Athletes should know what precautions should be taken to improve performance but avoiding injuries. Athletes usually require performance and greater attention to their body, placing special emphasis on their muscles, bones, and joints to maintain their high level. Also, keep in mind that sports injuries are different from common injuries.
Therefore, all athletes should know about the signals of the body and what precautions should be taken to improve performance and avoiding injuries. If you intend to start playing sports or increase your dedication and level, you will surely want to know which the most frequent sports injuries are and what precautions to take to avoid them. But what exactly are sports injuries due? Many times, they happen accidentally before a fall or a bad gesture, as we have commented. But they can also be the consequence of an improper practice, of a bad use of sports equipment or even of a lack of warming that prepares the body for the exercise that is going to take place, as well as the state of the facilities where we carry out the sports practice.
They tend to be of two types. On the one hand, we find acute injuries, that is, those that occur suddenly, while we practice sports. The most characteristic symptoms are swelling, sudden pain, difficulty in movement of the affected joint or weakness. On the other hand, we find chronic sports injuries: those that appear as a result of practising a sport for a long time. The usual symptomatology is pain while performing various types of exercises or even at rest and swelling.
The location of sports injuries is quite common in most sports: the skull, neck, upper and lower extremities and, in some cases, the trunk. Sports injuries also vary according to gender: women, for example, have a higher rate of knee ligament injuries, probably because they support the feet with the most extended knees and, therefore, cause an excess of pressure in the internal cavity of the knee that tenses too much the fibers of the ligament.
However, the number of women suffering from injuries is much lower than that of men. What both sexes seem to agree on is that as age increases, injuries decrease. This may be due to a decrease in the practice of more aggressive sports for the body, such as cycling or soccer, to an increase in caution and, also, a less frequent practice over the years. Be that as it may, remember that in addition to taking care of our physical condition with training and proper nutrition -in which food supplements also help us- prevention will always be our great ally, no matter how old we are.
These are the lesions of the bone, which range from minimal microscopic cracks to true bursts of the bone piece.
Cartilage is the covering that makes a bone to facilitate movement with respect to another neighbouring bone. Chondral lesions or chondropathies involve the loss of smoothness (defects, ulcers) or their cushioning properties (softening).
The muscle or “flesh” can be understood as a bundle of strings that when contracted produce the movement of the body. The tear supposes the breakage of those cords or muscular fibers.
Ligaments are strings that connect one bone to another. They are therefore stabilisers, that prevent bones from getting out of place. The sprain involves the lengthening or breaking of these strings. When the degree of rupture is such that the bone is completely out of its natural lace we will be facing a dislocation.
The tendons are the cords that join the muscle to the bone, transmitting to the latter the movement generated by the muscular contraction. Tendinosis is the degeneration of these strings, which become thicker, less elastic and more prone to breakage.
The practice of sport is a great benefit for the body but, in turn, carries the risk of injury, proportional to the intensity of the efforts and their duration.
One type of classification would distinguish between acute and chronic sports injuries. Acute injuries are caused by a violent and rapid effort, such as a muscle tear and the chronic ones are produced by repetitive movements, such as epicondylitis.
Another type of classification deals with the type of injured tissue:
The general treatment of acute symptoms is based on rest, with or without immobilisation of plaster, the administration of anti-inflammatories (if there is no contraindication for allergies or gastroduodenal lesions, among others) and the local application of ice.
Chronic cases require deep local heat and specific physiotherapy to stretch and tone the tissues. Infiltrations can be useful.
Abrupt braking movements of the head can injure the ligaments that join the vertebrae of the neck together, producing a cervical sprain. It is typical of sports cars or motorcycles, gymnasts, jumpers, etc.
Usually, the scan performed by the doctor along with x-rays of the neck is sufficient for the diagnosis. The MRI does not usually provide much more information to the diagnosis if there is no loss of sensation or strength in the arms or legs.
The severity of the cervical sprain is not determined by the magnitude of the symptoms: neck and back pain, stiffness, dizziness, and ringing in the ears. The seriousness lies in the degree of instability, ie in the abnormal movement of one vertebra with respect to the others when the neck moves, because of the risk it has to section the bone marrow.
The treatment of sprains without instability involves immobilisation with a collar and with heat (cold, even if it is an acute process, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories) followed by rehabilitation. Instability requires surgical intervention.
Specific Lesions Tendinitis-Tendinosis Of The Rotator Cuff
The rotator cuff is the set of tendons that allow us to perform the elevation and rotation of the shoulder. The typical repetitive efforts of pitchers, tennis players, handball players, etc., cause degeneration and inflammation of said tendons. The result is a rubbing of the tendon layer with the bone arch that limits the shoulder at the top. The friction produces pain and limits both the mobility and the strength of the shoulder.
