Sports injuries are one of the most common injuries nowadays that can occur in athletic activities or while exercising. It happens from accidents, poor training technique, inadequate equipment, and overuse of a particular body part. In India, there are millions of teenagers and children that participate in some form of organized sport and not only that even our professional players get injured on field many a times.Some of the sports injuries can be avoided using right technique and equipment include hamstring sprain, tennis elbow, head injury, sprained finger and dislocation of bones.
Tennis Elbow is a condition caused by overuse of arm, forearm, and hand muscles that results in elbow pain. Tennis elbow specifically involves the area where the muscles of the forearm attach to the outside bony area (called the lateral epicondyle) of the elbow. If someone suffers from a Tennis elbow injury, that doesn’t mean one has to be a tennis player to get this, and the term came into use because it was not only an issue for tennis players but also for cricketers and even football players.
It got more attention when the master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar got this injury in 2004-06. Tennis elbow is mostly caused by either sudden or indirect injury of the muscle and tendon area around the outside of the elbow. One way to treat tennis elbow is physiotherapy.
Shoulder injury is very common in cricket because of the repeated actions of throwing and bowling. All cricketers should pay attention to flexibility, strength and suppleness of the shoulder muscles. Correct technique can aid in minimizing the risk of injury. Most common shoulder injuries include rotator cuff disorder, glenoid labral injuries, shoulder instability, and Clavicle fractures etc. On an average, injury rate in fast bowlers is around 15% whereas other players have 9% chance of getting shoulder injured.
Such sports injuries can easily be prevented by using certain exercise techniques while playing and also by wearing protective equipments like shoulder supports. Dehydration, dehumidification and untailored diet can also add to such injuries.
A hamstring injury is a strain that tears the large muscles at the back of the thigh. It’s a very common injury in athletes and can occur in different severities. The hamstring muscles aren’t used much while standing or walking, but they’re very active during active sports activities. A hamstring injury occurs only if any of the muscles are stretched beyond their limit. In bowlers, especially fast bowlers there is a positive link between ‘over bowling’ and getting a Hamstring Strain. Over bowling needs to be avoided in order to prevent sudden overload on the muscles of the bowlers. For people who go to gym and start doing lower body exercises like squats without doing a warm up can also suffer from a hamstring strain. In early stages try to apply cold therapy for 15 minutes and this cycle has to be repeated periodically after every one hour. Wrap ice in a wet tea towel and then apply as cold packs can cause burns if applied directly to the skin.
Head/ Neck Injuries: Typical injuries to the head and neck during sporting activities are facial contusions and fractures, concussion, spinal injuries and stenosis, cervical disk and eye injuries. These injuries cause bruising, inflammation, swelling along with pain.
In order to reduce the possibility of head injury people should be compelled to wear helmets and safeguards to protect themselves from getting into accident. Appropriate warm up is required before playing and right techniques must be known to all the players. The major principle here has to be prevention, because once your head gets injured, it becomes extremely difficult to recover from it.
Sprained Finger – In case of a sprained finger, the finger is bent and causes damage to the collateral ligaments connecting two bones and most commonly it is elicited when the finger is hyper extended (i.e. bend back) especially while taking a catch. This type of injury can cause an avulsion fracture (a fragment of bone is torn off at the ligament when the injury occurs.) Pain and stiffness are some of the common symptoms of a finger injury leading to swelling and even bruising. This needs to be prevented before it triggers more pain. A sprain can easily be relieved by resting your finger/ thumb for some time, applying ice on it and a little compression can also be helpful.
The common principle that must be used to treat sports injuries is the PRICE principle.
P- Protection is of vital importance in order to prevent the injury from getting worse. The kind of protection being used in different sports varies, it can be a simple brace or a thigh pad. For more severe injuries, protect the injured area with a splint, pad, or crutch.
R-Adequate rest is required because body also needs time to heal. If you do not take rest after getting hurt it can be extremely bad for pre-existing conditions. Vigorous exercise immediately after an injury can damage the tissues leading to increased risk of inflammation and further injuries.
I- Apply ice immediately after an injury. It helps in reducing the swelling but you need to be very careful while applying ice on your skin because it can cause burns. Cryotherapy has proved to be very helpful even in case of severe injuries. Using ice for 20 minutes after every 1-2 hour can do miracles for aperson, never apply ice directly on the skin.
C- As soon as the ice pack is removed, you should try to compress the injured area, it acts as a barrier. While compressing the area do not apply much pressure on it keeping in mind that it does not cause any kind of numbness. It also aids in minimizing the effects of an injury in a short period of time. Compression with an elastic bandage will help in reduce swelling.
E- Elevation is the best possible way to restrict the blood from going to the injured part, position the injured area above the heart leading to reduced blood flow to the injured area. This also helps in reducing inflammatory reactions which can cause swelling.