Sports Injuries – Types, Treatment & Prevention

Sports professionals often get injured in a practice session or during a match. They are prone to different types of musculoskeletal injuries commonly referred to as sports injuries. Most athletic injuries can be broadly divided into three main categories-  Acute, Overuse, and Chronic. 

Acute injuries are usually the result of direct trauma to the site in the last 4-5 days. Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive stress to a set of muscles or ligaments & occur over time. Chronic are those that have been nagging for a long time, like a few months.

 

Common Types of Sports Injuries

Various sports injuries present varied symptoms & complications. The most common types of sports injuries include:

 

Knee injuries: While practicing stretching, the tissues near the knee may tear pull. It can cause a knee injury.

Sprains: Sprain occurs due to overstretching or tearing of ligaments. Ligaments are bits of tissue that connect two bones to each other in a joint. 

Strains: Sportsmen often suffer from strained muscles.  These are similar to sprains in that they are also caused by tearing – of tendons or muscles. tendons are thick, fibrous strings of tissue that connect bone to muscle. They are often mistaken for sprains. 

Fractures: Sports personalities might suffer from small to severe fractures or broken bones.

Achilles tendon rupture: Achilles tendon rupture is pretty common as well. The Achilles tendon is the biggest tendon above the ankle(at the back). It may rupture while playing a game, resulting in severe pain in the foot and difficulty in walking.  

Rotator cuff injury: The rotator cuff is the set of muscles that keep the shoulder moving in all directions. External trauma, as well as overuse, can cause inflammation or tears in these muscles and weaken the rotator cuff.

Tennis/Golf Elbow: Also known as lateral epicondylitis, it is a common injury for golfers, cricketers & tennis players.

Dislocations: When a bone gets forced out of its socket, especially in a joint, it is called dislocation. It is seen very commonly in active sports. It can be painful and cause inflammation & weakness.

Also Read: Achilles Tendon Injuries- Symptoms, Causes & Recovery

 

Treatment

While some sports injuries may be mild, others may require immediate treatment or emergency care. Indications of such conditions are:- 

  • Excessive inflammation at the injury site and extreme distress. 
  • Observable lumps or similar abnormalities.
  • Clicking the joint while moving. 
  • Inability to put weight on the joint.

 

Strains are sprains are treated first with the RICE method- Rest, Ice, compression, and elevation for the first day and a half. 

This is okay for all mild sports and provides relief from pain. Tears also require medical care and sometimes surgery as well. 

A fracture in the bone is treated by setting the bone in a plaster.  

Sports Injury Specialists are more qualified to treat injuries for sportsmen based on the intensity of the game, projected time of recovery, and personal choices. 

A compound fracture may require resetting the bone back to its proper placement in the body. 

In complete fractures, the bone breaks in pieces and may penetrate the skin. Both the cases require immediate action.

Commonly the athletes tend to break the bones in ankles, wrists, ribs, hips, or feet. The most crucial part is casting and restricting movement.

 

Sports Injuries Prevention

Although some injuries cannot be prevented as they are part of playing a sport, there are many ways to prevent severe injuries and tears.

  1. Warm-up & Stretching: warm muscles are flexible and more immune to injury. A proper and long warm-up and stretching exercises go a long way in preventing mishaps on the field. 
  2. Follow the proper techniques: Always follow the instructions of your coach. Learn the right way to move during the sport or training. 
  3. Cooldown: Cooling down is as important as warming up. Do the same stretches that you did, in the beginning, to cool down.
  4. Use Proper Equipment: using unsuitable, wrong sized or substandard sporting equipment will make you prone to injury and away from your favorite game.
  5. Use the Right Gear: Especially it applies to footwear. Wear the right shoes. You must possess the proper athletic protection. Tennis, football and jogging shoes are all different, for example. Also, take care of the size. 
  6. Go Slow and Steady: do not overdo things in enthusiasm. The shortcut might land you in a cast or a bandage when you have to take a forced rest.
  7. Heal completely: after an injury do not be in a rush to start training. Wait till you heal completely. Also, build up the previous level gradually after an injury. 

 

Dr. Tanveer Singh Bhutani, sports injury specialist and an orthopedic surgeon in Ludhiana with very high expertise. If you or your friend is having any of the above symptoms or sporting injury, consult the superspecialist at Eva Hospital.  Book your appointment now.