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SPORTS INJURIES

Whether or not you’ve been an active participant of sports and physical activity, you can be at risk for sustaining sports injuries. In these times, proper physiotherapy care can help improve the rate of healing, therefore returning you to prime condition in a shorter amount of time.

Who Is At Risk For Sustaining Sports Injuries?

Sports related injuries can happen to anyone and everyone, from children to adults alike. One sustains an injury to limbs and the body through excess use and exertion, direct impact, or an application of force that is greater than the limb can tolerate. You can easily sustain a sports related injury if you:

 

  • Overdo a particular activity or sport.

  • Do not warm up before beginning exercise.

  • Haven’t been active in a very long time.

  • Play contact sports.

What Are Some Common Sports Injuries?

Among the most commonly reported sports injuries are:

 

  • Bruises - Skin or tissue injury that causes damage to blood vessels beneath the skin. The black, blue, purple, brown, or yellow discoloration is the result of blood pooling beneath the skin.

  • Cuts and Abrasions - Injuries (i.e. scrapes from falls) that break the skin, causing bleeding.

  • Groin strain - Pain and swelling resulting from overstretching, injury, or a tear in one of the muscles of the inner thigh. Can range from Grade 1 (minor stretch), to Grade 2 (partial tear), to Grade 3 (Complete rupture).

  • Hamstring strain - Strains or tears in the tendons or large muscles in the back of the thigh; a common injury sustained by professional athletes. Can range from Grade 1 (minor stretch), to Grade 2 (partial tear), to Grade 3 (Complete rupture).

  • Knee injuries - All injuries that interfere with the range of movement of the knee joint are classified as knee injuries. Can range from overstretched muscles or torn tissues.

  • Stress fractures - Caused by repetitive force and overuse (i.e. jumping jacks and long distance running). Can result in bones weakened by osteoporosis.

  • Achilles tendon rupture - The Achilles tendon is located in the back of the ankle; it is a strong, fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the calf to the heel bone. When torn, it affects mobility and causes pain in the back of the lower leg.

    Treatment for Achilles tendon ruptures depend on the severity of the injury. They are classified in three different grades:

    Grade 1 (Mild), where the muscle or tendon is stretched or pulled slightly, resulting in mild tenderness and swelling with no pain or mechanical instability.

    Grade 2 (Moderate), where the muscle or tendon is overstretched and slightly torn, resulting in moderate tenderness and bruising with some functional loss and instability.

    Grade 3 (Severe), where the muscle or tendon is partially or completely torn, resulting in severe swelling, bruising and complete functional loss with moderate to severe instability.

  • Sprains - Overstretched or torn ligaments (tissue that connects your bones in joints) result in sprains.

  • Strains - Overstretched or torn muscles or tendons result in strains.

  • Dislocations - When two bones separate in a joint, it is known as a dislocation. Causes pain, temporary deformation and immobilisation of the joint. Commonly observed in the shoulders, fingers, elbows, knees, and hips. Physiotherapists provide post-dislocation rehabilitation and treatment.

  • Rotator cuff injuries - Injuries sustained in the group of four muscles and tendons that stabilise the shoulder joint, and allow you to lift and rotate your arms.

What Can I Do To Treat Sports Injuries?

If immediate professional medical aid is not available, you will want to apply the following first aid methods:

 

  • Rest the afflicted body part; do not apply any weight on the injured limb.

  • Ice can help to reduce swelling in the afflicted areas.

  • Compression using a firm elastic bandage around the afflicted area can help to provide support, reduce further injury, and swelling.

  • Elevate the afflicted body above the level of the heart to minimise swelling, and allow fluid to drain away from the area.

  • Seek professional aid as soon as possible.

  • Avoid alcohol, heat, massage, or further exercise and exertion.

How Can I Prevent Sports Injuries?

Prevention is always better than cure! You can prevent sports injuries by:

 

  • Warming up and stretching adequately before beginning your exercise regime and working out.

  • Ensure you have the right techniques as well as the proper equipment for exercise.

  • Support and improve limbs and joints that are weak with tape and physiotherapy.

  • Know your limits; don’t push yourself beyond your limits, and allow for adequate cool down time.

  • Seek professional help and advice to ensure your body is in tip-top condition.