Everyday Sports Injuries
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What is a sports injury?
Any form of stress placed upon your body during athletic activity that prevents it from functioning to the full, and which requires a period of recovery to allow your body to heal. It usually affects your musculoskeletal system - your bones, muscles, tendons, and cartilage - and often results in pain, swelling, tenderness, and the inability to use, or place weight on, the affected area. Two types: acute and chronic.
"Traumatic" injury, which occurs as the result of a specific impact or traumatic event. Happening quickly or lasting for a short time. Includes bone fractures, muscle and tendon strains, ligaments sprains, and bruising. Common among players of collision or contact sports. e.g. rugby; soccer; ice hockey.
"Overuse" injury, which results from wear and tear on the body and occurs over an extended period of time. Persists for a long time. Includes tendinopathy, bursitis, and stress fractures. Common among participants in endurance sports and repetitive movements. e.g. long-distance running; swimming; tennis; gymnastics; weight lifting.
Most common causes of injury
- Failure to warm up.
- Excessive loading on the body.
- Not taking safety precautions.
- An accident.
- Inappropriate equipment.
- Poor exercise technique.
- Recurring injury.
- Genetic factors.
- Muscle weakness or imbalance.
- Lack of flexibility.
- Joint laxity.
Tissues that can be contracted to produce force and create motion. Prone to being strained or "pulled" - an injury that involves the tearing of muscle fibers.
Protect your internal organs and are connected together by ligaments to form the skeleton. When they fracture or break this often damages surrounding tissue.
Capsules - made of cartilage, bursae, ligaments, and tendons - that hold together two or more bones and facilitate movement. Partial or full dislocation can occur.
A fibrous connective tissue that forms smooth surfaces over the ends of bones where they meet in the joints, allowing movement and absorbing impact and friction. Wear and tear is a common side effect of joint injuries, and is commonly caused by trauma.
Small sacs of fluid that reduce friction around most joints of the body. Usually located where muscles and tendons slide across bones. Singular is bursa. Bursitis is inflammation due to overuse or infection, which makes movement of the joint to which it is attached difficult and painful.
Fibrous, connective tissues that connect bones, providing stability within the joints and limiting movement of the limbs. When overstretched or torn, known as a sprain.
Fibrous, connective tissues that connect muscles to bones, and help produce movements by enabling force to be exerted on the bones. Can be strained or ruptured, and tendinopathy is pain caused by overuse or repetitive motion.
Groups of repetitions are organized into sets. e.g. perform three sets of ten repetitions.
The maximum amount of weight that you can lift in a single repetition for a specific weight-based exercise. i.e. if the maximum weight you can lift in one repetition is 100kg, a weight of 80kg represents 80% of one-rep max.
ROM (range of motion)
The distance and angle a joint can be moved to reach its full potential. Limited ROM means you are unable to use your joints as normal.
Purpose is to ease both mind and body from a state of rest into a state of strenuous activity and reduce risk of injury
. Consists of sport-specific exercises to increase core and muscle temperature
, which helps make muscles loose, supple, and pliable. Increases heart and respiratory rate, boosting blood flow and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to muscles
, helping to prepare muscles, tendons, and joints for action.
- 1) Cardio work.
- 2) Gentle loosening exercises. e.g. wrist and ankle rotations.
- 3) Dynamic stretching.
- 4) Sport-specific exercises helps familiarize body with the movements and techniques of chosen sport.
Involves gentle stretches and activity
that helps dissipate lactic acid buildup in muscles
, return heart rate to a resting pace, and prevent light-headedness, cramps, and shortness of breath. Restores body to a pre-exercise state in a controlled manner, helps body repairs itself, and can lessen muscles soreness the following day. Should never skip.
- 1) Gentle jogging or walking.
- 2) Static stretching.
Soft tissue injuries
Include damage to muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments. Accompanied by swelling due to internal bleeding from ruptured blood vessels in the affected area. Immediate stabilization of the injury is essential for stemming the bleeding and reducing the swelling. i.e. RICE procedure.
Just as important as exercise itself. Activity places physical stress on body, leading to minor tissue damage. When sufficient time is allowed for your body's natural repair processes to take place, these stresses can actually stimulate body to adapt and recover, resulting in increased fitness. Over-training prevents your body from recovering sufficiently, impairing your fitness and increasing the chance of injury. Avoid exercise altogether if already injured, unwell, or tired - or you may delay recovery.
