Injuries are an unfortunate side-effect of playing many sports. At Salus Physiotherapy Clinic we treat many sports-related injuries.
As with work related injuries, these can be from traumatic events or overuse/repetitive stresses. For example, traumatic events causing injuries can be caused by a hard contact with something or someone such as a body-check in ice hockey. This can often cause minor injuries such as torn ligaments or tendons or sometimes more major injuries such as a broken bone or a joint separation. Patellar tendinitis or âJumperâs Kneeâ is one example of an overuse injury. It is a painful condition generally associated with sports involving repetitive jumping or impact loads, while lateral epicondylitis or âtennis elbowâ, is a form of repetitive stress injury at the elbow.
From the weekend warrior to the professional athlete, we are all susceptible to injuries. Despite all the known benefits inherent to regular exercise, sometimes you can injure yourself when you play sports or exercise simply due to the nature of the activity. Accidents, poor training practices, or improper equipment can also contribute to sports injuries. Regardless of the athlete or level of competition, increasing activity or intensity too quickly can increase the risk of injury.
Some common sports injuries are:
- Sprains and strains of ligaments
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Tennis elbow
- Medial Collateral Ligament
(MCL) and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries of the knee
- Ankle sprains
- Groin strains
- Back spasms
- Haematomas and bruised muscles
- Achilles tendon and plantar
- Iliotibial Band (ITB) injuries
Sports-related injuries can be divided into two main types: acute injuries and chronic or long term injuries.
Acute injuries occur suddenly when playing or exercising. Sprained ankles, MCL sprains, strained backs or back spasms, and fractured broken ankles are examples of acute injuries. Signs of an acute injury include:
- Sudden, severe pain
- Not being able to place full weight on a leg, knee, ankle, or foot
- An arm, elbow, wrist, hand, or finger that is very tender
- Not being able to move a joint as normal
- Extreme leg or arm weakness
- A bone or joint that is visibly out of place
Chronic injuries usually result from poor or inadequate treatment and rehabilitation of acute injuries. They may also develop due to poor technique in your exercises or sport. Examples of chronic or overuse injuries include tennis elbow, ITB pain, and plantar fasciitis. Signs of a chronic injury include:
- Ongoing pain with activity which can often be more noticeable after exercise or activity
- Dull ache when you rest
- Swelling after activity
- Improvements with rest but then symptoms recur when activity is resumed
In many cases acute injuries can become chronic due to changes in the bodyâs patterns of movement and protective reflexes. At Salus we advocate immediate care and treatment when these injuries occur to prevent chronic injuries from developing and to expedite a healthy and pain free return to your sport.