Sports Injuries

 

Sports Injuries

Sports Injuries

Sports injuries occur across all age groups and all sports. There is no “safe ” sport.

swelling+top+of+foot

Stress Fractures Foot

Stress fractures occur most commonly in women runners with a low BMI. This is called the Triad

 

 

What is a Hairline Fracture?

Over a period of time you can develop very small cracks on a bone in your lower leg or foot from repetitive pounding activities such as running and jumping.  Often they result from sports injuries or overuse. These tiny fractures can also occur in the upper body limbs as a result of falling or hitting into something.  Larger fractures or breaks differ in that they are usually the result of one more severe accident or fall, happening suddenly as opposed to gradually. Hairline fractures may heal on their own with adequate rest, they can be painful and linger for weeks.   It is not just athletes that get hairline fractures– anyone can get one, especially people who engage in repetitive activities that put stress on your bones.

Symptoms of Hairline Fractures:

  • Dull pain that becomes more severe over time
  • Light to moderate pressure may be felt
  • Pain is reduced with painkillers

Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains.

Basic treatment for a sprained ankle

Sprained ankle black x-ray

RICE:

 

  • REST the injured ankle. Use crutches to limit weight bearing.
  • Apply ICE to limit excessive swelling.
  • Use COMPRESSION wrappings such as ACE bandages to help with swelling and add much needed support.
  • ELEVATE the ankle above heart-level when sitting or sleeping. This will help limit swelling and bruising.

 

How is a sprained ankle treated?

The RICE approach is the first treatment a sprained ankle will receive. This may be all that’s necessary if the sprain is very mild.

3d rendered illustration of the achilles tendon

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon

Symptoms of tendon injury (tendinopathy):

  •   Pain: some degree of pain will almost always accompany a tendon
    injury, no matter how minor. This is made worse by activity.
  • Crepitus: this describes the “crunchy” sensation felt when the affected joint is used. This is often accompanied by discomfort and an audible sound.
  • Stiffness: the joint which the tendon crosses usually feels
    somewhat stiff when used.
  • Redness and warmth: the injured joint is often warm to the touch
    and can take on a reddish hue. This is a direct result of the chronic
    inflammation which is a part of most tendon injuries.
  • Symptoms vary with time: the above symptoms are usually worse at
    night. This is understandable, since the joint has been used throughout the
    day. By the same token, symptoms typically become worse with activity.
    Stiffness tends to be worse in the morning until the joint begins to “loosen
    up.”

Note: the symptoms produced by tendon injuries are often more generalized than arthritis symptoms. With arthritis, symptoms are usually limited to the joint in question. With tendinopathy, symptoms can radiate outwards from the injured joint.

The most commonly affected joints are the shoulders, elbows, and ankles. Tendon injuries of the wrists, hips, and knees occur somewhat less often.

Much of the pain caused by chronic tendon injuries is a direct result of inflammation. In more advanced cases calcium crystals can develop within the tendon, causing further pain. It isn’t known precisely what causes these calcium deposits to form.

Heel Spur

If you experience pain in the bottom of the foot, especially on your first steps in the morning, you may have a heel spur.

Home Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

sports injury heel spur

Injury can be prevented, and somewhat relieved,  by taking precautions at home, work, and while exercising.

  • Rest:  Rest the injured tendon and avoid pain causing activities.  Pay attention to your overall health, including sleep, diet, and fitness.   Continue to exercise, but only in ways that do not aggravate the injury. If an activity has caused pain, do not resume it until full healing has occurred, which often takes weeks of rest.  You may need to change the types of activities you do until full healing is achieved.
    • Use cold compresses:   If you notice pain or tenderness in an area, whether in the tendon or muscle surrounding it, cold packs or ice should be applied as soon as possible.  Ten to fifteen minutes at a time, up to twice an hour, is recommended for the first 72 hours. After that, continue with 15 to 20 minute applications three times a day until no longer needed for pain.  Heating pads may feel nice but will not relieve inflammation the way cold compresses will.
    • Use pain relievers:   Use NSAID type (ibuprofen or naproxen) or acetaminophen for pain relief. If you have inflammation, NSAIDs will help reduce it, and also are available in cream form for rubbing on sore areas.   Be cautious though, not to overuse a joint while the pain is being masked!
    • Maintain range of motion:   Even though you may be resting a joint, you should still gently move it each day.  Strive for full range of motion to prevent stiffness in the joint. As the pain lessons, continue these movements and add
    •  other exercises that will strengthen the area.
    • Resume activity slowly:  Resume pre-injury activities at a low level of intensity and increase it gradually. Always warm up and stretch,  and stop if you feel pain. Afterward, apply cold compresses.

 

  • Avoid smoking:   Healing occurs more slowly in smokers, so avoiding smoking while you are in the healing process is very helpful.

 

Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis:

  • Warm up:   Stretching and warm up activities before exercising or playing sports can help prevent injuries, as does stretching afterward.  
  • Strengthen muscles:   Your doctor can discuss specific exercises for strengthening the area involved in your injury.   A physical therapist or athletic trainer can also be of help.
  • Consider changing activities:  If certain activities aggravate your symptoms, think of how you can change them or the way you perform them, to reduce muscle and joint strain.  Be aware of repetition of motion, and strive for giving joints and muscles a break. Alternating hands, or changing position of or size of tools can be considered for work activities.  For exercise, consider new activities or sports. For example, if you’ve always been a walker or a runner, you could try swimming instead.
  • Take action:
    • If a certain activity at work seems to be aggravating your condition, speak with your human resources department about possible solutions.  Can you perform your tasks in a modified way, or perform other tasks until completely healed?
    • If your favored sport or activity is causing the problem, consider whether you are using proper technique.  An athletic trainer or an instructor of the sport can help you to see if you are using the correct size and type of equipment for your body.  They can also demonstrate proper positioning and motion.

kids+football

Children’s Football Sports Injuries

Children’s Soccer Sports Injuries

 

soccer+injuries+picture