Specialize in maximizing physical movement and mobility, restoring physical function, and alleviating pain caused by injury, disease, and illness. After drawing up a treatment plan, they use a range of methods to stimulate injury recovery. e.g. deep-tissue massage, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, cold compresses and hot packs, and therapeutic exercises.
Work on the principle that overall well-being depends on the smooth functioning of the musculoskeletal system, and use osteopathic manipulative therapy (OBT) in addition to conventional methods. They have the same license to practice medicine and surgery as physicians (MD).
Follow a holistic approach using manual manipulation of the joints, soft tissues, and particularly the spine to remedy injuries, ailments, and disease in other areas of the body.
Specialize in the relief of pain through the insertion of sharp needles into a network of pressure points across the body - a method based on Chinese practices that date back to more than 2,000 years. Scientific studies into the effectiveness of acupuncture have been inconclusive.
Use small doses of homeopathic remedies, produced by diluting a herb or mineral multiple times. Can assist the healing of a range of injuries such as sprains, bruising, tendinopathy, cuts and abrasions, and fractures. Little scientific evidence of its effectiveness, but many believe it works if used appropriately.
Assessing muscle strength
Physios gauge strength of a damaged muscle against an established scale such as the Oxford Scale. Scores allocated on a scale from 0/5 to 5/5, with the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) designating a stronger or weaker performance than expected for each stage.
- Massage and manipulation can relieve inflammation, reduce muscle pain and joint stiffness, and encourage blood flow to and fluid drainage from the affected area.
- Electrotherapy, ultrasound, and the application of heat and cold can stimulate the nervous and circulatory systems to reduce pain and accelerate healing.
- Typically, most important factor in rehabilitation process is a comprehensive program of remedial exercises.
Where the mandible (lower jaw) is connected to the rest of the skull.
A network of nerves that originates in the cervical vertebrae and stimulates the muscles of the arm
largest nerves in the body, running from the base of the spine to the foot. Pain may occur anywhere along the nerve.
A calcium deposit or bony projection that develops along the edges of a bone. Also called an osteophyte.
Articular shoulder capsule swells and stiffens, restricting its mobility. Also known as adhesive capsulitis.
Relating to a joint or the joints. e.g. articular cartilage.
Tip of the ulna
. As the elbow joint moves, the elbow bursa reduces friction between the tip of the ulna and adjacent tendons, such as the tricep.
. Inflammation can occur to the tendons which connect the muscles of the outer forearm to the "bump" on the outside of the humerus.
. Inflammation can occur to the tendons which connect the muscles of the inner forearm to the "bump" on the inside of the humerus.
Tunnel-like sheaths that surround the tendons that control the thumb. Can become inflammed.
A narrow passage in the wrist
. Houses the median nerve
, which runs down the arm, through the carpal tunnel, to the hand and fingers.
- The socket of the pelvis.
Middle cartilaginous joint
at the front of the pelvis. Osteitis pubis
when it is inflamed.
A bruise i.e. region of injured tissue or skin in which blood capillaries have been ruptured.
A complete tear in a muscle, tendon, or ligament. Organs can protrude through muscle ruptures, producing hernias.
Reducing dislocated patella
Put back in place. Safe and simple relocation of a dislocated patella, back into the femoral trochlear. May sometimes occur by itself.
The pattern of how a person walks.
Osgood-Schlatter syndrome (OSS)
Overuse injury where there is inflammation of the patellar tendon
in the area of the tibial tuberosity
. Most common in teenagers.
Four main ligaments of the knee
Work together to strengthen and stabilize the knee joint.
- 1) Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- 2) Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- 3) Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
- 4) Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
The muscles in the limbs are contained within "compartments", comprised of connective tissue and bone. An increase in pressure within one of these "compartments" causes pain that persists during activity and rest.
Runs from the gastrocnemius to the calcaneus. Largest and strongest tendon in the body, but particularly vulnerable to overloading, thus most commonly ruptured tendon.
Dorsiflexion vs. plantar flexion
Eversion vs. inversion ankle sprain
Heel. Largest bone in the foot and makes up the back half of the foot arch. Where the foot first contacts the ground when walking or running thus supports all the weight of the body.
