Sport Injuries and Functional Fitness
Sport Injuries occur when participating in sports or physical activities associated with a specific sport, most often as a result of an accident. Sprains and strains, knee injuries, Achilles tendonitis and fractures are several examples of frequent types. According to Dr. Alex Jimenez, excessive training or improper gear, among other factors, are common causes. Through a collection of articles, Dr. Jimenez summarizes the various causes and effects of sport injuries on the athlete.
The seven most common sport injuries are:
- Ankle sprain
- Groin pull
- Hamstring strain
- Shin splints
- Knee injury: ACL tear
- Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome — injury resulting from the repetitive movement of your kneecap against your thigh bone
- Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)
How to prevent and treat these common sports injuries
Most Common Sports Injuries: Strains & Sprains
Sprains are injuries to ligaments, the tough bands connecting bones in a joint. Suddenly stretching ligaments past their limits deforms or tears them. Strains are injuries to muscle fibers or tendons, which anchor muscles to bones. Strains are called pulled muscles because: Over-stretching or overusing a muscle causes tears in the muscle fibers or tendons.
Treatment For The Most Common Sports Injuries
Usually, common sport injuries are mild or moderate — there’s some damage, but everything is still in place. One can treat these injuries at home using the PRICE therapy method described below. But one should expect that some sports injuries may take months to heal, even with good treatment. If a sprain or strain is severe enough that the entire muscle, tendon, or ligament is torn away then surgery may be required.
Here are some specific tips for treating each of the most common sports injuries:
1. Ankle Sprain
Most athletes have experienced a sprained ankle, which typically occurs when the foot turns inward. This turning stretches or tears the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, which are relatively weak.
With an ankle sprain, it’s important to exercise to prevent loss of flexibility and strength — and re-injury. You can ask your doctor or physical therapist to help you know what kinds of exercise you should do.
When to see a doctor: It is important to note where the sprain has occurred. High ankle sprain is slower to heal and should be seen by a doctor to make sure the bones in the lower leg are not separated. A way to recognize high ankle sprain is the sprain usually causes tenderness above the ankle.
2. Groin Pull
It is Pushing off in a side-to-side motion causes strain of the inner thigh muscles, groin. Soccer, football, baseball and hockey are common sports with groin injuries.
3. Hamstring Strain
Three muscles in the back of the thigh form the hamstring. The hamstring can be over-stretched by movements like jumping hurdles, kicking the leg out in a sharp manner when running.
Hamstring injuries are slow to heal because of the constant stress applied to the injured tissue due to walking. Healing completely can take six to 12 months. Re-injuries are common because it’s hard for many to stay inactive that long.
4. Shin Splints
Pains down the front of the lower legs are commonly called “shin splints. Most often brought on by running, often when starting a strenuous training program like long runs on paved roads.
Chiropractic, rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medicine are the mainstays of treatment.
Shin splints pain is rarely an actual stress fracture, (small break in the shin bone). But one should see a doctor if the pain persists, even with rest. Stress fractures require a longer period rest, about a month or more to heal.
5. Knee Injury: ACL Tear
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) holds the leg bone to the knee. Sudden stops or getting hit from the side can strain or tear the ACL. A complete tear will but not always make the pop sound.
If suspecting an ACL injury. ACL tears are potentially the most severe of the common sport injuries. A completely torn ACL usually requires surgery especially those who wish to remain physically active.
6: Knee Injury: Patellofemoral Syndrome
Patellofemoral syndrome can result from the repetitive movement of the kneecap (patella) against the thigh bone (femur), which can damage the tissue underneath the kneecap. Running, volleyball, and basketball are the common sports that cause this injury. One knee or both can be affected.
Patellofemoral pain can take up to six weeks to clear up. Therefore, patience is imperative and it is important to continue low-impact exercise during this time. Also working out the quadriceps can help in relieving the pain.
7. Tennis Elbow (epicondylitis)
Repetitive use of the elbow during golf or tennis swings. This can irritate or create tiny tears in the elbow’s tendons. Epicondylitis is most common in 30- to 60-year-olds and usually involves the area outside of the elbow.
Epicondylitis can usually be cleared up by staying off the tennis court or golf course until the pain goes away or improves.
The P.R.I.C.E Principle For Treating Common Sports Injuries
U.S. Marines say that “pain is weakness leaving your body.” The PRICE method can be used to treat any common sports injury and will help get an individual back in the game sooner.
It is important to know that swelling is a normal response when these injuries occur. Excessive swelling, though, can reduce range of motion and interfere with the healing process. One can limit swelling and start healing faster by using PRICE:
- P — protect from further injury
For more severe injuries, protect the injured area with a splint, pad, or crutch.
- R — restrict activity
Restricting activity prevents worsening of the injury.
- I — apply ice
Apply ice immediately after the injury occurs. Ice is a miracle as it is an anti-inflammatory, without side effects. Apply ice for 20 minutes every one to two hours for the first 48 hours after the injury. Do not use heat during this time as it encourages swelling and inflammation.
- C — apply compression
Compression with an elastic bandage helps reduce swelling.
- E — elevate the injured area
Elevating the injured area above the heart also helps reduce swelling.
Over-the-counter pain relievers usually relieve the pain of common sports injuries to a tolerable level. If not, it’s time to see a doctor.
When To Get Medical Attention For These Sports Injuries
Even though an individual is tough, one also needs to be smart. If you suspect a serious injury or have any of these symptoms, SEE A DOCTOR:
- Deformities in the joint or bone — looks “crooked,” or moves abnormally
- Cannot bear weight or cannot use limb without it giving way
- Excessive swelling
- Changes in skin color other than mild bruising
- Not getting any better after a few days of PRICE therapy
Benefits Of Chiropractic Care For Golfers
For more information, please feel free to contact us at (915) 850-0900