Excessive training, overuse, lack of conditioning, improper technique or direct impact, the list of reasons why sports injuries happen can go and on. Individuals sustain injuries when a body part experiences a force greater than it can tolerate. While the effects of most of these injuries are temporary and can be easily managed, even the most minor issues can lead to complex conditions with permanent consequences if left untreated or unattended. Soft tissues of the body like tendons, ligaments, and the fascia are at a higher risk of sustaining long-term sports injuries due to increased sensitivity.
Types of Sports Injuries:
Acute Injury: Such injuries develop suddenly and are often the result of a movement that may have wrongfully impacted the body. These injuries are caused by a specific motion or action, like an awkward landing that can lead to a sprained ankle or a fracture. Being extremely out of shape, lack of proper training, not warming up or improper equipment usage puts an individual at a higher risk of developing acute sports injuries.
Chronic Injury: These injuries progress over time and are never the result of a single harsh event. Chronic wounds are caused by long-term repetitive motion and overuse of the same muscles or joints. If the same region of the body is consistently exposed to stress and strain, structural abnormalities develop. The key to dealing with chronic injuries is diagnosing them at an earlier stage and starting treatment as soon a possible. Once they have fully developed, these conditions become harder to resolve and cause permanent damage—for example, a broken bone or traumatic bone injury, etc.
Common Sports Injuries:
Here we have curated a list of common sport injuries athletes are most likely to encounter. And a few easy steps on how to manage them.
By far the most common of all sports injuries. The chances of a muscle or a tendon getting overstretched and undergoing tear are incredibly high. That’s because many of these soft tissues are under constant stress during intense workouts, strenuous exercises, or while playing. One sudden wrong move could leave you damaged, torn, and in severe pain. Muscles within the calves, groin, lower back, hamstrings, and shoulders are most likely to get affected.
The key to avoiding muscular strains is to ensure you do a proper warm-up and stretch before starting any activity. Using ice packs, compression, elevating exercise, and abundant rest will quickly help you manage minor strains. However, in case of excessive swelling and intolerable pain, an evaluation with a professional should be delayed.
A type of soft tissue that connects one bone to the other is called a ligament. Ligament sprains are similar to muscular strains but take a longer time to heal. Affected individuals often have to be completely immobilized to prevent the damage from worsening. People who have had sprains in the past are recommended to wear braces or casts because it becomes permanently weak once a ligament is sprained.
Seek immediate professionals to deal with a sprain effectively and to prevent any long-lasting damage. Tons of rest, icing, and compression are required to facilitate healing. You’ll be given Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs to assist inflammation and reduce pain.
An example of a severe knee injury is ACL. It is short for Anterior Cruciate Ligament, a soft tissue that holds together the knee joint, providing stability and support. Awkward landings, sudden change in direction, or a strong impact directly on the knee can damage this ligament. Individuals may feel like they’ve lost all sensation within their knee, and it no longer functions. The extreme pain and swelling associated with the condition make walking exceptionally challenging.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor will create a physical therapy schedule. Consistent rehabilitation is necessary to deal with a torn ligament. In extreme cases, braces and surgery are also required.
On the inner side of the knee, there is a piece of soft tissue called Medial Collateral Ligament or MCL. It connects the upper leg (femur) to the lower leg (tibia) and holds the two regions together. Any accident resulting in a solid blow to the knee or sudden movements causing the knee joint to be pushed sideways may result in a torn MCL. Symptoms include intolerable pain, burning sensation, and inflammation within the joint, causing it to become unstable. It may temporarily affect the individual’s ability to walk. Minor tears can be resolved with consistent icing, bracing, physical therapy, and sufficient rest. If the tear is severe and surrounding structures have been affected, extensive surgeries are required to restore function.
Commonly called a heel spur, it is characterized by the deposition of calcium on the underside of the heel bone over many months. The heel bone is covered with plantar fascia and ligaments for protection. Repeated stress on these membranes due to high intensity can cause the tendons on the arch of your foot to become overstretched and inflamed, resulting in deep tears. Athletes whose daily routine involves lots of running, jogging, or jumping are likely to struggle with this issue. Obesity and lack of proper running shoes also contribute to the problem. People often associate the pain of heel spurs with a knife or a pin constantly poking underneath their feet. This sharp pain tends to return every time an individual stands up after sitting for long durations.
Starting your workout with a good stretch and a warm-up, as well as occasional resting periods in between, are the best preventative measures to take. Purchasing proper athletic shoes, shoe inserts, and orthotic devices may also provide additional comfort during lengthy workouts. While 90% of individuals recover with consistent physical therapy, some require surgical treatments. Depending on the patient’s situation, the doctor will likely release the plantar fascia or remove the spur.
One of the most common causes of chronic shoulder pain is the accumulation of calcium within the rotator cuff. This condition is called Calcific Tendonitis. A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that connect your upper arm and shoulder. Calcium deposition in this region can be a source of immense pain and discomfort. It restricts movement and reduces the range of motion. This condition is prevalent amongst bodybuilders who perform intense overhead activities like heavy lifting or upper arm exercises. And athletes who play basketball or tennis
The build-up happens in three stages, of which the last stage is excruciatingly painful. It’s called resorption and is the period during which the body reabsorbs the accumulated calcium. Patients complain of pain so severe that they can’t even manage to sleep.
