Sports injuries can happen in any sport, and the risk varies depending on the sport's rules, the intensity of the competition, and the person’s physical condition.
Sports injuries can occur during exercise or participation in a sport. Children are particularly at risk for this type of injury, but adults can also get them. A person is at risk for sports injuries if they are not regularly active, do not warm up properly before exercise, or play contact sports. In case of any injury, it is necessary to stop playing or exercising. Proceeding to play or exercise can do even more damage.
Definition and Overview
The term "sports injury" most commonly refers to the types of injuries that occur during sports or exercise. The musculoskeletal system is an interconnected system of bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and other tissues that provides support and mobility to the body.
Acute and chronic injuries are the two primary categories of sports injuries. Acute injuries happen suddenly, such as when someone falls, is struck, or twists a joint, while chronic injuries are typically brought on by overusing one part of the body and appear gradually over time.
Different sports injuries cause different symptoms and complications. The most common types of sports injuries are as follows:
A sprain is brought on by overstretching or tearing the ligaments. Ligaments are tissues that link two bones together at a joint.
Strains result from the overstretching or tearing of muscles or tendons. Tendons, which connect bone to muscle, are substantial, fibrous strands of tissue. Sprains and strains are frequently confused.
- Knee injuries
Any injury that blocks the knee joint from moving can be a sports injury. It might be anything from overstretching to a tear in the knee's muscles or tissues.
- Swollen muscles
Swelling is a natural response of the human body to injury. Swollen muscles can also be painful and weaken by losing strength.
- Achilles tendon rupture
The Achilles tendon is a thin, strong tendon located at the back of the ankle. This tendon may tear or rupture when doing sports. A ruptured or torn Achilles tendon can cause abrupt, excruciating pain and make walking difficult.
An acute fracture, also known as a one-time break in the bone, or a stress fracture, also known as repeated stress, is a break in the bone.
A bone in your body might become dislocated as a result of sports injuries. When dislocation happens, a bone is forced out of its socket. Swelling and weakening may result from this, which can be painful.
- Rotator cuff injury
Four parts of muscles collaborate to form the rotator cuff. The shoulder is able to move in all directions thanks to the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff can become less strong if one of these muscles tears. (1)
A healthcare provider should be seen if there are signs of a serious injury. These symptoms include:
- Severe pain, swelling or bruising,
- Pain and swelling that does not go away after a few days,
- Inability to tolerate any weight in the area,
- An obvious deformity.
Treatment of serious injuries may include:
A sports trainer or paramedic can perform quick immobilization as a frequent treatment for musculoskeletal sports injuries. Immobilization prevents further movement in the area while improving blood flow to the injury. Immobilization helps the beginning of the healing process by reducing discomfort, inflammation, and muscular spasms.
Splints, braces, and casts are used to support and protect broken bones and soft tissue, while slings are used to immobilize the upper body, including the arms and shoulders. Splints and braces typically fail to provide as much support and security as a cast does, so they may not be an appropriate choice.
Surgery may be required in some circumstances to realign broken bones or to repair ripped connective tissues. Surgery is not necessary in the vast majority of musculoskeletal sports injuries.
If there are no symptoms of serious injury, at least at first, the injury can be treated at home. If pain or other symptoms persist or worsen, a healthcare professional should be consulted. The R-I-C-E method can be used to relieve pain and inflammation and accelerate healing. Treatments of minor injuries may include:
Activities that involve using the injured area should be limited for at least a day or two. Avoid placing weights on or using the injured joint or limb.
An ice pack should be applied to the injured area for 20 minutes, four to eight times a day. Ice should not be applied for more than 20 minutes to prevent frostbite and frostbite.
Applying pressure to the injured area is a treatment method that helps reduce swelling. Using an elastic bandage works, but shouldn't be wrapped so tight that it cuts off circulation.
If possible, the injured ankle, knee, elbow, or ankle should be placed on a pillow above heart level to reduce swelling.
Patients might need to complete a rehabilitation program before they can resume the activity that caused the injury after the wound has healed.
A plan is created by a physiatrist or physical therapist with the goal of regaining the injured body part's strength and range of motion while also reducing any remaining pain. The probability of re-injury can be decreased and the patient can resume their prior level of activity with the aid of a rehabilitation program. (2)
Patients suffering from sports injury are candidates for treatment if they have:
- sudden, severe pain
- excessive swelling or bruising,
- inability to put weight on the leg, knee, ankle or foot
- inability to move a joint normally
- extreme weakness of an injured limb,
- a bone or joint that is visibly out of place. (3)
Risks and Side Effects
Sports injury treatments are generally safe and effective. However, in some cases,
- allergic reaction,
- and chronic pain
may occur during the treatment process.
Post-Procedure and Follow-up
Most sports injuries respond well to treatment and rehabilitation, enabling return to normal activities. However, assistance should be sought if the pain continues.
During the recovery period, patients should not ignore the symptoms. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment is received, the faster the recovery will be.
After the treatment of sports injuries, patients can return to their normal lives, daily activities, sports and exercises after a while depending on the injury and treatment.
1- Healthline. Everything You Need to Know About Sports Injuries and Rehab.(https://www.healthline.com/health/sports-injuries#call-a-doctor)
2- National Institutes of Health. Sports Injuries: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Steps to Take. (https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/sports-injuries/diagnosis-treatment-and-steps-to-take)
3- National Institutes of Health. Sports Injuries (https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/sports-injuries)