Sports Injuries

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Physical activity…it’s the vigorous, heart-pumping action that comes from running in a road race, making a tackle or scoring a goal. It’s also the natural, normal function of everyday life, like gardening, walking, lifting a child or carrying groceries.

The fact is, the more we move, the greater our chance of getting sports injuries.

The different kind of medicines has the experience and technology to prevent and heal sports injury and get you back in the game…of life.

Choose a body part below for more information.

  1. Chest

Most sports injuries to the chest are serious because they could damage your vital internal organs, like your heart, lungs, liver or kidneys. Even if you can’t see any damage, you should still seek medical attention immediately.

  • Common chest injuries
  • Bruising
  • Ruptured spleen
  • Perforated lung
  • Fractures of the sternum and/or ribs
  1. Elbow

The elbow is one of the most complex joints in the body because of its many functions. Without it, you couldn’t bend or extend your arm, or rotate your palm upward or downward.

Because of the elbow’s many uses – and misuses – it can easily become injured due to overuse.

Usually, an elbow sports Injuries doesn’t require immediate medical attention. In fact, many sports Injuries can be treated simply with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medications. But if you are still in pain or if your pain worsens after two days of self-treatment, you should seek medical care immediately.

Although it is rare, elbow injuries can become more serious. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately:

  • Tingling/numbness in the fingers
  • Loss of motion in the elbow and forearm
  • Cold/clammy skin
  • Weakened pulse
  1. Foot/Ankle

Sports Injuries to your feet and ankles are quite common and can result from an injury or from overuse.

The good news is that they’re usually not serious. So, in most cases, foot and ankle sports Injuries don’t require immediate medical attention. In fact, many injuries can simply be treated with rest, ice, splinting and over-the-counter medications. But, if you still have symptoms after two days of self-treatment, or if your pain gets worse, you should see a doctor.

On rare occasions, foot and ankle injuries can become more serious. For example, if you have a wound on your foot or ankle that does not heal or becomes infected, you should see a doctor immediately.

  1. Hand/Wrist

Sports Injuries to the hand or wrist is the most common among sports, exercise and recreational activities. They range from serious trauma, like a fracture, to an overuse condition, like carpal tunnel syndrome.

In most cases, hand or wrist problems don’t require immediate medical attention. In fact, many injuries can be treated simply with rest, ice, splinting and over-the-counter pain medications. However, if you still have symptoms after two days or if your pain gets worse, you should see a doctor.

  1. Head

Sports Injuries to the head or face can be very serious since they have the potential to damage the brain and the eyes. If you’ve suffered a head injury — no matter how minor it might seem at first — see a doctor immediately.

  • Common head injuries
  • Concussion
  • Broken Nose
  • Eye injury
  • Broken or displaced teeth
  • Throat injury
  1. Hip

The ship’s main purpose is to connect the leg to the lower body. Similar to the shoulder, the hip is a ball and socket joint. But, it is far more stable because of the large muscles that surround it. However, just because it’s protected doesn’t mean that it can’t be injured.

In most cases, injuries to the hip don’t require immediate medical attention. In fact, many injuries can be treated simply with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medications. However, if you still have symptoms after two days of self-treatment, or if your pain gets worse, you should see a doctor.

Hip injuries can sometimes result in a much more serious condition. If you have any of these symptoms after a hip injury, you should see a doctor immediately:

  • Groin pain

Severe pain while moving your hip or difficulty moving your hip

 

  1. Knee

The knee joint is formed by the upper leg bone, one of the lower leg bones (fibula) and the kneecap. The knee’s primary purpose is to extend, flex and rotate the lower leg.

Because the knee is a complex joint made up of many parts, it is easily injured.

In most cases, knee injuries don’t require immediate medical attention. In fact, many sports Injuries can be treated with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medications. But, if you still have symptoms after two days of self-treatment or if your pain gets worse, you should see a doctor.

On rare occasions, knee injuries can be more serious. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately:

  • Tingling or numbness in your toes
  • Unstable joint
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Weakened pulse in the ankle area
  1. Shoulder
 The shoulder is a joint that is made up of muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments that work together to help you move. Anyone of these tissues can become injured due to trauma or simple overuse.