Treatment depends on the extent of calcium build-up in the patient’s shoulder. If diagnosed at an earlier stage, calcified shoulders can be treated with simple Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. In moderate cases, your health care provider will recommend a non-surgical procedure based on your requirements. You can either opt for Radial Shock-wave therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, or percutaneous needling. However, in severe cases, doctors recommend surgery, which depends on the size and location of the deposit. In open surgeries, the doctor manually removes each residue with a scalpel. In arthroscopic surgery, camera-guided removal of excessive calcium takes place.
Patella Tip Syndrome:
The tendon that passes through the kneecap and joins the thigh muscle to the shin (tibia) is called Patellar Tendon. The inflammation of this tendon occurs in 4 levels. At first, the pain only happens when you exert yourself and apply strain. But at the third level, this pain becomes a constant hindrance and source of immense discomfort. Eventually, the worn-out tendon starts to tear. It is a condition mostly diagnosed amongst athletes who participate in sports exert tensile strain on tendon insertion point. High jump, volleyball, basketball, and weight lifting are all common examples.
PTS requires immediate care and attention. Bed rest is crucial for at least 6-12 weeks to ensure the tears don’t get worse. Treatment plans are created according to pain pattern and intensity. Different forms of therapy like electrotherapy, thermotherapy, ultrasound, and shockwave therapy coupled with regular massages should encourage healing.
Pseudarthrosis means false joints. It is a condition that occurs after significant trauma, surgery, or fracture when the broken bones cannot fuse properly. The abnormally fused bones structurally resemble a fibrous joint, hence the name pseudoarthrosis. Initially, patients lose mobility and sensation within the joints, followed by swelling, intolerable pain, redness, and high fever.
The underlying causes of this disease are still unclear, but scientists believe that genetics play a significant role in its susceptibility. Factors like old age, alcohol consumption, malnutrition, smoking, and preexisting disorders like hyperthyroidism also contribute to its development. Another leading cause of pseudarthrosis is an infected fracture. Inadequate treatment and infection can result in loss of blood supply to the fractured region. This can cause necrosis within the broken bones and the surrounding tissues. The bone tissue gradually disintegrates and dies, causing immense pain, immobility, and discomfort in the process.
In most cases, bone grafts can be used to encourage the healing of the bent bone. The region can also be stabilized by screwing in metal plates, bolts, or rods to hold the broken fragments together. Moreover, electromagnetic or ultrasound therapy can stimulate the recovery and the formation of new bone cells.
Treatments For Sports Injuries:
Injuries amongst athletes and players are widespread. They are easily manageable if you know what to do. Being well informed and educated about different diseases and their symptoms will help you diagnose them earlier. Starting treatment before the disease has fully spread is key to preventing any long-term damage.
Minor injuries like sprains, strains, and ligaments tears can be treated through the PRICE therapy. PRICE is the acronym for:
P- Protection: The injured or affected region needs to be protected from further damage
R- Rest: Keep physical activity to a minimum in the coming weeks. Avoid strenuous activities or any sudden movements. Individuals with injured knees and ankles must walk using crutches to reduce pressure on the affected region.
l- Ice: Use ice packs consistently every day. Massage gently on the injured area for 15-20 minutes to soothe inflammation.
C- Compression: Make use of compression bandages. These wrap tightly around the injured area to reduce swelling and provide an added layer of protection.
E- Elevation: elevation exercises involve raising the injured part of your body above the level of your heart now and then. They are a proven way to reduce swelling.
Physiotherapy coupled with additional treatments is known to stimulate healing within the damaged tissues and bones. It’s a regular exercise program that utilizes several physical treatments to increase mobility and the range of motion. Physiotherapists work with patients to gradually strengthen the affected muscles and restore the normal function of the injured area.
The use of these injections is highly controversial, and they are only recommended in very severe circumstances. People are given corticosteroid injections when they are suffering from intolerable pain and persistent inflammation. Although these injections provide immediate relief, the soothing effect is only temporary. In the long run, they can cause thinning of the skin, loss of fat, and infections.
At True Freedom Therapy, we offer Softwave technology to manage chronic pain and broken bones. Softwave is a game-changer in treating sports-related injuries. It is the most advanced, effective, entirely needleless, non-invasive, and pain-free treatment. Soundwaves are applied to the injured area to stimulate regeneration and healing. Increased blood circulation to the affected region coupled with enhanced stem cell activity allows rapid healing of cells and new tissues. The benefits don’t just end there; unlike surgeries, this treatment requires zero downtime. With no recovery time needed, patients can get back on their feet as soon as possible. At True Freedom Therapy, we have professionals with years of experience and training in handling Softwave devices. Our team works day and night to ensure all our patients receive the utmost care and attention.
If appropriately managed, all sports injuries are treatable. Most of the problems mentioned above won’t cause any permanent complications if swift action is taken and treatment isn’t delayed. To receive in-depth guidance regarding your situation, schedule an appointment with us or book a free consultation. This will allow our doctors to create a unique treatment plan catered to your needs and requirements. It has always been our goal to make sure that each patient leaves feeling 100% satisfied.
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