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Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Sports Injuries

There are a lot of common sports injuries out there. Read on to find out all there is to know, so we can get you back on your feet again

1. How to reduce the risk of injury in sport?

Evidence supports the use of exercise to reduce the risk of injury and re-injury in sport. Most importantly, suitable exercises to maintain strength and mobility are needed as it prepares your body for the sport you may participate in.

It will depend on the sport you play, as different sports pose different injury risks, based on the intensity of the sport and the level you play at. If you need guidance on which exercises you need to do, you can always speak to a specialist.  

cycling

2. How can scoliosis cause injury in sport?

The asymmetry and muscular imbalance, caused by one side being overworked and the other being overstretched, can cause the spine to be loaded incorrectly. So, this can put added pressure on certain structures which can make a sports injury more likely to occur.

However, some people can have scoliosis and not get a sports injury. 

3. How do sports injuries affect mental health?

For many people, participating in sport or activities is very important, because it can

  • Help clear your mind and reduce stress
  • Keep yourself in a routine
  • Increase social interactions and overall improve your mental health

So, when you get injured, you can no longer participate in the sport/activity you love, it can negatively affect your mental health, increasing the chance of a low mood from less social interactions & increased stress.

On the other hand, mental health can actually affect sport, this will stem from an injury associated with the sport. Once patients have essentially recovered from their injury, they can become anxious or fearful about going back to sport as they don’t want to re-injure themselves.  

4. What sport has the most injuries?

All sports carry their risk when it comes to sports injury, but most commonly the higher impact sports would increase the likelihood, due to the external forces at play. For example; rugby, karate, kick boxing and even horse riding. But it all depends on your knowledge and preparation of the sport before participation.

If you are looking for exercise for a beginner, swimming is a good option because it works the whole body and is low impact. 

swimming

5. Are sports injuries covered by health insurance?

Health insurance most commonly won’t cover you for your sports injury.

However, treatment for sports injuries can be covered by some insurance companies. You would have to look at who you would need to see to provide treatment and compare it to your insurance plan. You may need a chiropractor, sport therapist, physiotherapist, osteopath or another therapist.

Your insurance provider may only cover a certain number of sessions with a certain therapist. Best this to do it to contact your insurance company before starting a care plan. 

6. What does RICE mean in sports injuries?

RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and this USED TO BE the way to treat acute injuries to reduce swelling and pain. However, research now suggest a different acronym:

PEACE & LOVE – This is used to treat acute injuries even after the initial trauma.

Protection:

  • Unload or restrict movement for 1-3 days
  • Minimise rest – prolonged rest compromises tissue strength & quality
  • Let pain guide removal of protection & gradual reloading

Elevation:

  • Elevate the limb higher than the heart

*Although poor evidence – still recommended as there is a low risk : benefit ratio*

Avoid anti-inflammatory drugs:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications may negatively affect long-term tissue healing
  • Optimal soft tissue regeneration is supported by the various phases of the inflammatory process
  • Making use of medications to inhibit the inflammatory process could impair the healing process
  • Ice has the same effect & is mostly analgesic – ice could help with reducing pain & swelling if applied for no longer than 20 mins on structures like tendons & ligaments at the time of initial injury

Compression:

  • Bleeding & bruising may be limited by external mechanical compression such as taping or bandages

Education:

  • This one is our responsibility to educate patients on the benefits of an active approach to recovery
  • An active approach has a larger effect on pain & function than a passive approach

Load:

  • Patients with musculoskeletal disorders benefit from an active approach with movement & exercise
  • Normal activities should continue as soon as symptoms allow for it
  • Optimal loading without increasing pain
  • Promotes repair & remodelling
  • Builds tissue tolerance and capacity

Optimism:

  • The brain is very significant in recovery
  • It can create barriers:
  • Catastrophisation
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Stay realistic, but encourage optimism to improve the chances of optimal recovery

Vascularisation:

  • Musculoskeletal injury management needs to include cardiovascular physical activity e.g. running/jogging, cycling, swimming etc.
  • Pain free cardio is a motivation booster
  • Increases blood flow to injured structures
  • Benefits :
  • Improvement in function
  • Improvement in work status
  • Reduces the need for pain medication

Exercise:

  • Evidence supports the use of exercise therapy in treatment as it reduces the risk of recurring injuries
  • Benefits of exercise can restore mobility, strength and proprioception
  • Avoid pain to promote optimal repair in the sub-acute phase
  • Use pain as a guide to progress exercises gradually to increased levels of difficulty

If you found this helpful, you might want to check out our common back pain FAQ here

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