Common Sports Injuries
I'm afraid of injuries. So I want you to be careful and to have a good life without injuries! Learn about the common sports injuries
An aerobics trainer must be well aware of the common injuries that can occur while exercising. Injuries are a common problem while working out in the gym and a general awareness and knowledge about injuries can not only help to avoid them but also in the recovery process. If you come across a gym injury, only advise medication or attend to the injury if you are sure that you know what the problem is. The human body is a very complex "machine" and many a time, an injury can be severer than it appears to be. Therefore, be very careful. If you suspect a serious injury, call for the emergency services.
1. Back Injuries
Up to 80% of some people suffer a back injury at some time of their lives. The most common cause is usually a sprain of the back muscles due to wrong posture. Once a back injury has taken place, it takes time to heal. So, the best possible alternative is to prevent the injury in the first place through correct exercises and proper posture.Proper Posture of the Body
An individual must be careful about his or her posture at all times.
The following postures are wrong postures:
- Slouching i.e. not standing or sitting in an upright position.
- Rounding or forward drooping of the shoulders by letting them hang loose.
- Forcing the back into positions where the normal S curve of the back is not properly maintained as when sitting on a deep cushioned sofa for long hours.
- Holding the head too far forward.
- Letting your belly hang loosely forward and putting undue pressure on the spine.
- Not keeping legs straight while standing.
- Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft or too hard.
- Sleeping on your stomach for long hours.
One of the most common fallouts of a bad posture is a muscle strain of the back. A muscle strain or a rupture of the back muscle is the same as the rupture of a muscle in any other part of the body. The rupture can occur due to a wrong exercise or over straining of the back muscles. A wrong posture for a long period of time has the effect of weakening the back muscles, and is one of the main reasons why back muscles get strained. A wrong posture leads to a stiff back (muscle spasms), which then results in the straining of the back muscle.
Muscle tears in the back are graded "1", "2", and "3".
A. The characteristics of a grade 1 muscle tear are:
None or little swelling.
Can walk properly.
Feeling of tightness in the back.
Grade 1 tear can usually be treated at home through a simple massage and by not exercising. If there is no pain while exercising, it can be continued.
B. The characteristics of a grade 2 muscle tear are:
Shooting pain while moving possible.
Inability to walk possible.
Swelling of the area.
Pain on pressing
It is best to see a doctor for a grade 2 tear and stop all exercises.
C. The characteristics of a grade 3 muscle tear are:
Severe swelling that appears as soon as the injury takes place.
Inability to walk.
Swelling when the muscle contracts.
It is a must to see the doctor for a grade 3 muscle tear. The doctor may prescribe massages or even advise surgery in certain cases.Lower Back Pain (Lumbago)Lower back strain
is a common form of back problem which can result from sports activity. The exercise activity must be immediately stopped if there is a severe lower back pain or a discomfort in the lower back while exercising. The back is a vital part of the human body and supports the body. Therefore, no chances can be taken if a back injury is suspected. Lower back pain or injury usually takes place due to the wrong lifting of a load or twisting of the back at an impossible angle. The pain in the lower back is due to muscle sprains and also due to the trapping of nerves by the sprained muscles. Usually, the pain goes away in a couple of weeks.
The symptoms of lower back pain are:
Pain in the lower back which does not go down to the legs.
A straightening of the back due to stiffness and loss of the normal S curve of the back.
Common treatment of lower back pain includes:
Resting in bed.
Applying heat to the area.
In case lower back pain occurs, exercise cannot be continued, and bed rest is advisable till the pain goes away. If the pain becomes too severe or does not go away, the doctor should be consulted. The lower back pain may be quite intense and may require aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication. Physical therapy may be required during which the doctor will prescribe heat, electrical stimulation or massages. In severe cases, traction may also be applied to realign the vertebrae.
2. Neck Injuries
Pain only in the neck region (Cervicalgia
Pain in the neck region (cervicalgia) that does not radiate outwards is quite common . This pain is usually due to a muscle tear in the neck region.
Symptoms of cervicalgia
Sharp pain in the neck region.
Pain when turning the head side ways or backwards.
A nagging ache in the neck region.
Common treatment of cervicalgia include
- Application of ice to the painful area especially if the problem is muscular in nature.
- Wearing a collar to support the neck.
- Seeing a doctor, who would most probably prescribe a muscle relaxant.
Pain in the neck region that radiates to the shoulders and arms
Neck pain which also passes to other areas of the body is usually due to trapped nerves in the neck as a result of muscle spasms or disk damage.
- Pain in the neck that radiates to the shoulders or arms.
- The pain also moves to the head region.
- There could be dizziness and headaches.
Common treatment for Radiating Neck Pain
- Taking anti-inflammatory medicines.
- Rest and wearing a collar.
- Seeing a doctor, who would first reduce the inflammation and pain and then suggest neck exercises.
3. Bursitis (Students' Elbow)
This problem occurs at the tip of the elbow where there is a small sack of fluid called the bursa. This fluid is used for lubricating various surrounding tissues. If you accidentally hurt the region or lean on the elbow for long hours, it could lead to bleeding or inflammation in the bursa which results in swelling of the tip of the elbow.
- Reduced mobility of the elbow.
- Pain and swelling of the elbow
- Possibility of pain even without moving the elbow.
Common treatment for bursitis in the elbow
- Rest the elbow.
- Apply ice to the affected area.
- See a doctor, who may remove the fluid from the elbow, bandage the region or even perform surgery if required.
4. Sprained or Twisted Ankle Injuries
In proper medical lingo, a ligament is sprained, and an ankle is sprained. This type of injury is most common when you are not wearing the right type of shoes, or your ankle twists at an unnatural angle during sports or while walking.
