its movement.
Your healthcare provider may also recommend imaging tests depending on the severity of your injury. Images can be taken using MRI, CT scan, or X-rays. These images can help your healthcare provider diagnose, treat and manage your injury.
There are many options for treatment of sports injuries depending on their severity. Most sports injuries can be treated with rest and at home strategies.
For more severe injuries, treatment might include:
- You can immobilize with a cast or splint, sling, walking boots, or any other medical device.
- Injections for pain and swelling reduction
- Prescription anti-inflammatory medication.
- Surgery to fix fractures, tendon and cartilage tear repairs.
- Physical therapy is also known as rehabilitation or rehab and it helps to heal and strengthen damaged body parts.
There are many ways to prevent injuries from sports.
- Avoid dangerous sports or activities (e.g., avoid tackles and collisions).
- You shouldn’t do the same thing year round. This is especially important when it comes to children.
- You can mix up your workout routine. Your body requires a mix of aerobic (aerobic), strength training with weights, resistance, and flexibility.
- Get plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
- Use the correct technique every time you practice.
- Listen to your body, and don’t push yourself too hard. When you feel tired, rest. You should stop doing anything that does not feel right.
- You can start slowly and work your way up. Start slowly and work your way up.
- Before and after any workout, stretch. Before and after your workout, warm up.
- Make sure you wear safety footwear and shoes that are comfortable.
The outcome of a sports injury will vary depending on its severity. Most injuries to sports are minor and can be treated with rest and simple rehabilitation strategies in days or weeks. Broken bones and concussions require medical attention and may take many months to heal.
You should immediately stop exercising or playing if you are hurt. If you continue to do so, you could cause more damage.
The RICE method is a quick and effective way to treat minor injuries in sports.
- Rest: You should not use the area that has been injured for more than a few days. Consider crutches if you have injured your lower body. This will prevent you from putting your weight on the area.
- Ice: Apply ice to the area that is hurt to reduce swelling and pain (for example, 15-20 minutes each four hours).
- Apply compression: Wrap the area with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling and provide support. It should be snug but not too tight that it cuts off blood flow.
- Elevation: To reduce swelling, elevate the injured area, if you can, above your heart. To keep the injury from affecting your heart, use a pillow or similar device.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, might also be an option.
You will feel more energetic and can return to other activities and sports as you feel better. You should be able to move the affected area with no pain or stiffness. This will ensure you don’t cause further injury or worsen the injury.
Although many sports injuries can still be treated at home with the right equipment, it is important to seek medical attention for any:
- It is pain that restricts movement and doesn’t improve over time.
- Massive swelling that doesn’t slow down.
- Extreme bleeding or bruising
- Inability to use the area injured.
- Obvious deformity: Your leg bent in the wrong direction.
These are questions that you can ask your healthcare provider in order to understand the details of your injury.
- What treatment do I need?
- Do I use heat, ice, or both?
- Do I need to take pain medication? What dosage and how often should I take them?
- How long does it take for this to heal?
- Is the area being treated able to heal?
- What time can I resume participating in sports or other activities?
- Do I require physical therapy?
- What can I do prevent re-injury