Stay Sporting Safe this Summer
With lot of sporting events happening this Summer injuries might be all too common. Our guide below details typical signs and symptoms and advises what you should do, if the worst does happen.
Familiar Sporting Enemies
The most common sporting injuries we come across are strains and sprains with a sprained ankle covering 15-30% of all sport injuries. From Tennis to football to golf, injuries can be hard to avoid when you want to be your best, but it is crucial to think about your body and how you can protect it during sports to avoid these familiar injuries. Here is our guide below with some tips on how you can try and prevent future injuries.
An ankle sprain is an injury to a ligament. Ligaments are strong band-like structures around the joints. When a joint is suddenly forced outside its usual range of movement this can result in inflammation, swelling and bleeding around the affected joint. Although most sprains heal within a few weeks, a more severe sprain can take longer. Different grades are associated with the level of severity. Grade 1 being a slight stretch and some damage to the fibers of the ligament, to Grade 3 being a complete tear in the ligament.
Athletes are at most risk of this injury. A groin strain is an injury or tear of any of the adductor muscles which are placed on the inner side of the thigh. Although they aren’t usually serious, they can take a bit of time to recover from. Symptoms consist of pain from the inner thigh, decreased strength, swelling and bruising. Sometimes confused with other problems such as a stress fracture, or a hip sprain, your doctor can offer an x-ray with a follow up MRI to confirm the diagnosis.
The hamstrings are the three muscles at the back of the thigh and are attached to the ‘sit bone’ of the pelvis. Mild hamstring strains may feel like a tightness or a subtle ache. Sever strains can be extremely painful, making it impossible to walk or stand. Treatment will aim to reduce the pain and inflammation, normalise your muscle range of motion, strengthen your muscles and minimise the risk of re-injury.
Knee Injury – ACL tear
An ACL tear usually occurs as a result of a twisting movement when your foot is in contact with the ground. This can be a partial tear or a full tear depending on the force of the injury. Symptoms include a sudden pain in the knee, swelling which occurs quite rapidly and your knee may also feel unstable and warm to touch. Once swelling has decreased you will be tested on the stability of your knee and an MRI scan which will confirm the diagnosis.
Golfer’s elbow is a repetitive stress injury and considered to be an overload tendon injury, which occurs after minor and often unrecognised trauma causing pain and tenderness to the proximal insertion if the flexor muscles of the forearm. This is a common injury which will usually heal with minor treatment but left untreated can become chronic.
To avoid unnecessary injuries that will disrupt how you play sports it is essential to take care and think about ways in which you can prevent injuries from happening. Here are some tips:
• Every work out should start with a gentle warm up, increasing blood flow and improving flexibility and end with a contrasting cool down, to slowly decrease body temperature and lower your heart rate. Doing this will help avoid blood build up in your veins and soreness the next day.
• Protective equipment is crucial to shield those targeted parts of your body that would be at higher risk of gaining a hit.
• Learn when to stop! Muscle fatigue decreases your protective mechanisms increasing your risk of injury. When you start to feel fatigued it’s better to take a rest than to force yourself to keep going until you hit burnout.
The initial treatment for sprains and strains is described as PRICE (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), together with avoiding HARM (Heat, Alcohol, Running, and Massage).
If you are suffering from a sports related injury there are a number of things you can do to help such as medications, physiotherapy, osteopathy or a sports massage to help treat the condition and speed up the recovery process.
Our Private GP Service at Kingsbridge Private Hospital offers a minor injuries unit and with a walk in service, no appointment is necessary.
Alternatively, our Sports & Physiotherapy Clinic, conveniently located at Queens University PEC, offers enhanced services which include same day MRI, cardiac screening, physiotherapy and rapid access to a range of additional services such as sports therapy.
Visit kingsbridgeprivatehospital.com to find out more. Book your appointment online or call us on 028 90 667 878.