Sports injuries are injuries that occur to athletes participating in sporting events. In many cases, these types of injuries are due to overuse of a part of the body when participating in a certain activity. For example, runner's knee is a painful condition generally associated with running, while tennis elbow is a form of repetitive stress injury at the elbow, although it does not often occur with tennis players. Other types of injuries can be caused by a hard contact with something. This can often cause a broken bone or torn ligament or tendon.
Injuries are a common occurrence in professional sports and most teams have a staff of Athletic Trainers and close connections to the medical community. Controversy has arisen at times when teams have made decisions that could threaten a players long-term health for short term gain.
Sports injuries can be broadly classified as either traumatic or overuse injuries. Traumatic injuries account for most injuries in contact sports such as Association football, rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules football, Gaelic football and American football because of the dynamic and high collision nature of these sports. These injuries range from bruises and muscle strains, to fractures and head injuries.
A bruise or contusion is damage to small blood vessels which causes bleeding within the tissues. A muscle strain is a small tear of muscle fibers and a ligament sprain is a small tear of ligament tissue. The body’s response to these sports injuries is the same in the initial five day period immediately following the traumatic incident – inflammation.
Signs and symptoms
Inflammation is characterized by pain, localized swelling, heat, redness and a loss of function.
All of these traumatic injuries cause damage to the cells that make up the soft tissues. The dead and damaged cells release chemicals, which initiate an inflammatory response. Small blood vessels are damaged and opened up, producing bleeding within the tissue. In the body’s normal reaction, a small blood clot is formed in order to stop this bleeding and from this clot special cells (called fibroblasts) begin the healing process by laying down scar tissue.
The inflammatory stage is therefore the first phase of healing. However, too much of an inflammatory response in the early stage can mean that the healing process takes longer and a return to activity is delayed. The sports injury treatments are intended to minimize the inflammatory phase of an injury, so that the overall healing process is accelerated. intrinsic and extrinsic factors
A warm-up program has been founded to decrease injuries in soccer. Many athletes will partake in HGH Treatment for Athletic Enhancement as a way to prevent injuries.
Injury can be minimalised by doing a good 3 part warm up, this consists of a heart raiser to get you pulse up, a series of static stretches and then a further series of dynamic stretches (stretches done while moving)
Using proper equipment is key in preventing injury. The NFL is conducting tests with new helmet designs that could reduce the number of head injuries in the league.
Doctors believe fatigue can be a contributing factor in sports injuries because it is more difficult for the body to protect itself when fatigued. Stopping an activity at the first sign of fatigue can prevent sports related injuries.
Sports injuries can be treated and managed by using the P.R.I.C.E.R… DR. ABC, T.O.T.A.P.S and R.I.C.E regimes:
- P – Protect
- R – Rest
- I – Ice
- C – Compression
- E – Elevation
- R – Referral
- D – Danger
- R – Response
- A – Airway
- B – Breathing
- C – Circulation
- T – Talk
- O – Observe
- T – Touch
- A – Active movement
- P – Passive movement
- S – Skills test
The primary inflammatory stage typically lasts around 5 days and all treatment during this time is designed to address the cardinal signs of inflammation – pain, swelling, redness, heat and a loss of function.
Compression sportswear is becoming very popular with both professional and amateur athletes. These garments are thought to both reduce the risk of muscle injury and speed up muscle recovery.
Although not proven some professional athletes use hyperbaric chambers to speed healing. Hines Ward of the Steelers sent his personal hyperbaric chamber,(similar to the one pictured), to his hotel to sleep in believing it would help heal his sprained medial collateral ligament he suffered in their playoff win against the Ravens. Hines went on to play in Super Bowl XLIII.
Common Sports Injuries
- Concussion- caused by severe head trauma where the brain moves violently within the skull so that brain cells all fire at once, much like a seizure
- Muscle Cramps- a sudden tight, intense pain caused by a muscle locked in spasm. Muscle cramps are also recognized as an involuntary and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax
- ACL Sprains- The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a ligament involved in knee stabilization. An ACL rupture can occur when the foot is planted and the knee twists to change direction.
- Ankle Sprain- The ligaments that hold the ankle bones in place can easily be stretched out.
- Shin Splints- The tissue that attaches the muscles of your lower leg to the shin bone may be pulling away from the bone, or it may be inflamed from overuse.