If unconscious victim is breathing
, place them in this position to keep airway open and clear
. Remove anything bulky from pockets, and kneel beside them.
Lat pull-down and chin-up variation
Varied grips work the back muscles in different ways. It is useful to train with a variety of grips to ensure all muscle groups are worked. The narrower the grip, the more the emphasis is on the smaller muscles of the shoulders; the wider the grip, the more the stress is placed on the lats and elbows. An underhand grip engages the biceps, making the movement easier than if an overhand grip is used.
An exercise that helps you maximize the ease of use of your joints. Crucial to prevention and rehabilitation of injuries. Sufficient mobility is essential to perform movements of chosen activity. In rehabilitation, you must always regain mobility before you can work on stability, strength, and power to get you back to fitness.
Form of resistance training in which you aim to build the strength of your skeletal muscle. Crucial part of rehabilitation program. Physiotherapist will design exercise regime under direction of your physician, and must guide your form. Achieving perfect form will help you return to sport with the necessary control, strength, and power.
Important aspect of injury prevention and also useful in recovery from injury. Should be performed after you have exercised; using them before may reduce your capacity to release power, and does little to reduce your chance of injury. You should always aim to balance both sides of your body.
Name for the signals that your joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles send to your brain to provide it with information about the position of your joints, and the direction and pressure of your movements. These exercises work to improve your balance, coordination, and agility, and often involve full-body movement.
Based on a range of movements that work to increase your speed, power, and flexibility, and are ideal for the vast majority of sports. The exercises often involve stretching and contracting your muscle more quickly and powerfully to build a combination of strength, responsiveness, and explosive power in your body.
Useful means of monitoring the rate of your recovery and development of your power, speed, reach, range of motion, balance, and preconception during the rehabilitation process. They enable your physiotherapist to asses your progress and identify areas for improvement.
A muscle that functions to pull a limb away from your body.
Active range of motion
During rehabilitation, the movements you are able to make yourself using muscle strength, as opposed to passive range of motion.
A muscle that functions to pull a limb toward your body.
A process that requires oxygen. Aerobic metabolism occurs during long-duration, low-intensity exercises. e.g. long-distance running; swimming.
A grip on a bar in which one palm faces toward your body, the other away. This grip prevents a loaded bar from rolling in your hand and is recommended when working with very heavy weights.
A process that takes place without oxygen. Anaerobic metabolism occurs during short-duration, high-intensity exercises. e.g. weight lifting; sprinting.
Used to relieve or reduce pain, this can be applied topically or administered by tablet or injection. Different medications have different functions, e.g. reduce inflammation, but all produce the result of limiting your experience of pain in the body.
Muscles that are arranged in pairs to carry out flexion and extension of a joint. i.e. one muscle of the pair contracts to move a limb in one direction, and the other contracts to move it in the opposite direction.
The front part or surface, as opposed to the posterior.
A type of free weight made up of a bar with weights at both ends, which is long enough for you to hold with at least shoulder-width grip. The weights may be permanently fixed or removable.
Measurements taken at the beginning of a process of training or physiotherapy; these provide a control against which to judge levels of improvement.
Any muscle that had two heads or origins, but commonly used as shorthand for the biceps brachii on the upper-arm.
The amount of bone tissue in a given volume.
Cable pulley machine
A resistance training machine in which various attachments, i.e. bar; handle; rope, can be linked to weights by a cable. Force is transferred via a pulley or system of pulleys. These machines are designed to provide continual resistance throughout the full range of motion of the exercise.
A type of involuntary muscle found in the walls of your heart.
The central part of the body, mainly the stomach and lower back muscles, but also including the pelvis, chest and upper back.
Hormones applied via injection, cream, or tablets. e.g. to reduce inflammation.
Stands for X-ray Computed Tomography. This type of scan builds a 3D picture of the body by taking two images and putting them together digitally.
Usually caused by a blow to a joint, which then becomes detached from its setting.
Practice version of a skill required in sport, usually repeated.
Any activity in which your joints and muscles are moving.
A muscle that raises a body part.
The maximum power you have, applied in a short burst.
A muscle that works to increase the angle at a joint. e.g. straightening your elbow. Usually works in tandem with a flexor.
A break in a bone
, ranging from minor cracks to serious breaks into separate fragments.
