Essential Tips for Handling a Sports Injury
If you actively engage in sports or rigorous exercises, it is normal to experience an injury. In most cases, the injuries occur due to lack of conditioning, overstraining, and the use of improper sporting techniques. Most people don't know the different types of sports injuries or what to do when they get one. Failure to seek immediate treatment can cause permanent disability or other severe consequences for your health.
What Causes Sports Injuries?
The causes of sports injuries are often categorized into 3:
- Overuse of a particular body part, such as the arms or legs.
- Application of a force that is greater than the injured body part.
- Direct impact, especially when one falls.
Although active athletes incur injuries, people who haven't been regularly active stand a higher risk. Other high-risk groups include:
- Persons who don't warm up adequately before engaging in sports.
- People who mainly play contact sports, such as rugby and football.
What Are the Common Types of Sports Injuries?
Typically, sports injuries take different forms, including sprains, bruises, nose bleeds, and joint injuries. The most common sports injuries that you are likely to get include:
- Ankle sprain- Occurs when foot ligaments are torn or severely stretched.
- Groin Pull- Occurs when the muscles of the inner thigh are excessively strained. It's common among hockey, football, and baseball players.
- Shin Splints- When running, you experience severe pain in the lower legs.
- Pulled Hamstring- Occurs when hamstring muscles at the back of the thigh get stretched too far. In some extreme cases, they may tear, causing sharp pain.
- Knee Injury- If the knee is hit from the side, there is significant tear and strain of the muscles.
- Stress Fracture- When engaging in physical activity, the muscles absorb much of the impact. If the impact is too much, the bones absorb it, resulting in a break.
- Plantar Fasciitis- Sometimes, the ligament that connects the front of the foot ad the heel may get inflamed.
How Do You Handle a Sports Injury?
If you encounter a sprain, strain, or joint injury, the first step is getting first aid. The immediate treatment for most sports injuries include:
- Resting and not using the injured area for up to 72 hours.
- Applying ice on the injured part for at least 20 minutes. The cold compress can be repeated every two hours.
- Looking for a firm plastic bandage and compressing the area.
- At all times, keeping the injured body part elevated.
- If the injury doesn't improve within 72 hours, you should see a doctor.
Remember that some sports injuries can't wait 72 hours, especially fractures and head injuries. You need to see a sports injury specialist promptly. The doctor may request an x-ray to assess the severity of the injury and recommend the appropriate treatment.
The Bottom Line
Sports injuries can be mild or fatal. While some can be treated through simple home remedies, others require specialized care. Even for minor injuries, it's advisable to seek immediate medical care to prevent further complications.