The best way to deal with sport injuries is to avoid them in the first place. Consider injury prevention to be a part of the game’s rulebook. Knowing the rules of the game you’re playing and using the proper equipment can help you avoid injuries.
Common Sport Injuries
Common reasons why young athletes get injured playing sports include:
- Not properly training or playing
- Too much training
- Not wearing the proper footwear or wearing the proper safety equipment
- Rapid growth during puberty
There are two kinds of sports injuries:
- Acute traumatic injuries include fractures, sprains and strains, concussions, and cuts. They usually occur as a result of a blow or force, such as being tackled in football or collapsing while skateboarding.
- Overuse injuries include things like stress fractures and tendonitis. These injuries are also known as chronic injuries because they occur over time, usually as a result of repetitive training, such as running, overhand throwing, or serving a tennis ball. Overuse injuries may not appear to be serious at first. However, if they are not treated, they usually worsen.
Where Injuries Happen
You can get a sports injury anywhere on your body. Here are some key points to know about common sport injuries.
HEAD AND NECK
Serious head and neck injuries are more common in athletes who participate in contact sports (such as football or rugby) or sports with a high risk of falling, such as horseback riding and gymnastics.
Fractures, concussions, contusions (bruises), and hematomas are all examples of head injuries. A hematoma is a collection of blood in or around the brain caused by a blow to the head, a fall, or a forceful shaking of the head.
Strains, sprains, fractures, burns, and whiplash are all examples of neck injuries caused by an abrupt jerking motion of the head. Neck injuries are one of the most dangerous types of sport injuries.
Never attempt to move someone who has a neck injury. Mishandling a neck fracture can result in permanent paralysis or even death. While someone calls for emergency medical assistance, keep the injured person still with his or her head held straight. Do not attempt to move the person if he or she is lying on the ground.
The majority of back injuries are caused by twists or overexertion of back muscles while bending or lifting. Back injuries are more common in contact sports such as football and ice hockey, as well as in weightlifting, rowing, golf, figure skating, gymnastics, and dancing.
HAND AND WRIST
Hand, finger, and wrist injuries can occur as a result of a fall that forces the hand or fingers backward, or as a direct blow to the hand or fingers. These injuries, like other types of injuries, are more common in contact sports like football, lacrosse, and hockey, as well as in sports like gymnastics, field hockey, rowing, and basketball where the fingers, hands, and wrists are at risk.
FOOT AND ANKLE
In sports that require a lot of running, the feet and ankles are especially vulnerable to injury. Wearing the wrong shoes is another cause of foot injuries, especially if someone has flat feet, high arches, or other foot differences.
What To Do When Injured
If you believe you have been injured, remove yourself from the game or practice, or discontinue your activity or workout. Inform a coach or other person of what occurred in case you need to see a doctor.
Call a doctor when:
- The pain is excruciating
- The injured area is swollen, you’re limping, or you can’t move it
- If the pain does not improve with rest, worsens, or lasts for a week or more
- You black out or believe the injury is serious
Getting Back To It
Your first question following a sport injury is likely to be, “When can I play again?” This is determined by the nature of the injury and what your doctor tells you. Even if you can’t immediately return to your sport, a doctor or physical therapist may have suggestions and advice on how to stay fit. Before engaging in any activity following an injury, always consult with your doctor.
A rehabilitation program can also help you stay fit while you’re recovering. If rehabilitation (abbreviated “rehab”) is part of your treatment plan, it may include physical therapy, manual therapy, ultrasound, or other technology to help relieve pain and promote healing.
After you’ve recovered, you may require new protective equipment to protect an injured body part. Modified shoes, tape, or a sports brace can provide extra support, as can additional padding to protect against a direct blow.
Warm up before practice and games to help prevent reinjury. When you first return to your sport, take it slowly and gradually build back up to your pre-injury level.
Most importantly, understand your limitations. Check in with your body by doing the following: Stop immediately and rest if a previously injured area (or any body part) begins to hurt. If the pain persists, seek medical attention. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.