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Sports Injuries Guide

Sports injuries are injuries that result from sports training or participating in a sport. Many athletes are subject to the potential of sports injury while they are performing at sporting events, and other athletes may become injured while they are training. Athletes may develop chronic injuries as the result of repeated injuries or repetitive stress injuries. Other injuries develop from direct contact to the body such as broken limbs or torn ligaments. Each sport has a different set of common injuries associated with it. Variations in injuries are due to the differences in the primary muscle groups used and unique physical movements of each sport. Some sports are more likely to have more serious short term and chronic injuries associated with them.

Sports injuries may occur at any moment while a person is participating in training or while they are performing in the sporting event. Other injuries may take more time to develop. Signs of sports injuries include acute pain, swelling, bruising, limited range of motion, cramping, and other symptoms. Sports injuries should be recognized and treated as quickly as possible to reduce the potential for further aggravation of the injury. Treatments for sports injuries vary depending on the type of injury and may include methods such as physical therapy, massage, medication, ice/heat pack application, rest, strengthening exercises, compression, and surgery when required.

Types of Sports Injuries

Common types of sports injuries include sprains, strains, knee injuries, fractions, dislocations, shin pains, Achilles tendon injuries, muscle pulls, cramps, tendonitis, blisters, concussions, hamstring pulls or tears, overtraining syndrome, stress fractures, tennis elbow, torn rotator cuff, shoulder tendonitis, and various types of muscle swelling. Knee injuries are the most common form of sports injury since they comprise 55 percent of all sports injuries. Cartilage knee damage and torn ligaments are the most common types of knee injuries.

The most common types of sports injuries are strain related injuries and overuse injuries. Running is the most common sport that results in injuries, and those who skate and snowboard also have high rates of sport injury. Others with high sport injury rates include basketball, football, soccer, and gymnastics. Any athlete or amateur hobbyist has the potential to develop a sports injury, and most of those who participate in sports on a regular or semi-regular basis are very likely to develop at least one minor to major sports injury. Many sports injuries can be prevented with proper warm up, protective gear, and technique.

Causes of Sports Injuries

Although many sports injuries are inevitable and a part of the risk that athletes take, there are many that can be prevented or reduced in severity. Stretching before and after training, using correct form and technique, avoiding repetitive strain injuries through rest and recovery, and the use of protective gear when appropriate reduce the chance of a sports injury. Without proper equipment, some sports such as skateboarding or football can be much more dangerous due to the greater forces of physical contact to the body in these sports. A lack of stretching and warm up exercises can result in the tearing or pulling of muscles due to muscle groups and ligaments not adequately being prepared for increased motion.

Ankle sprains are a common sports injury because many sports involve leg movements that may result in the rolling of the ankle. Muscle pulls are common, and they occur when muscles are sudden stretched beyond their capacity. Minor muscle pulls result in the tearing of some muscle fibers and severe muscle pulls involve the tearing of more fibers. Tendonitis results from injuries to the tissues that connect muscles to bones and the most common cause of tendonitis is overuse injuries. Muscle cramps are common in sports and result from dehydration or electrolyte depletion in many cases. This can be alleviated with sports drinks or by resting.

Effects of Sports Injuries

Sports injuries have a wide range of effects on the body. Prevention techniques should be utilized as much as possible in order to avoid injuries or reduce their severity. Some of the more severe injuries may result in chronic pain or limitations in mobility, however most injuries are recoverable and treatable. Individuals may require long term physical therapy and other forms of treatment in order to manage their injuries and continue playing their sport. Professional and amateur sports teams may suffer in their performance due to high rates of sports injuries. Professional and amateur athletes may develop chronic problems like arthritis and joint problems earlier in life as a result of numerous sports injuries.

Sports injuries can be psychologically devastating to those who rely on their sport for their source of income or who have a serious commitment to their sport. Coping methods and counseling may be provided to those who have suffered from sports injuries and who are struggling with depression or other problems due to the inability to perform their sport. Various lasting effects can result from sports injuries, particularly those who have suffered repeated trauma to one part of the body. The more severe sports injuries require pain management and long term treatment plans.

Treatment for Sports Injuries

The treatment of sports injuries requires a short term and long term treatment plan. First aid is provided initially for those who have suffered an acute sports injury. First aid prevents more damage and stabilizes patients for further treatment. After first aid, patients require a treatment and rehabilitation plan. Sports therapy rehab centers can provide sports injury patients with an outpatient treatment program that may involve physical therapy, strengthening exercises, mobility therapy, aquatic therapy, massage, heat therapy, electrical stimulation, fluidotherapy, and many other types of treatment. Medical doctors may treat some sports injuries with surgery when appropriate, and surgery is almost always followed by rehabilitation.

Rehab centers provide a structured and individualized treatment program that helps patients gradually improve their physical functioning through the latest scientific rehabilitation methods and treatments. Trained medical staff and sports rehabilitation specialists help patients with managing the physical limitations and pain that often result from sports injuries. The length of time required for recovery is reduced with the assistance of sports rehab centers. There are a variety of sports rehab centers that may treat patients including both inpatient and outpatient facilities. At these facilities, patients have access to physical therapists, nutritionists, medical doctors, and occupational therapists among many other specialists.

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