Sports injuries happen during exercise or while participating in a sports event. Regular exercise is vital for good health, but people often get hurt when participating in sports or other physical activities. A sports injury involves damage to part of our body. We should know about sports injuries, ways to prevent them and treatment from gaining knowledge before participating in any activities or sports.
Who can have a sports injury?
A sports injury can happen to anyone, especially those who have not been active and out of shape. It can also occur to a participant who
- Don’t warm up before starting exercises
- Don’t cool down after exercise
- Participate in contact sports such as football, Kyokushin karate, boxing etc.
- Don’t wear adequate protective gear
- Participate in sports that involve collisions and tackles.
- Participating in activities that involve jumping, running and pivoting or changing direction quickly.
Causes of sports injuries?
Sports injuries happen due to many reasons. Some of the reasons are included below.
- Accidents like sudden falls can cause injury.
- Not preparing the body before an exercise, like ignoring warm-up or stretching.
- Ignoring proper safety equipment or using incorrect or worn-out equipment can also cause injury.
- Incorrect food wear can be a major cause of many types of foot injuries.
- Pushing your body beyond its limit or suddenly increasing activity levels significantly can also cause injuries.
- Ignoring correct techniques and using incorrect positions and techniques can be another reason.
- Jumping, running on hard surfaces, and walking on uneven terrain can cause injuries.
- Ignoring a prior injury can also cause severe issues.
Symptoms of a sports injury?
Sports injury symptoms depend on the type of injury and can vary a lot. Some of the common symptoms are as per below.
- Aches or pain.
- Cracking or popping sound.
- Reduced range of motion.
- Difficult or inability to bear weight on hip, leg or foot.
- The bone or joint looks out of place due to dislocation.
- Stiffness or weakness.
- Skin feels warm when touched.
- Discolouration of the body part with pain.
- Skin that’s warm to the touch.
- Trouble moving body parts.
Types of sports injury
A sports injury can be acute or chronic. Thus sports injuries can be broadly categorized into two types.
Acute injuries: Injuries which happen suddenly.
Chronic injuries: Injuries which develop over time.
Many times overuse of chronic injury can develop into an acute injury.
Musculoskeletal Sports Injuries:
Injuries to the musculoskeletal system are referred to as musculoskeletal injuries. These injuries are common among athletes, including fractures, dislocations, sprains, tendinitis, strains or bursitis.
Bone fracture: When a bone breaks due to a one-time injury, it is known as an acute fracture. If the breakage is from repeated stress, it is known as a stress fracture.
Acute fractures. A sudden fall, vehicle accident, or powerful blow can cause an acute fracture. The severity of the fracture is subjected to the force that caused the break. The bones may crack, break all the way through, or shatter. Compound fractures are injuries that break through the skin to the bone, and they are severe because the risk of infection is high. Generally, acute fractures are emergencies.
Stress fractures. Stress fractures typically occur in the lower extremities of the bones, which bear the weight. Stress fractures generally happen in the femur, tibia, fibula, and foot bones. Sports with repetitive impact, primarily running or jumping, like gymnastics, tennis, basketball, or track and field, are prone to stress fractures.
Dislocation. When bones forming a joint become separated, it is termed dislocation. Any high-impact contact sports which involve significant stretching or falling can cause dislocations. A dislocated joint requires urgent medical care to move the bones back to their original position. A dislocation is a painful injury common in shoulders, knees, kneecap, elbows, fingers etc.
Sprain. Ligaments are connecting tissue that joins bone ends. When these ligaments stretch excessively or tear, it is called a sprain. Fall or powerful blow can cause sprains. Sprains could be first-degree, like minimally stretched ligament; second-degree, where a partial tear has happened or third-degree, where a complete tear has occurred. Knee, elbow, ankles and wrists are prone to sprains. ACL tears and UCL tears are examples of common sports injuries.
Strain. Tendon is a cord of tissue which connects muscle to bone. When there is a twist, pull, or tear of a muscle or tendon, it is called strain. Strain can happen to the athlete participating in contact sports or repeating the same motion repeatedly, like in tennis or golf. Like sprains, strain can also range from stretch to partial or complete muscle or tendon tear.
Tendinitis. Tendinitis is the tendon’s inflammation, primarily affecting the wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, or ankle areas. It can happen due to sudden injury or because of carrying out repetitive motions. Athletes like golfers and tennis players possess a higher risk of tendinitis.
Bursitis. Bursa are tiny sacs filled with fluid and act as cushions between bone and muscles or tendons. Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa and generally affects elbows, shoulders, knees or hips. A sudden injury like a fall or blow and repeating the same motion (throwing balls in baseball) continuously can cause bursitis.
Common Sports Injuries:
Sports injuries generally involve one or more of the types of musculoskeletal injuries described above. Our joints are mainly susceptible to injuries as their demand are significantly high for physical activities or sports. We will discuss more regarding this in the next chapter.
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