What are Sports Injuries?
Sports injuries happen during sport, exercise or activity. There is an increased risk of a sports injury if you are starting a new sport, you have been inactive for a period of time, you do not warm up before you start to exercise, or if you play a sport that involves physical contact of some sort, such as rugby, water polo and horse riding.
Common types of Sports Injuries
Some of the most common types of sports injuries we see in our clinic at City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy are:
- Muscle strains – due to overuse or overstretching.
- Ligament strains or tears – if a joint is overstretched or stretched in an abnormal angle to its natural range of movement.
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Achilles tendon injuries – the Achilles tendon attaches the muscles of the calf into bones of the foot and ankle.
- Shin splints – this is pain along the shin bone at the front of the lower leg. The pain usually starts or gets worse with exercise, such as running or playing football.
- Bone fractures or broken bones.
- Dislocated joints – this is when bones move out of their position in a joint.
When should you see a Doctor for a Sports Injury?
It is recommended to seek medical care if the injury looks or feels particularly serious. Some signs of more serious injuries include:
- Extreme swelling, pain, large lumps or extreme colour change or bruising
- Loss of sensation or numbness
- Weakness or instability of a joint while trying to move or put weight onto it
- Difficulty breathing
- Any nausea, vomiting or dizziness
How are sports injuries diagnosed?
Sports injuries will be diagnosed by a medical practitioner or physical therapist following a detailed medical case history, physical examination and in some cases by using further tests such as X-Rays, MRI’s, CT Scans or Ultrasound.
How to treat Sports Injuries?
With acute injuries, it is best to rest the injury up to 72 hours and take action to reduce the pain and swelling. Practitioners commonly advise to use the RICE method. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Once the acute pain and swelling has subsided, you can start by gentle movement of the area to encourage blood circulation and prevent scar tissue causing stiffness.
The next stage would be to start to regain and build strength into the injured joint or tissue.
We advise that you seek professional advice and treatment to get the most ideal protocol for your particular injury and ensure that you do not overexert too soon.
A physical therapist, such as Physiotherapist, Osteopath or Sports Therapist will not only treat the injured area, they will treat the whole body in order to reduce the risk of compensatory issues and encourage optimal movement and stability to get back to normal activity.
At City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy, our Sports Therapists have over 10 years expertise diagnosing and treating sports injuries.