Miscellaneous
Sports Injuries

Overview:

Sports and exercise are important for the human body. They have many physical, psychological, and social benefits when practiced regularly, such as: Weight loss, maintaining a healthy heart and healthy joints and muscles, and improving mood. However, physical activities come with risks, rare as they may be. Some people may get injured while doing sports. The severity of the injury depends on the nature of the exercise. Sometimes, injury can result from excessive exercise. In other cases, it can be the result of a lack of warmups and preparations. Sports injuries can sometimes lead to long-term damage. So, it is important to exercise safely to reduce risks. 

Types of sports injuries:
  1. Overuse injuries: Muscle cramps and pain, in the front part of the knee for example, occurs when you overuse the body tissues without giving them enough time to recover. They also occur when you do sports in the wrong way. Some of the most common symptoms of overuse are pain, tingling, numbness, swelling, stiffness, and weakness in the affected area. Common injuries from overuse include: 
    • Muscle strain.
    • Inflammation and pain of the tendons (tendinitis).
    • Pain in the front part of the knee.
    • Knee pain.
    • Shin pain.
    • Painful heels.
  2. Traumatic injuries: They happen suddenly, and lead to immediate pain and signs of tissue damage such as: Bruising, swelling, cuts or sprains from falling or doing contact sports. Common symptoms of swelling include: 
    • Restriction of movement and an inability to bear weight.
    • There may also be visible signs of a dislocation or fracture of the bone.

Causes of sports injuries:
  • Falls or hits.
  • Improper warm-up or stretching practices before a sporting event or exercise​Use of improper exercise equipment.
  • Stressing and straining your body.
  • Any part of the body, including muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments) can be injured. Your ankles and knees are particularly more vulnerable.

When to see a doctor?
In order to practice sports safely, it is important to know the warning signs that may indicate a problem. If any of these problems occur, stop the exercise or activity you are doing and see your doctor immediately:
  • Pain or pressure in the chest, arms, throat, jaw, or back.
  • Nausea or vomiting during or after exercise.
  • Heart palpitations or sudden increased heart rate.
  • Inability to catch your breath.
  • Dizziness or fainting during exercise (feeling lightheaded after exercise often means your body needs a ​longer cooling off period).
  • Weakness and fatigue. 
  • Pain in the joints, calf, heel or shin muscles (this is not an emergency; however, it should be examined if not cured).

How to prevent sports injuries?
  • Make gradual increases in the number of times and duration of your exercise.
  • Know how to use sports equipment correctly.
  • Take time to warm up before you start exercising.
  • Wear a proper sports gear like: Athletic footwear.
  • Eat a healthy diet and drink enough fluids.
  • Avoid straining your body too much.

When you get a sports injury?
  • Stop exercising if you feel pain.
  • Remember to use the RICE method. It stands for: (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).
  • Get proper medical assistance.
  • Do not rush back to exercising.

Tips to return to your fitness after an injury:
  • If you are not sure how to treat an injury, seek medical attention.
  • Early diagnosis is important. It helps you receive correct treatment and prevents any exacerbation of the injury.
  • Make sure that your injury is completely healed before returning to full activity to avoid the risk of recurrence.
  • Develop a recovery and exercise plan with medical assistance.

The difference between pain and injury:
When you feel pain or stiffness before exercise sessions, or notice that they last for a long time afterward, you may be injured. This means that you need to change the activity you are doing and seek medical attention. As for general aches and muscle pains, they are signs of tired muscles. You do not need to worry about them as long as they do not last for more than two hours.

Recovering from an injury:
Your body can heal itself provided that you give it enough time. This means that you must refrain from doing the usual exercises until your injury is completely recovered and your strength and fitness are restored.
  • Recovering from overuse injuries: First, stop the activity that caused you the pain. This does not mean that you should stop exercising altogether, instead, avoid using the injured body part to give it time to recover. Changing the equipment you use may help, such as: Using a lighter racket, or making adjustments to your exercise routine. Specific muscle-strengthening exercises may also help prevent a recurring injury.
  • Recovering from traumatic injuries: Treatment should begin immediately by applying ice and compressing the injured area to help prevent bleeding, bruising, or swelling. Wrap the ice in a damp towel to protect your skin while elevating the affected body part. You should continue to apply ice for the first 48 hours after the injury for 10-15 minutes each time. You should also try to move the affected body part gently on the same day, and after the first few days, once the swelling is under control. 

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Last Update : 22 October 2020 09:02 PM
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