In most cases, shoulder problems don’t require immediate medical attention. In fact, many injuries can be treated simply with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medications. However, if you still have symptoms after two days of self-treatment, or if your pain gets worse, you should see a doctor.

Unfortunately, some shoulder injuries can be much more serious. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek medical care immediately:

  • Tingling or numbness in your arm
  • Loss of motion in your shoulder
  • Cold/clammy skin
  • Weakened pulse
  1. Spine

The spine is the skeletal structure that runs from the base of the skull to the tailbone and acts as protection for the spinal cord. The spine acts as a flexible tube made up of vertebra and discs through which the spinal cord travels carrying nerve messages to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and organs of the body.

The spine is composed of four main sections: the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral segments. Sports injuries to the spine can range from a mild musculoskeletal sprain or strain to the catastrophic, including permanent paralysis or even death. Due to the potential for permanent or life-threatening consequences, all spinal injuries should be treated immediately by qualified medical professionals. While most serious injuries to the spine result from forceful impact, still others are congenital (present at birth) and postural in nature. Some of these are indicators of more serious sports injuries to the spine

  • Common spine injuries and conditions
  • Sprains and strains

General Sports Injuries

  1. Tendonitis

What is tendonitis?

Tendons are tough bands of tissue located at both ends of a muscle and serve as the attachment points for muscles to bones. Repetitious activities and chronic overuse can stress a tendon to the point where it leads to inflammation, pain and impaired function; a condition called tendonitis.

Although the most common cause of tendonitis is overuse, it can also be caused by other conditions, such as inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

Tendonitis is a common problem. The risk for acquiring tendonitis tends to increase with age; however, the risk is higher in individuals who routinely perform activities that require repetitive motions that place undue stress on susceptible tendons. Treatment focuses on resting the injured tendon to promote healing, decreasing the inflammation, and promoting muscle strength in the area. In most cases, tendonitis will readily resolve itself with treatment. For others, it will heal itself on its own.

Where can I get more information on tendonitis?

A sports medicine specialist can be an excellent resource for finding important information related to tendonitis. Be aware that not all individuals with tendonitis are alike, and be sure that your situation is evaluated by someone who knows your medical history.

  1. Bursitis

A bursa is a sac-like structure that protects soft tissues from injuries that could be caused by pressure from nearby bones. Each bursa produces a lubricating fluid that fills the sac and decreases friction between bones, tendons, and ligaments.

Bursitis is a condition in which a bursa becomes inflamed and irritated. If untreated, the inflammation can cause the normally thin wall of the bursa sac to thicken. An excess of fluid may accumulate in the bursa, sometimes leading to visible swelling. Bursitis most often results from conditions that place either from prolonged pressure on a bursa, or arthritis in a nearby joint or from repetitive movements that cause irritation. Some physical conditions can increase stress on the joints as well. For example, having legs of unequal length can increase the chance of developing bursitis. Trauma, such as that resulting from a fall, can also lead to the condition. Repetitive movements have been shown to be a factor for the development of bursitis in the shoulder. Bursitis may also result from various medical conditions such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis or high blood lipids. Older individuals are prone to develop bursitis as a result of calcium crystals, which form in the joints (pseudogout). Many times, this typically occurs without any prior injury or other apparent cause.

Bursa sacs (bursar) are located throughout the body. However, certain joints are more subject to increased pressure and repetitive use and are more likely to develop bursitis. These joints include the shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles. Bursa near the hip joint, particularly those on the outer side of the hip (greater trochanteric bursitis or snapping hip) and those in the buttocks (due to the pressure from sitting) are also prone to bursitis.

Your doctor is an excellent resource for more information regarding bursitis. Note that not all patients with bursitis are alike, and it is important that your condition is thoroughly evaluated by someone who knows your health history.