- 1) Displaced fracture: an injury where the two parts of a broken bone have pulled away from each other.
- 2) Undisplaced fracture: an injury in which cracks may form in the bone but the parts of the bone do not separate.
A muscle that works to decrease the angle at a joint. e.g. bending your elbow. Usually works in tandem with an extensor.
The posture of stance used when performing exercises. Good or proper form makes the exercise more effective and helps prevent injury.
A weight not tethered to a cable or machine. e.g. barbell; dumbbell.
Head (of a muscle)
The point or origin of a muscle.
Occurs when an organ protrudes through the wall of, for example, the muscle that holds it.
A method of holding a barbell where the fingers cover the thumb, which helps maintain control of the weight.
Pain resulting from rubbing between the tendons of the rotator cuff in the shoulder, often caused by inflammation forcing them against each other.
A form of training in which your muscles work but do not contract significantly. e.g. pushing against an immovable object.
A form of training in which your muscles work against a constant resistance, so that the muscles contract while the resistance remains the same.
ITB (Iliotibial Band)
A tough group of fibers running against the outside of your thigh that primarily works as a stabilizer during running.
A waste product of anaerobic respiration. Accumulates in your muscles during intense exercise and is involved in the chemical processes that cause muscular cramps.
Positioned toward the outside of your body or part of your body. Movement in the lateral plane refers to a side-to-side movement.
A tough and fibrous connective tissue that connects your bones together at your joints.
A weighted ball for use in plyometric weight training. It can help to build explosive power.
The sum of all your body's chemical processes; it comprises anabolism (building up compounds) and catabolism (breaking down compounds).
Any one of many inorganic (noncarbon-based) elements that are essential for normal body function and that must be included in your diet.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
A type of scan that reads the molecular structure of the body to form an image to aid diagnoses.
The position of the spine that is considered to be good posture, where the spine is not completely straight, but has slight curves in its upper and lower regions. It is the strongest and most balanced position for the spine and needs to be maintained in many exercises.
A degenerative disease in which the body suffers a loss of cartilage, leading to stiff, painful joints.
Passive range of motion
The movements a physiotherapist is able to make with parts of your body while fully supporting the weight of the body parts, as opposed to active range of motion.
The back part or surface, as opposed to the anterior.
The amount of force produced by a body movement in a given time. i.e. a combination of strength and speed.
A form of training in which you carry out a single joint exercise for that body part, to cause stress on the target muscle before you start to work it properly.
Any muscle with four heads, but commonly used to describe the large muscle at the front of your thigh.
A regulated course of exercise and diet designed to produce a predetermined result.
The process of recovering fully from an injury, often with the assistance of professionals.
One complete movement of a particular exercise, from start to finish and back.
Any type of training in which you muscles work against resistance; the resistance may be provided by a weight, an elastic or rubber band, or you own body weight.
The pause between sets of an exercise that allows muscle recovery.
muscles and their associated tendons
that hold your humerus in place in your shoulder joint
and enable your arm to rotate. Injuries here are common in sports that involve throwing motions
- 1) Supraspinatus
- 2) Infraspinatus
- 3) Teres minor
- 4) Subscapularis
The ring of bones (actually an incomplete ring) at your shoulder that provides an attachment point for the many muscles that allow your shoulder and elbow joints to move.
Also called striated muscle, this type of muscle is attached to your skeleton and is under voluntary control. Contracting your skeletal muscle allows you to move your body under control.
A smooth board with adjustable bumpers at either end.
A common piece of gym equipment made up of a barbell constrained within sets of parallel steel rails that allow the motion of the bar only in a limited vertical direction.
A type of muscle found in the walls of all the hollow organs of your body which is under involuntary control.
A training partner who assists you with a lift, providing encouragement and physical support if necessary. e.g. intervening if you are about to fail the lift.
An injury sustained by a ligament that is overstretched or torn.
Partial dislocation of a joint.
A large, inflatable rubber ball used to promote stability during exercise. Also known as an exercise ball.
A rip in, for example, a muscle.
Painful tendons, often resulting from overuse while doing repetitive actions. Degenerative condition.
Relating to the chest area.
Any muscle with three heads, but commonly used as shorthand for the triceps brachii, which extends your elbow.
Circular in shape with a flat top and hemispherical underside, this piece of equipment is used to promote good balance, and to improve the stability of your core.
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