Sports injury, as the name suggests is the damage to body tissues and bones as a result of activities like sports and exercises. Even Though any damage can occur during sports, the term sports injury is mostly used to address injuries to the musculoskeletal system. There are many types of sports injuries, symptoms and complications. Some of the common injuries are sprains, fractures, strains, tears of tendons and ligaments and dislocations.
Most the sports injuries occur accidently. Other causes are:
- Inadequate and poor training
- Overuse of muscles or over practising
- Improper stretching, flexibility and relaxation exercises
- Insufficient warm up sessions
Symptoms of sports injury vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. Minor or acute injuries show less severe symptoms, and major or chronic injuries show more severe symptoms.
Some of the common symptoms are:
- Severe pain
- Swelling in the affected area
- Weakness in affected limbs
- Inability to move joints
- Reduced range of movements
- A visible deformity
- Loss of consciousness in certain severe cases
Diagnostic procedures depend on the type and severity of the injury.
- Detailed review of the incident is an important part
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Physical examination is also an important part. The doctor may stretch or flex joints and tendons and the process varies for different type of injuries.
- Imaging procedures, with X-ray being a major one if a fracture is suspected and other severe injuries.
Taking good care and protective measures during sports activities is the preventive method for sports injuries.
- Wear helmets, protective paddings and other protective equipment.
- Use proper fitting shoes
- Practise and apply correct techniques
- Adequate stretching
- Proper exercise and training
- Proper warmup sessions
- Avoid over practising.
The most important and primary treatment approach for sports injuries is the RICE method, acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
- RICE method
- Rest to prevent further damage
- Ice bag or cold pack to reduce pain and swelling
- Compression method is pressure wrapping the affected area to reduce swelling and leakage of blood
- Elevation method is keeping the affected part in a raised position to reduce pressure by blood flow and tissue swelling on the injury or affected area.
- Surgery may be needed for severe injuries. The type of surgery varies for different types of injuries.
- Medications may be given for relief from pain and quick healing.
- Heat therapy is also used to reduce joint stiffness, improve blood flow, muscle relaxation, pain relief and improve flexibility.
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