  1. Strains and Sprains
Sprain: Occurs when a ligament (connecting bone to bone) gets stretched or torn
Strain: Occurs when a muscle or tendon (connecting muscle to bone) gets stretched or torn

The most commonly affected joints are ankles, knees, wrists or fingers, but any joint can be sprained or strained. Sprains usually occur due to trauma, but strains often occur with overuse injuries.

  • Signs and Symptoms
  • Pain or tenderness in or around the area of injury
  • Swelling of the injured joint
  • Redness/bruising around the injured joint (can be immediate or take hours to appear)
  • Loss of motion around the joint
  • Treatment
  • I.C.E. Therapy
    Rest the joint – try to use it as little as possible while still painful (one to two days), then begin to gently move the joint to avoid stiffness
    Ice for the first 24 hours – after 24 hours, switch to heat (apply for 15 minutes every two hours) or keep using ice
    Compression – use an elastic bandage to wrap the joint
    Elevation – keep the injured area above the level of the heart to keep swelling down

Anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, for one to two weeks

See a doctor when you can’t bear weight or move the joint normally, the pain becomes intolerable, or swelling/ bruising continues to increase

  • Sprains may take up to eight weeks to heal but depends on the severity of the injury
  • Prevention
  • Stretch before activity
  • Maintain physical fitness
  • Use supports/wraps/braces to protect weak joints during activity
  • Strengthen weak muscles to prevent recurrences
  1. Compartment Syndrome

Though not a common condition, compartment syndrome causes excruciating pain in the calves/lower legs. Usually, the individual experiences pain deep in the calves, and the pain runs most of the length of the leg. For many, it is difficult to isolate the pain into one point.

Cycling is one of the rare exercises that does not cause it, nor is affected by it. Generally, cycling does not cause pain during the activity, and the individual usually does not experience any loss of strength when cycling. In addition, strengthening exercises (in particular, calf raises) are not affected and do not cause pain. For most active individuals, it may hurt to run, particularly when starting, and gets worse as one continues to train. Usually, the individual will state that it is the first injury he/she ever experienced that affected both legs at the same time.

What is it?
Compartment syndrome is increased pressure within the muscle “compartment,” thereby creating a reduction in blood give to the affected muscles. The so-called compartments are the group of muscles (most commonly the gastrocnemius or calves) surrounded by an inelastic sheath (fascia). Exercise or activity will increase blood supply to the working muscles, cause them to swell. The tight inelastic fascia leaves no room for expansion of the muscle, thereby severely restricting and/or cutting off blood supply to the calves entirely.

Symptoms
Compartment syndrome can manifest itself as acute, which can result from high energy trauma situations (car accidents) and burns, or it can develop as a chronic situation, which is usually seen as an overuse injury in active individuals. The acute situation is generally considered a medical emergency because rapidly increasing pressure may completely cut off blood flow, thereby causing necrosis (tissue death) of the affected limb. The chronic compartment syndrome, which usually occurs as the result of an overuse injury is most commonly seen in the muscles of the lower extremity; however, on occasion, it can also manifest itself in the forearm and the thigh. The mechanism for the development of the chronic compartment syndrome is thought to be:

As you can see, a vicious cycle often develops. What the active individual experiences are pain that begins during activity, progressively worsens and then ceases during rest. This is different from the pain that is experienced from other overuse injuries. For example, the pain associated with tendonitis usually begins as soon as exercise is started, then diminishes as the muscles and tendons warm up. The pain then returns just as soon as the individual stops exercising.

Diagnosis
to accurately diagnose chronic compartment syndrome, a medical professional will perform a pressure test within the muscle compartment that is affected. A flexible plastic catheter is inserted through a small slit in the skin into the muscle compartment. The catheter is connected to a pressure transducer and the pressure within the muscle compartment is measured. The athlete then is asked to engage in the pain-inducing activity, such as running on a treadmill, while a continual recording of the muscle compartment pressure is made. Facsimile of painful symptoms above a certain value confirms the diagnosis.

  • Treatment
  • Biomechanical abnormalities of the movement pattern are corrected
  • Soft tissue therapy (myofascial release) to ease the pressure on or around the fascia
  • Surgical interventions are warranted if the individual does not respond well to other treatments