Olympic athletes, sports professionals, weekend warriors, young, old and in between can all suffer sports injuries. How you deal with that injury after the fact is crucial. Most people want to find the best care and most efficient rehabilitation so they can return to their preferred sport or recreational activity as soon as possible. Therein lies the catch. If someone returns too soon and without the proper rehabilitation, the injury can become exacerbated and will take even longer to heal. You can even re-injure yourself. A sports injury is frustrating and patience is necessary if your goal is full recovery.
It is essential to find professionals who will advance your recovery at a pace which allows you to comfortably move without pain. In order to heal properly, the right steps and the right pace are crucial.
Causes of Sports Injuries
There are some common reasons for sports related injuries. Playing sports is completely unpredictable, but no matter whether you are performing mild to strenuous exercise or participating in any kind of sport, there are certain definitive behaviors that can lead to a sport injury:
- Attempting to perform without being in the proper condition
- Moving in an inefficient manner as a result of previous injury, muscle imbalance or poor technique
- Not warming up adequately
- Having improper gear
- Poor training practices.
Any of these less than optimal situations can trigger a sports injury.
Acute Injuries vs. Chronic Injuries
Certain kinds of injuries need immediate attention. If you are suddenly in terrible pain, quickly begin to swell, it becomes impossible to put weight on a leg, knee or ankle, you are probably experiencing an acute injury. Usually these occur as a result of one traumatic event. If the area is tender, you find it is impossible to move a joint normally, if a bone or joint is out of place, this is an acute injury. Weakness in an arm or leg can also signify an acute injury. Fractures, sprains and dislocations are common acute injuries.
On the other hand a chronic injury presents itself as a pain or swelling after you play a particular sport or exercise for a long time. It will hurt and throb when you rest.
Common Sports Injuries and Risk Factors
The most common sports injuries occur while exercising, playing sports, or happen as a result of an accident. They include:
- Sprains and strains
Sprains and strains have common symptoms but involve different parts of the body. Sprains occur when ligaments are stretched beyond normal range of motion whereas a strain is damage to a muscle or tendon pulled too far. Ankles are often sprained whereas strains occur in the back, shoulder or hamstring.
- Knee injuries
Besides being the largest joint in our bodies, the knee is the most injured. A very common injury to the knee is tearing the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL. Those who play soccer, basketball or football are likely candidates to experience an ACL injury. Often it includes damage to cartilage, other ligaments and the meniscus.
Stopping suddenly, landing from a jump, changing direction while running and collisions can all be causes of such a knee injury.
Fractures are broken bones. Fractures frequently occur while playing football or any contact sport. Outside of sports a fall or a car accident can also cause fractures.
Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone or bruising within a bone caused by overuse and common with running sports like basketball and soccer. The foot and lower leg are especially vulnerable. A sudden increase in activity is a major cause of stress fractures.
There has been increased attention paid to concussions in sports in the last few years. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or blow to the body when it results in a sudden head movement. It is sometimes difficult to diagnose because the symptoms may not be immediately noticeable and the person may not lose consciousness.
Appearing dazed, having balance issues, changes in mood, headaches, dizziness, problems with memory or concentration, and sensitivity to light are all symptoms of a concussion. Confusion and changes in behavior may indicate a severe concussion. Anyone with a diagnosed concussion should not return to play until completely recovered. Second Impact Syndrome can cause the brain to swell and a trigger a loss of control of the blood flow to the brain.
A common dislocation playing sports occurs in the shoulder. Because the shoulder can move in many different directions, it is vulnerable to dislocation. Shoulders can be dislocated partially where the upper arm bone is partially out of the socket, and completely, where the bone is completely out of the socket. The dislocation can be forward, backward or downward. Those who participate in throwing sports like a quarterback in football are susceptible to have dislocations. They result in pain, swelling and bruising.
- Painful shin
Common with runners, dancers and the military, a painful shin is also known as shin splints. This refers to the shinbone or tibia which runs down the front of the lower leg. It occurs with overuse and a change or increase to training routines. The bones tendons and muscles become overworked resulting in tenderness and pain along with swelling in your lower leg.
- Injuries to the Achilles tendon
The Achilles tendon stretches from your heel bones to your calf muscles. Injuries are common among runners and jumpers and in both amateur and professional athletes. With Achilles tendonitis it becomes swollen and painful. Runners, those in gymnastics, who play football, baseball, hockey, and even dancers are likely to suffer tendon injuries. Sprinters can be especially susceptible to injuries of the Achilles tendon at the beginning of a race with their sudden movement forward.
Treatments at PhysioActive for Sports Injuries
Most simple sports injuries should be treated first by stopping play. Our bodies need rest to heal. A combination of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation or RICE is effective in the acute stages of healing. Beyond that ‘at-home’ remedy, many sports injuries require additional intervention for a full recovery and future injury prevention.
Physiotherapy for Sports Injuries
- Acupuncture can help pain, blood supply and general healing
- Advice & Education
- ‘Core’ Stability Strengthening: Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization
- Deep Transverse Frictions
- Exercise Therapy
- ‘Hands on’ Treatments
- Joint Mobilisation and Manipulations
- Magnetic Biostimulation
- Myofascial Release Techniques
- Postural Taping & Education
- Prescription Orthotics: Custom Foot Orthotics may be part of a treatment plan for knee injuries, sprains and strains, Achilles tendonitis, and shin splints.
- Scar Tissue Mobilisations
- Soft Tissue Treatments
- Sports Massage
- Spinal Traction
- Therapeutic Ultrasound
Performance Enhancement Services
- Biomechanical Video Analysis
- Sports Massage
- Warm Up
Active Health & Wellbeing
- Yoga – Individual and Group
PhysioActive has advanced treatment protocols for any sports injury whether it be a result of playing sports, exercising, or an accident. In most cases we will utilize a multiple treatment approach tailored for your particular injury. Trust the professionals at PhysioActive to find the appropriate means to facilitate your healing and mobility.
Our two-part assessment is needed for effective treatment of nagging or chronic injuries: Our physiotherapists are trained to assess no only what hurts, but more importantly we delve deeper to determine why your injury is persisting or why it returns. This second evaluation of other areas in your body and other systems is what sets our clinic apart from others. This is why we leave 1 full hour available for our assessments to provide sufficient time to determine all contributing factors to your injury.
Contact us today if you or someone you know has suffered a sports injury and needs guidance and professional treatment to fully recover.