"A lot of injuries... really you can't do anything about. Injuries just happen but there are some injuries you can prevent from happening by just taking care of your body; eating right, stretching right, lifting right... taking care of your body. Just being healthy. And then there's injuries you just can't do anything about, but once you encounter an injury it's really about how you rehab and how mentally you have to stay strong. Knowing that you have the chance to do the rehab right and get your body back to where it needs to be. So that's the one thing you really got to learn. REHAB IS A BIG PART OF TAKING CARE OF YOUR INJURY." ~ Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng on handling injuries
There is a risk of injury for athletes participating in all sporting activities. While there is no way to prevent injuries from sports-related accidents to occur, some common sports injuries caused by straining and overuse can be prevented by doing appropriate pre- and post-sport stretching and listening to your body when it needs to rest. Some sport injuries are more severe than others. How an athlete treats and manages their injury determines their return back to the play.
The following are Common Sport Injuries:
- Ankle Sprain
- Shin Splints
- Shoulder Injuries
- Knee Injuries
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner's Knee)
- Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper's Knee)
- Heat Illnesses
- Exercise-Induced Asthma
AN ATHLETE SHOULD ALWAYS REPORT AN INJURY TO THEIR COACH AND/OR ATHLETIC TRAINER.
Treatment Plan for Sports Injuries
Minor sports injuries can be managed at home and should get better in a few days. The best home care is to use the R.I.C.E. treatment plan: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Immediately stop using the injured area. Sometimes 24 to 48 hours of rest will make a big difference in overall recovery. It could be that the area you injured will need to rest for a longer period of time. For injuries affecting legs, knees, or ankles, this means using crutches so that you are not putting weight on the injured body part.
- Putting ice on your injury will help with pain and swelling. You should apply ice to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes every four hours. Crushed ice is best for ice packs because you can manipulate it easier to cover the injury.
- Keeping pressure on the injury will also help with swelling and will provide additional support. An elastic medical-grade bandage works best. Wrap the bandage tight, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation to the area.
- Propping up the affected area offers a few benefits. First, it will ensure you are resting your injury properly. Second, it will help reduce swelling. The correct way to elevate is to make sure that the injured area is propped up higher than your heart.
When to See an Orthopedic Doctor
If your injury causes extreme swelling, bruising, or an obvious deformity, head straight to your doctor. Bruising may get worse in the days following your injury. However, you should see a doctor if pain is severe or if swelling or pain doesn’t go away after a few days.
It is recommended to consult with your coach, athletic trainer, and/or nurse about your injury if it is not an immediate emergency.
For more information about athletic injuries, talk to your athletic trainer.