Three degrees of ligament sprain:First degree
Some stretching or tearing of the ligament.
Little or no joint instability.
Mild pain and swelling.
Some joint stiffness.Second degree
Some tearing of the ligament fibers .
Moderate instability of the joint.
Moderate to severe pain .
Swelling and stiffness.Third degree
Total rupture of a ligament .
Complete instability of the joint .
Severe pain and severe swelling .
Common treatment for ankle injuries
The ankle injury should be rested and treated with ice to reduce the swelling. If you see a doctor, he could prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines or, in more serious cases, laser treatment and massages leading to a full rehabilitation program.
5. Total Rupture of the Achilles' Tendon
The Achilles' tendon is a delicate tendon at the back of the heel. Injuries to this tendon usually occur due to sudden movements that exert a force behind the lower leg.
Symptoms of a total rupture are
A complete rupture of the tendon is accompanied by intense pain, and you can even hear the snapping sound of the tendon. You will not be able to stand on tip toe or walk normally after the injury.
Common treatment for Achilles Tendon
You can try to reduce swelling with ice. This injury requires surgery for treatment and you must get the casualty to the hospital. The quicker the casualty is operated the better are the chances of a full recovery.
6. Cramps of the Calf Muscles (Gastrocnemius or Soleus)
Cramps may be caused due to a number of reasons such as dehydration, low salt intake, low carbohydrate levels or over training. A very common area where cramps take place is the calf muscle. The cramps lead to an involuntary contraction of the muscles accompanied by pain. Severe cramps can also tear the muscle fiber, and should be treated quickly.
Common treatment for cramps
Stretch and massage the affected muscle to relieve pain. Take some salt mixed in water. An increase in the blood flow of the area helps to reduce the pain. A doctor will also prescribe massages.
7. Shin Splints (Periostitis)
This injury is caused due to overuse of the affected area. Shin splints is the name given to the pain at the front of the lower leg due to a swelling in the sheath surrounding the bone. This injury is usually caused due to too much impact on the feet during running or jumping. The injury is characterized by pain, swelling, lumps on the bone and pain when turning or bending the foot up or down.
Common treatment for shin splints
Treat the swelling with ice. A person with shin splints should rest and not use the affected area for exercising. Sitting exercises can be continued. A well padded shoe will help. A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication apart from massages to reduce the swelling and tone up the area.
8. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (including CMP or Chondromalacia Patellae)
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is the name given to the pain in and around the knee-cap caused due to injury below the knee-cap. This pain surfaces when bending the knee and is also characterized by swelling and degeneration of the quadricep muscles. This injury is usually caused due to rubbing of the bones below the knee cap and in some instances, due to injury. This injury should be treated quickly. The injury is common among people with feet that roll in and people who have weak quadriceps.
Common treatment for patellofemoral pain syndrome
Treat the injured area with ice to reduce the swelling and rest the knee. A knee support band will help take the load off the knee. A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines and a rehabilitation program that could involve exercises to strengthen the quadriceps.
9. Hamstring Strain (Tear of the Hamstring Muscles)
A hamstring strain is due to a tear in the hamstring muscles and is caused by a sudden movement (such as starting a sprint race) or by too much load on the hamstring. The injury leads to the hamstring muscles going into spasms with a lot of pain and swelling. If the rupture is very bad, you may feel a gap in the muscles.
Strains are graded 1, 2 or 3 depending on the severityGrade 1 strain
This is the least serious strain and is basically a micro tear in the muscle. The casualty can walk and there may be some tightness in the thigh. There may not be any swelling. If the casualty lies on his/her stomach and tries to bend the knee against gravity, it will not cause pain. A grade 1 strain is usually treated with a bandage.Grade 2 strain
This strain is more serious and is a tear in the muscle. The casualty cannot usually walk properly and there may be shooting pain in between the movements. There will be swelling and pain on pressing the area. If the casualty lies on his/her stomach and tries to bend the knee against gravity, it will cause pain. The casualty may not be able to fully straighten the knee. This injury is treated with ice and rest (crutches), and takes up to 10 weeks to cure.Grade 3 strain
This strain is the most serious and is a large tear in the muscle. The casualty cannot walk without crutches and experiences pain. There will be swelling and pain on pressing the area. If the casualty lies on his/her stomach and tries to bend the knee against gravity, it will cause pain. The casualty may not be able to fully straighten the knee. This injury is treated with ice and rest (crutches), and takes up to 15 weeks to cure. A doctor may suggest a rehabilitation program.
10. Impingement Syndrome (Swimmer's Shoulder / Thrower's Shoulder)
This injury takes place when the rotator cuff tendons get trapped in the shoulder joint. This injury could be caused by sudden shoulder movements or an accident and leads to a pain in the shoulder when the arm is lifted higher than the horizontal level or when it is lifted quickly. This problem can get chronic. So, quick treatment is advised.
11. Rotator Cuff Injury
This injury occurs in the shoulder muscles that help to rotate the shoulder outwards and inwards. Sudden and jerky movements of the shoulder usually cause this injury. This injury is accompanied by pain when the arm is raised above the head and when the shoulder is rotated outwards.
Common treatment for rotator cuff injury
The shoulder should be rested for as long as there is pain and the swelling should be treated with ice. The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines or a rehabilitation program. In most cases, 3-4 days of rest cure the problem. This injury can be avoided by outward rotation of the arm and shoulder exercises.
Stay safe!!! Disclaimer: The information contained in here is solely for educational purposes on the given subject. It should not be considered a medical advice nor should it be used as a substitute for medical advice and expertise of a physician, physiotherapist or a dietitian.