The diagnosis is based on the examination performed by the doctor and occasionally may require additional tests such as nuclear magnetic resonance. To prevent this type of injury, it is necessary to strengthen the adjacent muscles, such as the deltoid, which protect this area from overexertion.
The treatment is the one recommended for chronic processes in general. It may be necessary to perform friction decompression surgery or suture of the cuff, which is becoming more accessible through the arthroscopy technique.
It is a tendinosis — on the outside of the elbow — of the tendons that extend the wrist and the fingers of the hand. It is a typical injury of tennis players and bikers. In golfers the opposite side of the elbow is that it tends to injure itself, affecting the flexors (it is the epitrochlearis).
The scan performed by the doctor is enough for the diagnosis and can be complemented with an ultrasound. It is necessary to perform proper stretches in training and change the position with the racket or with the handlebar to prevent suffering an epicondylitis. The same treatment is recommended as for chronic injuries, taking in certain cases to go through the operating room.
Osteopathy Of The Pubis
It is a picture of tendinosis with tendonitis, at the height of the insertion of the thigh adductors in the pelvis. It is a frequent injury in soccer players. It produces pain and lameness due to the movements of the thigh and greatly limits the ability to open the legs.
Usually, the diagnosis is made after the doctor’s examination, occasionally needing an ultrasound. To prevent this type of injury, it is necessary to perform muscle stretches properly in training, as it is common in people with a lot of muscles in the thighs but not stretched.
The same treatment is recommended as for chronic injuries, and it may be necessary to resort to surgery in rebellious cases.
It is a sharp picture, produced by a sudden pull of the muscle in the athlete who has warmed up little or has trained little. They tend to break the adductor thigh to the riders, the twins to the tennis players and climbers and very often the anterior rectus of the quadriceps to the footballers.
Therefore, proper warming with muscle stretches and knowing our own limits is essential.
The diagnosis is suspected due to the scan performed by the doctor and confirmed by an ultrasound. Muscle relaxant medication (muscle relaxant) is associated with the treatment. Depending on the cases, in the complete tears, surgery to suture the tear may be necessary.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
It is typical of mature athletes, with good twin muscles but with tendinosis of the Achilles tendon. This will tear if there is a sudden muscular contraction. It is frequent in tennis players, paddle players, footballers, etc.
Usually, the doctor’s examination is enough to make the diagnosis, and an ultrasound can confirm it. If the break is partial, the treatment is the generic acute phase and muscle relaxant drugs and immobilisation of the foot inflection will be indicated. If the break is complete repair is recommended by surgery.
To prevent suffering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, it is important to perform a proper warm-up with stretches before practising the sports session.
Acute Sprained Ankle
The ankle sprain is caused by a twisting of the ankle joint, most frequently affecting the ligaments of the outer side of the ankle. This injury occurs frequently in “body to body” and pivoting sports (the foot is fixed, and the body rotates on the ankle) such as football, basketball, tennis, and gymnastics. The area of the injured ligament swells hurts and prevents the movement and support of the affected foot.
The diagnosis is based on the doctor’s examination. Other types of scans are rarely required to confirm the diagnosis. Surgery is rarely used because general treatment is sufficient for acute cases. However, depending on the degree of sprain, the immobilisation time will be longer or shorter. It is important to understand that for months there may be discomfort due to the healing process.
To prevent an acute sprained ankle, it is important to have good muscle mass that helps the ankle to discharge the torsional force.
Rehabilitation For Sports Injuries:
The rehabilitation program for sports injuries is designed to meet the needs of each patient, depending on the type and severity of the injury. The active participation of the patient and his family are fundamental to the success of the program.
The objective of rehabilitation after a sports injury is to help the patient to recover the maximum possible level of functionality and independence and to improve their quality of life in general, both physically and in psychological and social aspects.
In order to achieve these goals, rehabilitation programs for sports injuries may include the following:
Rehabilitation programs for sports injuries are usually carried out as an outpatient. Many trained professionals are part of the rehabilitation team for sports injuries, including some or all of the following:
It is absolutely true that you will not be safe from sports injuries practice the sport you practice, but it is true that there are sports more prone to injury than another. This is confirmed by different studies carried out in health centers. According to the data, it seems that the sports in which we are more prone to injure ourselves are those with a high or moderate dynamic component, such as, for example, football, followed by cycling and basketball.
In a second level, we find sports such as athletics or futsal, followed by sports practice in gyms, where injuries to the neck predominate. Facing what might seem, the fight and tennis are two of the sports with less risk of injury.