Sports injury

7 July 2016

Injuries in sport are a very common occurrence and vary widely between athletes across the world. With different sports come different injuries specific to that sport, they can vary in severity that can be from small pains and aches keeping the athlete out for a very short period of time or an injury which may keep them out for many months, and on occasions years. Common injuries include bruises, sprains, strains, joint injuries and nose bleeds. “Sports injuries are commonly caused by overuse, direct impact, or the application of force that is greater than the body part can structurally withstand.

Injuries that occur suddenly, like a sprained ankle caused by an awkward foot placement, is known as an acute injury. Chronic injuries are caused by overusing the same muscle groups or joints. Poor technique and structural abnormalities can also contribute to a chronic injury being developed. Medical investigation of any sports injury is important, because you may be hurt more severely than you think. For example, what seems like an ankle sprain may actually be a bone fracture.

Sports injury Essay Example

Even things like dehydration can upset the body’s ability to support itself and in the end up may cause some sort of injury, this may be more relevant in hotter climates. There are some injuries that crop up more than others and are common among most sports, for example a cuts and bruises which are minor injuries but come from direct impact to the body, concussion; which comes from a bang to head and can sometimes require a doctor and a number of days rest. Also knee joint injuries are common too; as this is a main joint needed to run and can take a lot of strain when taking part in an active sport.

Wearing improper or damaged clothing or protective gear can have an effect on how safe you are when taking part in an activity and can result in there being an opportunity to become injured. For example shin guards in football are there to protect the shins from being hurt; they can prevent small injuries like cuts and bruises to more severe injuries like a broken leg. That’s why they are so important and over the years have been mandatory for them to be worn when taking part in competitive matches.

So injuries can come from many areas, from trauma to overuse and can affect the body externally or internally. In order minimise these potential injuries athletes must prepare and look after their muscles in the correct way. There a number of methods to do this and one of the most important is the warm-up and cool-down procedures undertaken by the athletes. Warm up exercises prepare the body for exercising by increasing the blood flow to the muscles allowing them to loosen up, which can raise the flow of oxygen to the muscle cells.

Doing this gradually increases the body’s temperature. This then increases the speed and force of the muscular contractions. They then become more pliable and less stiff, there decreases the risk of injury greatly. The warm-up’s intensity should cause some perspiration but not cause any fatigue. The type of warm-up needs to be appropriate for the sport or activity ahead. It also needs to be appropriate for the age range and fitness level of the participants, usually lasting for 5-10 minutes in duration.

The cool down period is just as important as the warm-up. The aim is to decrease the intensity of the session and return the body to resting state. “The key here is ‘gradual’. Use the first 3-5 minutes by walking, or jogging if you have been running, which will bring your breathing under control and back to normal. ”. After these individual muscle groups should be stretched, this will bring them back to normal length and elasticity, and reduce muscle soreness. Other ways of minimising injury are to ensure that equipment for that particular.

From cycling to boxing, skateboarding to soccer, each sport requires its own safety equipment to prevent sports injuries. Depending on the sport, this could mean special shoes that grip the ground, pads to protect wrists, shins, and knees, or mouth guards to shield the tongue and teeth. For cycling, as well as many other sports, the most common piece of sports safety gear is a helmet. Shin pads are also a main part of safety gear in many sports, wearing shin pads can help to prevent injuries such as fractures and sprains as well as reducing the likelihood of suffering from bruising and swelling.

Shin pads are commonly worn in football, hockey and ice hockey. The environment can also have big part to play on safety. Weather, temperature, clothing and facilities can all have an effect on an athlete’s safety. Temperature in hotter countries especially can cause dehydration which can creep up on athletes unexpectedly. Facilities also might not be fully checked over with risk assessments and therefore leave the opportunity for an accident to happen. For example, loose flooring is a common fault within games halls and arenas if they are not commissioned properly.

This can cause a trip or fall resulting in a range of minor to major injuries. Football has many injuries which occur on regular bases. One in particular is the hamstring strain. This is very common with footballers and should be extensively stretched before and after playing. During sprinting activities in football the Hamstring muscles can be forcibly stretched beyond their limits and the muscle tissue can be torn. A tear in a muscle is referred to as a strain and, depending on its severity, it is classified as a first, second or third degree strain.

Prevention is always better than cure and there are a few ways to help prevent it happening which from that may increase flexibility in the hamstring and also help performance. A warm up, prior to matches and training, is thought to decrease muscle injuries because the muscle is more extensible when the tissue temperature increases to a temperature good for the activity ahead. A good warm up should last at least 20 minutes, starting gently and finishing at full pace. Heart rate should increase dramatically which will get the body ready for the game or training session to come.

The stretching routine should be thorough, whether it be static, PNF or any other form of stretching. If unfortunately this injury does happen there some different treatments, some more effective than others but they do react differently on different people. More than anything it needs rest. Avoiding putting weight on the leg is crucial. Sometimes if the pain is severe, crutches may be needed until it goes away. This is normally only the case if it is third degree and quite severe. Icing the leg to reduce pain and swelling is also very good but has been debated in recent years.

This should be done on and off for 20-30 minutes every 3 or 4 hours for 2-3 days after the injury or until the pain is relieved. Compression is also good for the hamstring as it is good for holding in swelling, the use of an elastic bandage would be the best dressing to use along with elevation when resting or lying down. Nine times out of ten the injury will require some physiotherapist work to manipulate the muscle and increase the rate of recovery as well as making the hamstring stronger once fully recovered.

Recovery time depends on how badly the hamstring was injured. It must never be rushed as rushing to recovery can end up back to square one and sometimes doing the injury even worse than it was in the first instance, and this can create a permanent weakness within the muscle. Michael Owen and Ryan Giggs were two professional footballers who suffer from a weakness in their hamstrings and had to work hard to maintain flexibility in order to prevent repeated strains and tears. Ryan Giggs took up yoga which helped him dramatically and also improved his overall game.

This is partly the reason why he is still playing professionally at the level and age he is. To conclude, it is evident that in order to avoid injury in sport the correct preparation of the muscles must be carried out. Warm-ups and cool-downs must be implemented into every session or game. Failure to do so will result in muscle weakness, stiffness and tightness which in the end up can cause an injury when the muscles are pushed to the limits. If the right muscle preparation is done then the benefits are endless when performing and the risk of injury is minimal.

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