COMMON SPORT INJURIES

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COMMON SPORT INJURIES WE CAN HELP

    The most common sports injuries are:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Fractures
  • Swollen muscles
  • Knee injuries
  • Dislocations
  • Pain along the shin bone
  • Achilles tendon injuries

    There are two kinds of sports injuries: chronic and acute. Acute injuries occur suddenly when exercising or playing. Strained backs, sprained ankles and fractured hands are acute injuries. Signs of an acute injury include:

  • Sudden, severe pain
  • Extreme leg or arm weakness
  • Not being able to place weight on a leg, knee, ankle, or foot
  • An arm, elbow, wrist, hand, or finger that is very tender
  • Swelling
  • A bone or joint that is visibly out of place.
  • Not being able to move a joint as normal
  • Chronic injuries happen after you exercise or play a sport for a long time. Signs of a chronic injury include:

  • Pain when you play
  • A dull ache when you rest
  • Pain when you exercise

    If I get injured what should I do?

    Do not continue to play or exercise when you are experiencing pain. Never “work through” the pain of a sports injury. Continuing activity only causes more harm to the affected area. In some cases, injuries should be seen right away by a doctor. Other injuries you can treat yourself.

    Call a doctor when:

  • The injury causes swelling, severe pain or numbness
  • You cannot put any weight on the area
  • An old injury aches or hurts
  • The joint doesn’t feel normal or feels unstable
  • An old injury swells
  • If none of these signs are present, you may be able to treat the injury safely at home. If your symptoms or the pain worsens, you should call your doctor.

    Use the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to reduce swelling, relieve pain and speed healing. Here are four steps to take right after the injury occurs and continue for at least 48 hours:

  • Reduce your regular activities. If you’ve injured your knee, ankle or foot, take weight off of it. A crutch can help.
  • Put an ice pack to the injured area for 20 minutes, four to eight times a day. You can use a cold pack or ice bag. You can also use a plastic bag filled with crushed ice and wrapped in a towel. Take the ice off after 20 minutes to avoid cold injury.
  • Put even pressure (compression) on the injured area to help reduce swelling. You can use an elastic wrap, special boot, air cast, or splint. Ask your doctor which one is best for your injury.
  • Put the injured area on a pillow, at a level above your heart, to help reduce swelling.
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    What is the best way to treat a sports injury?

    Treatment often begins with the RICE method. Here are some other things your doctor may do to treat your sports injury.

    Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

    Your doctor may suggest that you take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or aspirin. These drugs reduce pain and swelling. Another common drug suggested is acetaminophen. It will not reduce swelling but it may relieve pain.

    Immobilization

    Immobilization is a common treatment for sports injuries. It keeps the injured area from moving and prevents more damage. Slings, casts, splints, and leg immobilizers are used to immobilize sports injuries.

    Surgery

    In some events surgery will be needed to repair sports injuries. Surgery can repair ligaments and torn tendons or put broken bones back in place. Most sports injuries will not need surgery.

    Rehabilitation (Exercise)

    Rehabilitation is a key part of treatment. It involves exercises that progressively gets the injured area back to normal. Healing begins when moving the injured area. The sooner you can move the area, the better. Exercises begin by carefully increasing the range of motion in the injured body part. The next step is stretching. After some time, strengthening exercises may be added to the injured area.

    Scar tissue forms as injuries begin to heal. After a while, the scar tissue shrinks and brings the injured tissues back together. As this happens, the injured area becomes stiff or tight. It is at this point you are at the greatest risk of injuring that area again. It is advised to stretch your muscles everyday especially as a warm up before any exercises or sports activity.

    Do not begin to play a sport or exercise until you can stretch the injured area without swelling, pain, or stiffness. Remember to start slowly when beginning to play a sport or exercise. Increase your endurance step by step.

    Rest

    You must also take time to rest after an injury. Proper rest helps injuries to heal. Your doctor can help you balance proper rehabilitation and rest.

    How can sports massage rehabilitate an injury?

     There’s nothing that will substitute for sports massage alongside physical therapy when it comes to improving your outlook after a sports injury.  Sports massage improves blood flow to the area, manipulates deep tissue, and improves flexibility and functionality throughout the body.  This makes it possible to restore mobility faster than ever following an injury.

     Following an injury, you’re tense.  You’re worried about your recovery, stressing over how long it will be before you can play again, and concerned with what this will mean for your career in the sport of your choice.  Sports massage therapy doesn’t just improve your recovery time.  It also gives you an opportunity to sit back and relax while relieving pain, reducing anxiety, and increasing your energy following your injury.

    What can be done to prevent sports injuries?

    These tips can help you avoid sports injures.

  • Don’t bend your knees more than half way when doing knee bends.
  • When jumping, land with your knees bent.
  • Do warmup exercises before you play any sport.
  • Don’t twist your knees when you stretch. Keep your feet as flat as you can.
  • Don’t overdo it.
  • Always stretch before you play or exercise.
  • Cool down after hard sports or workouts.
  • Use the softest exercise surface you can find; don’t run on asphalt or concrete.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly, are stable, and absorb shock.
  • Run on flat surfaces.
  • When running marathons or events, schedule pre-event sport massage 20-30 minutes prior to activity.
  • Post event sport massage to recondition and increase flexibility of the muscles.

A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning.

Billie Jean King