Sports Injuries & Treatments
Sports could be played as an individual activity for fitness and fun or even as an athletic skill. Either way, sports are vital in various aspects of life. Sports activities have various benefits ranging from health to a healthy competitive culture amongst various geographical regions. Amidst sports comes along an inevitable part which is injuries. The injury that occurred during a sport is simply known as a ‘Sports Injury‘. A sports injury can occur basically due to two reasons –
- Constant and strenuous strain on any part of the body for more than what it can withstand.
- Sudden and excessive impact on any part of the body exceeding its threshold limit.
The most recurrent forms of injuries occur broadly in 6 forms/places which are bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other major organs.
Types of injuries occurring to these major parts of the body while playing a sport are as follows –
The tissue connecting muscle and bones gets highly inflamed due to continuous pressure over a tendon in due course of time without any rest. It may also rupture if overdone.
2 bones are attached by a fibrous tissue called a ligament. Just like any other tissue even this under excessive pressure leads to sprain and ligament tears.
Fractures are the most common injury when it comes to bones. More than 10 different forms of fractures ranging from hairline fracture to comminuted fracture can take place which in simple terms is a crack in the bone to the stage where the bone is broken into 3 or more pieces. Cartilages in the case of ears and nose are more prone to rupturing as it is the softest bone.
Muscles can cause swelling and strain in case it gets overextended.
Joints are prone to weakening of the rotatory cuff and dislocation of spheroidal joints.
Organs like the eye, liver, nose & genitals are equally a risk of injury, especially during outdoor sports
Treatment of Sports Injuries
Depending upon the type of injury appropriate treatment can be provided.
First and the foremost thing to be done in any case is to immobilize the injured part. In small injuries, immobilization can help the body to recover itself and in major injuries, immobilization would at least limit the injury and does not worsen the injury by other forms of strain/pressure.
Next would be to consult a doctor who would take appropriate care and diagnose the injury in a professional manner. If it’s a general pain then painkillers could be given to provide immediate relief. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could also be given to reduce swelling and pain.
Furthermore, the doctor could suggest undergoing a physical examination to understand in injury in detail with imaging tests like X-ray, MRI, CT-Scan, etc. to gain in-depth insights into the injury.
Finally, it could be treated with various medications. In serious cases, surgery could be the only option, and Physiotherapy would be suggested too.
In case of minor injuries, the below method is widely followed.
The most common technique which is widely known is the PRICE technique which is an abbreviation for Protect (the injured part), Rest (body), Ice (cold pack for burns), Compress (the body part to control swelling) & Elevate (the injured part above the heart level in case of swelling). One can inculcate the above depending on the type of injury.
Preventive Measures To Be Taken
- Focus – Sport in itself does not cause injuries but an improper way of playing a sport does. It is quite common as the focus of a person by time may shift or even be reduced which is directed toward a minor mistake leading to a mishap. Hence the first and foremost thing to keep in mind as a preventive measure is to play the sport with maximum focus. Focus is the key.
- Ample Warmup Before The Strenuous Sport – Appropriate light exercises are mandatory before doing anything intensive as warm-up exercises help to loosen the muscles and also make the area near the joints more flexible at a gradual pace.
- Appropriate Technique & Equipment – Every sport has its own unique way and specific equipment to perform. Equipment such as face shields, guards, and so on save our body from damage to a great extent. That way maximum output can be expected with the least strain on the human body. Anything apart from the generic approach could lead to an injury.
- Do Not Push Yourself Too Much – Every person has their own physical limitation. Irrespective of the right technique and warm up we should also know when to stop for a small break. The body needs time to recover and play back with the same energy and intensity hence it is always suggested never to overdo any sport.
- Right Way of Relaxing – Once taking a break after playing a sport, the focus must be on the aspects of the body part on which maximum strain was faced. Eg- Muscle/ joint/ arm etc. Accordingly, extra care should be taken for that part for its faster recovery example by cold packs or gentle massage or not putting strain on that body part for the next few hours. This way even though there was no injury initially it drastically reduces the chances of developing an injury in the near future.
- Right Way of Starting – As the extra focus is kept on the most strained body part during the break the same way that body part should be faced with strain at a decent pace. It is similar to a warm-up but not the same. During warm-up, the generic exercises are done whereas here specific exercise is done to focus on that part of the body that is vulnerable to maximum strain.
Recovery From An Injury
Recovery from an injury can take anywhere from a few hours like in the case of a muscle catch to a few weeks in the case of a tendon or ligament tear to a few months in the case of a bone fracture.
- It is best advised to consult a physiotherapist as they would suggest some advanced exercises and techniques which could help in a faster recovery. A proper schedule/ routine would be curated with respect to the injured sportsperson by providing special attention.
- Healthy nutrition is another aspect of a healthy recovery from any form of injury.
- Ample time for the body to recover is mandatory. People in haste when feeling slightly better start beginning heavy work and go back to the sport. This is never advisable as in that case the chances of an injury are very vulnerable. Ample time when provided to recover will benefit playing the sport with maximum intensity.