What are sports injuries?
Sports Injuries are caused from acute trauma or from overuse of a body part during a sport.
Some of the common sport injuries are:
- Traumatic Injuries:
These include injuries caused due to a collision of the player with other players, or the sport equipment like bat, ball, goalpost etc., or due to environmental conditions like slipping in the rain etc. Some of the types of traumatic injuries are:
- Contusions or bruises
- Head and Spinal injuries
- Overuse Injuries
These are caused by overuse or repetitive actions of a player’s body part like throwing, kicking, gripping etc., Some of the common overuse injuries include Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s elbow, Runner’s knee, recurrent shoulder dislocations , shoulder impingement etc.
- Heat Injuries
These are caused during intense physical activities under the hot sun accompanied by high sweating leading to heat stroke or heat exhaustion and muscle cramps.
This is caused by traumatic head impact. Some symptoms include: dizziness, headache, nausea, drowsiness, blurriness and difficulty in concentrating.
How can we prevent sports injuries?
- Proper Warm-ups
Before playing or training any sport, start with a warm-up session of 5-10 minutes involving stretching and exercising muscles to equip oneself to the strenuous activity. Start the warm-up slowly and then build up to a more active pace gradually. Warm-ups will increase blood flow to the muscle and increases its flexibility.
This will reduce the overuse injuries by exercising other muscles and joints so that the same muscles are not stressed regularly.
- Balanced Diet
A well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and maintaining a regular eating schedule is important.
- Use Proper Equipment
Using proper protective equipment and attire will help reduce most of the injuries. This is useful especially in sports with physical contact with other players or other equipment.
- Emphasize proper technique
Following a proper technique of a particular sport will reduce the risk of injury.
- Treat Injuries with RICE
Follow the principle RICE that stands for:
- Rest: reduce or stop using the injured area for sometime it recovers before resuming.
- Ice: apply icepack to the injured area for 20 minutes or so.
- Compression: Use elastic wraps, splints etc., to compress and injured body part to reduce swelling
- Elevation: Keep the injured part elevated above the level of the heart.
Hydrating yourself with water is vital to keep the body going since dehydration can cause cramps etc.
Recognize Injury early
Learn to recognize change in the player’s technique, like a limp or throwing difficulty etc. so that the player will be rested and recover before it becomes an injury.
A proper cool-down is also a necessary part of the whole regimen and goes hand-in-hand with warm-ups. It will help cooling the body down by returning the heart rate to normal, removing the muscles waste products and replace with oxygen and nutrients. This will also remove muscle stiffness and recover.