Physical activities assist in burning calories and strengthening the muscles, thus promoting good health. But sometimes, these activities may lead to injuries if performed without the supervision of trained instructors. Sports include all these benefits along with the possibility of injury. They can be acute, characterized by sudden onset, or chronic, developed due to long and wrong exposure or action.
General causes of sports injuries can be as follows:
- No warm-ups before activities.
- Returning to sports after long breaks.
- Injuries sustained in contact sports like football, kabaddi, etc.
- Lack of or improper sports equipment.
- Activities involving direction change, running and pivoting, are common in athletics.
Types of Sports Injuries
Sports injuries are of several types. They are listed below:
- Sprain: Tissues connecting the bones and joints often tear due to overstretching. Overstretching and tearing of ligaments results in sprain and is common in knees, wrists, and ankles.
- Strains: It affects muscles and tendons. Tendons connect muscles with bones. The overstretching or tearing of any of these two leads to strains. These are often witnessed in the hamstrings, abdomen, and back.
- Broken bone: This medical condition is commonly referred to as bone fractures. The affected part can be any bone from the upper and lower body.
- Tendinitis: It is a chronic injury that affects tendons. The swelling and inflammation may result in knee, elbow, hip, shoulder, thumb, or Achilles tendon.
- Dislocation: It occurs when bones are displaced from their normal position. A common example includes the movement of bone out of the socket.
- Rotator cuff injury: Rotator cuff includes a combination of four muscles for efficient shoulder movement. Muscular injury among any of these results in such type of injury.
- Achilles tendon rupture: This thin tendon is located at the back of the ankle. It can break or rupture, leading to a medical condition.
- Cartilage tear: Cartilage acts as a shock absorber at the end of a few bones in the knee and shoulder. They may tear, leading to problems in joints.
Commonly Injured Organs
Some body parts that may be highly prone to injury during physical movements in sports are the Achilles tendon, elbow, head, ankle, knee, shoulder, hand, leg bones, and muscles.
The injury symptoms are multiple and depend on the type and location of the injury. Here is an enlistment of common symptoms:
- Swelling or redness
- Decreased or inability to move.
- Pain and aches
- Stiffness or weakness
- Decreased motion
- Warm skin on touch
- Popping, cracking, clicking, or grinding noise at the spot of injury
Diagnosis of Sports Injuries
Diagnosis involves a detailed history followed by a physical exam. Several imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, MRI, etc, aid in establishing the diagnosis. Questions may include seeking information on medical history, site of injury, type of sport, first-aid measures, and other relevant details. A physical exam involves a check-up by directing to move or rotate the affected organ. It signifies the intensity of the injury. Imaging tests confirm the diagnosis and help doctors in prognosis based on exact information on the injury.
First Aid in Sports Injury
Injury is often associated with discomfort in the form of pain, the inability to move, or swelling in the affected part. The first action in such cases is to halt any activity that may lead to further harm. The RICE method that may treat minor injuries should be followed immediately for around 24 to 36 hours in case of tolerable discomfort. We will walk you through the method:
- R indicates Rest: Avoid putting weight on the affected area. Ensure minimal movement in that area.
- I indicate Ice: Swelling and pain can be reduced through ice fomentation. Keep the ice pack on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes.
- C represents Compression: Compression refers to applying a warming bandage to the affected area. It should not be tight enough to prohibit blood movement but fit enough to provide support.
- E represents Elevation: Elevation is to raise the affected area above the heart to reduce swelling. You can generally use pillows for this.
The RICE method is applicable for minimal or tolerable discomfort. In case of intense pain, inability to move, immense swelling, and bleeding, visible deformity, crunching, or popping sound on movement, instability, dizziness, and difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention at any hospital or sports injury facility.
How to Avoid Sports Injuries
Many sports injuries may be avoided by:
- Follow proper technique under the guidance of an instructor.
- Always wear protective gear.
- Completely heal from injuries before resuming sports.
- Mandatory warm-up before the beginning of any activity.
- Prefer all types of exercises rather than only following a single routine.
- Understand your body and upgrade slowly.
Treatment measures for sports injuries depend on the type and intensity of injuries.
- Restricted movements, fomentation, and bed rest can treat minor injuries.
- Severe injuries may require surgery.
- Non-operative procedures like immobilization by walking boot, splint, cast, or sling aid in recovery.
- Physical therapy helps regain normal bodily movements.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
It is advisable to consult a certified orthopaedic surgeon or sports injury specialist in any best sports injury centre for treatment. BLK Max Hospital has renowned specialists for proper assessment and treatment of sports injuries.
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