Sports can be defined as any professional or amateur activity that people do to have fun, improve their body, increase their body health, losing weight, get excited and increase their happiness. While there were enough sports branches to be counted with fingers in the past, nowadays we hear an increasing number of new branches. All of this, of course, increases the duty and responsibility of health personal especially working in the field of sports injuries. Doing sports at very early ages and in later ages and wrong movements increase injuries.
Sports are physical movements performed with musculoskeletal functions for entertainment, competition, bodybuilding and health purposes. Today, various sports are performed by many people as professionals and amateurs. Sports injuries are more common in heavy sports such as football, basketball, tennis, and ski. It can be occurred sports injuries easily, especially in some amateur athletes who do sports occasionally.
Before Starting The Sport;
We must determine what we have to do and complete all preparations, before starting the sports. Our health check comes first. Health screening should determine whether there is an obstacle to sports. We should optimize the environmental factors suitable for the sports that we will do next. Finally, we should determine the condition of our body and start sports at the appropriate level.
Scientific research has shown that sports injuries can be reduced by preventing programs for sports injuries. It is important to get professional support and doing conscious sports. We should also measure and evaluate ourselves well.
For example, walking is a good sport. We can ask ourselves “how can be an injury in walking?”. Let’s think; When do we walk, what time do we walk, with whom we walk, in the mountain or in the vineyard, in the rain, in the snow, in the sun, with sneakers, boots, are we fifty-pound or eighty pounds, every day, three days a week, with dress or with sportswear, ten minutes or an hour…
As you can see, there are many factors in sports even we talk on walking, and we can stumble and fall and experience a serious injury when we do not calculate them. For this reason, we must first learn not to get injured while doing sports.
Things to Do Before You Start Sports For Preventing The Sports Injuries
It should be determined with health screening whether there is a situation that prevents sports. Those with previously known health problems should talk to their doctor before deciding to do sports and not do risky sports. It is very important to have sufficient information about sports to be done and to choose appropriate clothes, shoes, and materials. 15-20 minutes of warm-up and stretching muscles must be done before starting the sport. When there are signs such as excessive fatigue, palpitations, and dizziness during sports, the sport should be ended. Scientific research has shown that sports injuries can be reduced by preventing programs for sports injuries.
Weak muscle and bone structure, anatomical disorders, previous injuries and surgeries, chronic diseases and infections, age and gender, not knowing sports rules, carelessness, physical deficiencies (aerobic endurance, strength, speed, skill, agility), psychological factors (concentration, risk acceptance), physical structure (height, weight, joint stabilization, percentage of body fatty tissue) …
Being untrained, bad material, non-compliance with sports rules, unsuitable ground and bad weather conditions … Sports injuries generally contain features specific to sports. Usually, abrasions, soft tissue lesions (crush, muscle or fiber breaks, bleeding, muscle stiffness, cramps, etc.), joint trauma (ligament lesions, meniscus lesions, foot ankle sprains, finger joint difficulties, waist strain, shoulder dislocations), fractures and major injuries can be seen at some athletes such as footballers, basketball players, people who do rock climbing, mountaineers, etc.
What Are Sports Injuries?
Muscle crushing occurs as a result of muscle and tendon ruptures (Achilles tendon ruptures, shoulder rotator muscle ruptures, quadriceps tendon ruptures, tendon ruptures in the groin, hamstring muscle ruptures behind the thigh), partial muscle rupture contraction or stretching. There is pain, bleeding and swelling (hematoma) when the muscle contracts. Complete muscle rupture happens suddenly, accompanied by severe pain in the respective muscle groups. There is severe bleeding, swelling (hematoma), pain, loss of strength and movement. Contusion, that is crushing, is the crushing of soft tissues between impact and bone in the face of direct trauma. It is characterized by bruising (accumulation of blood), swelling and pain as a result of vascular damage and fluid outflow.
As a result of sprain and twists in the joints, strain, stretching and breaks may occur in the ligaments (ankle sprain and ligament injuries, knee inner side, outer side and cruciate ligament injuries). A sprain is a joint injury. There are three types of sprain: In the first-degree sprain, the joint is slightly forced. There is regional sensitivity.
The joint movement is normal. In the second degree sprain, some breaks occurred in the joint ligaments. There are a few abnormal joint movements, bleeding, and swelling. In the third degree sprain, the ligaments are completely broken. There is great abnormal joint movement. It is characterized by severe swelling, bleeding, and pain, which appear suddenly. In some cases, one of the undesirable consequences of muscle injuries called myositis ossificans (muscle ossification). It is caused by calcium accumulation (a bone-like structure) on the embolus following muscle rupture and bleeding. This leads to a loss of muscle strength and flexibility, resulting in functional impairment. There is a risk of rupture in the related muscle.
Fractures and Dislocations:
In many sports, various bone fractures and dislocations develop depending on the severity and direction of the trauma and the fall (shoulder, elbow and finger dislocations, fractures on the wrist, ankle, hand, foot, elbow area bones and around the knee).
Definitive Treatment of Sports Injuries
Conservative or surgical treatment is performed depending on the severity, damage, and location of the sports injury.
Conservative treatment: Extremities are taken for rest by bandage, splint, circular cast and orthosis are taken for rest. Painkillers and edema relief drugs are given.
Physical therapy: After the acute condition, muscle strengthening and exercises can be done. Physical therapy is performed after surgery.
