Sports Injuries- What are the Types, Prevention and Treatment

Are you the weekend warrior, a regular sportsman or a gym freak? If you are either of them, you would understand what adrenaline gush means while you are playing your game or even merely talking about it. The only grim part of games and sports is getting a minor or a major sports injury.

What are the Types of Sports Injuries?

Sports injuries can happen at any time-while exercising or while at the game. Sports injuries can happen to anyone-children or adults. You shall be more prone to sports injuries in the following cases:

  • If you have  a sedentary lifestyle
  • If you avoid proper warm-up before the game
  • If you play contact sports
  • If you are not active

Different types of sports injuries have different protocols to follow. Here are the most common types of sports injuries:

  • Sprains

The injury to ligaments caused due to tearing of ligaments is called a sprain. This is the most common sports injury. The tissues connecting two bones to one another in a joint are ruptured.

  • Strains

Strains are the over-stretched muscles or the ‘pulled muscles’ which cause tears in the muscle fibers or tendons. Tendons are thick, fibrous cords of tissue that connect bone to the muscle.

  • Knee Injury

The knee is the most commonly twisted or bent body part while playing. Overstretching, tear in the tissues, ACL tear or the injury resulting from repetitive movement of the knee cap called Patellofemoral Syndrome are all types of knee injuries.

  • Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow or Epicondylitis is the pain related to muscles and tendons of your forearm. There may be a tear in the tendon due to repetitive stress and overuse of the muscles around the elbow. This is also called ‘golfer’s elbow.’ 

  • Fractures and Dislocations

Most commonly heard and most prolonged maybe this type of injury-fractures or dislocations. Bone fractures or when a bone is dislocated in the body are both painful injuries and may take a while to heal.

  • Groin Pull

The side-to-side motion may trigger a push off causing strain of inner thigh muscles or groin. This may sometimes cause significant swelling.

What are the Ways to Prevent Sports Injuries?

Dr. Tanveer Bhutani, a leading orthopedic of Punjab, is a strong advocator of ‘warm-up’ before any workout or game. He says that injuries are likely to happen when your body isn’t conditioned to a particular movement or angle per se. 

Every movement or activity must begin with a proper warm-up and you must make sure to be properly dressed and geared up according to the activity you indulge in.

Read through the following pointers and you can prevent the majority of sports injuries:

  • Learn the proper technique of the game and movements. Different games require different postures and focus on different angles.
  • Wear proper shoes and equip yourself with proper pads and preventive gear.
  • Never push yourself beyond the limits suddenly.
  • Cooldown post the activity is equally important as a warm-up is. Rolling out the muscles using a foam roller is also recommended.

In case you feel the pain or overstretch in any of the muscles, do not rush to the activity and give the body a chance to heal.

Dr. Tanveer advocates adequate Rest (R), Ice packs (I), Compression (C) and Elevation (E) as the foremost treatment of any sports injury. If the swelling or the pain or discomfort prolong, you must not delay in contacting an orthopedic immediately.

What are the Treatments of Sports Injuries?

“Some sports injuries will heal with RICE  (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation) methodology,” says Dr. Tanveer, “however for the severe sprain or strain or a ligament tear, surgery may be recommended”.

Here are some common treatment protocols in the most frequent sports injuries:

In the case of Ankle Sprain or Strain:

Complete healing of a hamstring strain may take about one year. It is advised to exercise and revive flexibility so that the chances of re-injury are zilch. The doctor will examine a high ankle sprain to make sure that the bones in the lower leg are intact and not separated.

In the case of Groin Pull:

RICE can help heal a groin pull. However you should not be in a haste to resume the activity, else the problem can be permanent. For persistent swelling, your orthopedic must be consulted immediately.  

In case of Knee Injury:

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) holds the leg bone to the knee and in case of suspected ACL, orthopedic may recommend surgery as this is the most common type of injury.

While in games like running, volleyball or basketball repetitive movements of knee cap against the thigh bone may damage the tissue under the kneecap. This is called Patellofemoral syndrome which may take up to six weeks to recover. The doctor may advise continuing low impact exercise particularly working out quadriceps for relieving the pain.

In the case of Tennis Elbow:

Epicondylitis or tennis elbow causes irritation and tears in the elbow tendons. You may be advised against playing the game till the pain recovers.

Final Words

Sports injuries can be prevented with precaution and warm up. Worst cases of sports injuries may not heal with RICE and expert advice of the orthopedics may be needed. Dr. Tanveer Bhutani, at EVA Hospital, is a sports injury specialist and has treated the gravest of sports injuries with precision and care. Stay fit, stay healthy and take care of injuries carefully.