Sports injuries are injuries that happen when playing sports or exercising. Some are resulted from poor training practice and improper sports gear. While others are injured because of not in proper condition (etc. overstraining due to no or not enough training, sickness …) and occasionally it is because of not warming up or stretching enough before you play or exercise can also lead to injuries.
The most common sports injuries are:
- Sprains and strains
- Knee injuries
- Swollen muscles
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Pain along the shin bone
Below are the list of FAQ commonly asked by sportsmen:
What’s the Difference Between an Acute and a Chronic Injury?
There are two types of sports injuries, acute and chronic.
Acute injuries occur suddenly or almost immediately when playing or exercising.
Signs of an acute injury include:
- Sudden, severe pain
- Not being able to place weight on a leg, knee, ankle, or foot
- Injured area is very tender
- Not being able to move a joint as normal
- Extreme leg or arm weakness
- A bone or joint that is visibly out of place
Chronic injuries happen after you play a sport or exercise for a long time.
Signs of a chronic injury include:
- Pain when you playing
- A dull ache when you rest
What Should I Do if I Get Injured?
Never try to “work through” the pain of a sports injury, you must stop immediately as it will only cause more harm to the injury.
Call a doctor when:
- The injury causes severe pain, swelling, or numbness
- You can’t put any weight on the area
- An old injury hurts or aches
- An old injury swells
- The joint doesn’t feel normal or feels unstable.
If you don’t have any of these signs, it may be safe to treat the injury at home. If the pain or other symptoms get worse, you should call your doctor. Use the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Follow these four steps right after the injury occurs and do so for at least 48 hours:
- Rest. Reduce your regular activities. If you’ve injured your foot, ankle, or knee, take weight off of it. A crutch can help. If your right foot or ankle is injured, use the crutch on the left side. If your left foot or ankle is injured, use the crutch on the right side.
- Ice. 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.
- Compression. 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.
- Elevation. Put the injured area on a pillow, at a level above your heart, to help reduce swelling.
How Are Sports Injuries Treated?
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 will suggest that you take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). These drugs reduce swelling and pain. You can buy them at a drug store. It may relieve pain, but it will not reduce swelling.Immobilization
Immobilization is a common treatment for sports injuries. It keeps the injured area from moving and prevents more damage. Slings, splints, casts, and leg immobilizers are used to immobilize sports injuries.Surgery
In some cases, surgery is needed to fix sports injuries. Surgery can fix torn tendons and ligaments or put broken bones back in place. Most sports injuries don’t need surgery.Rehabilitation (Exercise)
Rehabilitation is a key part of treatment. It involves exercises that step by step get the injured area back to normal. Moving the injured area helps it to heal. The sooner this is done, the better. Exercises start by gently moving the injured body part through a range of motions. The next step is to stretch. After a while, weights may be used to strengthen the injured area.As injury heals, scar tissue forms. After a while, the scar tissue shrinks. This shrinking brings the injured tissues back together. When this happens, the injured area becomes tight or stiff. This is when you are at greatest risk of injuring the area again. You should stretch the muscles every day. You should always stretch as a warmup before you play or exercise.Don’t play your sport until you are sure you can stretch the injured area without pain, swelling, or stiffness. When you start playing again, start slowly. Build up step by step to full speed.
Although it is good to start moving the injured area as soon as possible, you must also take time to rest after an injury. All injuries need time to heal; proper rest helps the process. Your doctor can guide you on the proper balance between rest and rehabilitation.
Other common therapies that help with the healing process include cold packs (cryotherapy), heat packs (thermotherapy), sound waves (ultrasound), and massage.