Surgical treatment is performed in some sports injuries (fractures and dislocations with the necessary indication). Intra-articular injuries can be treated arthroscopically according to the severity of the injury (meniscus injuries, cruciate ligament injuries, cartilage lesions). Some severe tendon and muscle injuries may also require surgical treatment.
First Aid in Sports Injuries
In the area with sports injury, it can be seen findings such as pain, swelling, limited movement, abrasion, ecchymosis. In sports injuries, “first aid” is the procedure performed at the scene. First aid is usually provided by those around. It is necessary to consciously approach the injured person during any injury. Otherwise unwanted – worse – results may occur.
The injured area should be placed in a resting position and ice treatment should be started immediately to prevent edema. Cold treatment is one of the main treatment methods used in the acute treatment of sports injuries. Ice should not be in direct contact with the skin, it should be applied for 15-20 minutes. Ice treatment can be applied 5-6 times a day with an interval of 2 hours. The aim is to control bleeding and inflammation (inflammatory changes). Cold treatment should be started following the injury and continued for the first 48-72 hours after. Blood flow decreases in the injured area with cold application. Therefore, movements of substances to the injured area and thus bleeding and pain/damage are reduced.
After all sports injuries, cold treatment should be done until the symptoms of swelling and bleeding disappear. Then, compression or splint should be applied to the injured area, and the leg should be raised high (to the heart level), especially in the lower extremity injuries. Bandage application contributes to low bleeding/damage due to circulation in the injured area in the acute period. In the late period of injury, the bandage contributes to the protection of the tissue by reminding the person who has injured tissue/joint. The bandage alone does not protect a tissue or joint from possible trauma.
Examining Is A Must In Sports Injuries
After the first aid, the injured athlete must be taken to an appropriate center and examined by the orthopedics and traumatologist. Medical imaging procedures are performed for definitive diagnosis. Direct radiography or tomography examination for fractures and dislocations, magnetic resonance or ultrasound examination for soft tissue injuries.
Preventing Sports Injuries
Get Medical Check-up
If you are just starting to do sports and do not have a medical report taken, be sure to have your health checked and get a sports check-up by going through a medical center. Thus, learn about your health problems that you may not be aware of during sports and inform your personal trainer. In this way, you avoid exercises that can force and hurt you.
Personalized Exercise Program
In line with your body’s deficiencies, follow the exercise program that best suits your physical structure with your personal trainer. Find out which sport is suitable for your body. In this way, you can prevent undesirable injuries on your body with exercises you cannot do. And you can minimize sports injuries by increasing your physical capacity with appropriate exercises.
Warm-up and Cool-down
Make sure that you have sufficient warm-up and cool-down movements before and after exercise. In this way, while preparing your body to exercise mentally and physically, you can also prevent possible injuries that may occur. Studies have shown that warm-up and cool-down movements performed before and after exercise have a protective effect on musculoskeletal injuries.
Care to Your Body During Exercise
Care to changes in your body while exercising. Do not forget that findings such as heart rate (pulse), dehydration, shortness of breath, chest pain are the main parameters that determine how hard you exercise, what you need and the quality of your exercise program. In this way, you can protect yourself from possible risks or excessive muscle pain that may occur after exercise.
Apply Your Exercise Program Regularly
You should apply your exercise program regularly in order to reveal the effects of exercise. Follow your exercise program in regular periods and in controlled increments. Implementing the exercise program irregularly or constantly changing movements during the workout are the factors preventing your training efficiency and development. To prevent injuries, you should regularly follow your current schedule and increase the intensity of your exercises periodically in consultation with your personal trainer.
Learn the Techniques of Exercises!
Performing the exercises with the correct techniques is very important in terms of reducing injuries. Because you can do your exercises more efficiently while exercising less load on your joints. Consult your physiotherapist or individual trainer to learn the correct technique of doing exercises.
Concentrate on Sports Injuries and Injuries
Mental concentration is essential to minimize injuries during exercises. Checking which muscle group is working with a good concentrate protects you from injuries that can develop due to lack of attention. By concentrating better, you will increase the efficiency of your work and you will get better results.
Rest After Exercise
If you are doing long term and station-style exercise, pay attention to rest and exercise times. Give yourself time to recover the microtraumas caused by exercise by determining exercise and rest periods well. In this way, your muscle pain will decrease.
Pay Attention to Your Nutrition
One of the biggest mistakes made while doing sports is not being careful about nutrition and skipping meals. Support your exercise with a healthy diet program. Allow your body to digest nutrients up to 2 hours before exercising. You should consume quality carbohydrates before exercise, and you should contribute to muscle building by consuming protein-rich foods after exercise. Consult your dietitian for sports-specific nutrition.
Exercise With The Right Sports Materials
Another factor that affects injuries while exercising is the equipment you use. Choose your sportswear with features that can absorb sweat and feel comfortable. You should choose your sports equipment, especially your sports shoes, in accordance with the sport you will do, as it will absorb the reaction force of the ground at every step. If you have a problem with foot biomechanics, you should consult your physiotherapist and obtain a suitable insole and use it to support your feet while doing sports. Thus, by reducing your problem of pressing, both feet can be loaded at the same rate during exercise.
These are the points that many of us know but neglect the application. If we do not apply the truths we know, this information has no significance. It is more important to be conscious, not to be knowledgeable. If you want to continue your sports life healthier and more conscious, you should pay attention to these issues. In this way, you can keep sports injuries at a minimum level.
PS: Featured İmage of the post cited from Jiva Ayurveda