Sports injuries are injuries that occur in athletic activities. In many cases, these injuries are due to overuse or acute trauma of a part of the body when participating in a certain activity. For example, runner’s knee is a painful condition generally associated with running, while tennis elbow is a form of repetitive stress injury at the elbow. Other types of injuries can be caused by a hard contact with something. This can often cause a broken bone or torn ligament or tendon. The most severe injuries and all fatalities are collectively known as catastrophic injuries, usually a result of trauma to the head, spine, or spinal cord.
Injuries are a common occurrence in professional sports and most teams have a staff of Athletic Trainers and close connections to the medical community. Controversy has arisen at times when teams have made decisions that could threaten a players long-term health for short term gain.
Sports injuries can be broadly classified as either traumatic or overuse injuries. Traumatic injuries account for most injuries in contact sports such as Association football, rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules football, Gaelic football and American football because of the dynamic and high collision nature of these sports. These injuries range from bruises and muscle strains, to fractures and head injuries.Classification
A bruise or contusion is damage to small blood vessels which causes bleeding within the tissues. A muscle strain is a small tear of muscle fibers and a ligament sprain is a small tear of ligament tissue. The body’s response to these sports injuries is the same in the initial five-day period immediately following the traumatic incident – inflammation.
Inflammation is characterized by pain, localized swelling, heat, redness and a loss of function.
All of these traumatic injuries cause damage to the cells that make up the soft tissues. The dead and damaged cells release chemicals, which initiate an inflammatory response. Small blood vessels are damaged and opened up, producing bleeding within the tissue. In the body’s normal reaction, a small blood clot is formed in order to stop this bleeding and from this clot special cells (called fibroblasts) begin the healing process by laying down scar tissue.
The inflammatory stage is therefore the first phase of healing. However, too much of an inflammatory response in the early stage can mean that the healing process takes longer and a return to activity is delayed. The sports injury treatments are intended to minimize the inflammatory phase of an injury, so that the overall healing process is accelerated. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors are determinant for the healing process.
A warm-up program has been founded to decrease injuries in association football. Many athletes will partake in HGH Treatment for Athletic Enhancement as a way to prevent injuries.
Injury can be minimized by doing an effective warm up, this consists of a heart raiser to get your pulse up, followed by sport specific dynamic stretches (stretches whilst moving). To reduce the risk of injury:
Time off. Plan to have at least 1 day off per week from a particular sport to allow the body to recover.
Wear the right gear. Players should wear appropriate and properly fit protective equipment such as pads (neck, shoulder, elbow, chest, knee, shin), helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and/or eyewear. Young athletes should not assume that protective gear will protect them from performing more dangerous or risky activities.
Strengthen muscles. Conditioning exercises before games and during practice strengthens muscles used in play.
Increase flexibility. Stretching exercises before and after games or practice can increase flexibility.
Use the proper technique. This should be reinforced during the playing season.
Take breaks. Rest periods during practice and games can reduce injuries and prevent heat illness.
Play safe. Strict rules against headfirst sliding (baseball and softball), spearing (football), and body checking (ice hockey) should be enforced.
Stop the activity if there is pain. Avoid heat injury by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise or play; decrease or stop practices or competitions during high heat/humidity periods; wear light clothing.
Sports-Related Emotional Stress
The pressure to win can cause significant emotional stress for a child. Sadly, many coaches and parents consider winning the most important aspect of sports. Young athletes should be judged on effort, sportsmanship and hard work. They should be rewarded for trying hard and for improving their skills rather than punished or criticized for losing a game or competition.
Using proper equipment is key in preventing injury. The NFL is conducting tests with new helmet designs that could reduce the number of head injuries in the league.
Doctors believe fatigue can be a contributing factor in sports injuries because it is more difficult for the body to protect itself when fatigued. Stopping an activity at the first sign of fatigue can prevent sports related injuries.