Sports Injuries Overview
Sports injuries occur when playing indoor or outdoor sports or while exercising. Sports injuries can result from accidents, inadequate training, improper use of protective devices, or insufficient stretching or warm-up exercises. The most common sports injuries are sprains and strains, fractures, and dislocations.
Fractures of the femur bone, labral tear and hip dislocation are some of the common sports injuries affecting the hip. Hip joint bears more weight and is more susceptible for injuries while playing sports. Hip injuries require immediate medical intervention to avoid further complications. Rehabilitation programs and physical therapy is often recommended following the medical intervention where you need to perform certain exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve the movements.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is major stabilizing ligament in the knee which may tear with over use of knee for playing sports. The ACL has poor ability to heal and may cause instability. Other common sports injuries in knee are cartilage damage and meniscal tear. Knee injuries of sports may require surgical intervention that can be performed using open surgical or minimally invasive technique. Your surgeon will recommend you for physical therapy to strengthen your muscles, improve elasticity and improve the movements of the bones and joints.
Most problems in the shoulder involve the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, rather than the bones. Athletes are very susceptible to shoulder problems. These sports-related shoulder problems can develop slowly through repetitive, intensive training routines. Orthopaedic surgeons group common sports-related shoulder injuries into the following categories; Instability (when one of the shoulder joints is forced out of its normal position), Impingement (caused by excessive rubbing of the shoulder muscles against the top part of the shoulder blade, called the acromion) and Rotator Cuff injuries.
Some of the measures that are followed to prevent sports related injuries include:
- Follow an exercise program to strengthen the muscles
- Gradually increase your exercise level and avoid overdoing the exercise
- Ensure that you wear properly-fitted protective gear such as elbow guards, eye gear, facemasks, mouthguards, and pads, comfortable clothes, and athletic shoes before playing any sports activity which will help to reduce the chances of injury
- Make sure that you follow warm up and cool down exercises before and after sports activity. Exercises will help to stretch the muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce soft tissue injuries
- Avoid exercising immediately after eating a large meal
- Maintain a healthy diet which will nourish the muscles
- Avoid playing when you are injured or tired. Take a break for some time after playing
- Learn all the rules of the game you are participating in
- Ensure that you are physically fit to play the sport
- The most common treatment recommended for injury is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE).
- Rest: Avoid activities that may cause injury
- Ice: Ice packs can be applied to the injured area which will help to diminish swelling and pain. Ice should be applied over a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes four times a day for several days. Never place ice directly over the skin
- Compression: Compression of the injured area helps to reduce swelling. Elastic wraps, air casts, and splints can accomplish this
- Elevation: Elevate the injured part above heart level to reduce swelling and pain.