Some of the Most Common Sport’s Injuries
Sport is an interesting hobby, interest, and profession. It is filled with a lot of energy, sweat, and adrenaline, which make sporting activities intriguing. Such large amounts of adrenaline have made sports a frequent injury zone.
Anytime you step out onto the field of play, whatever the sport or exercise and regardless of location, you always run the risk of some sort of injury. However remote that possibility is at any given moment that repeated wear and tear on your body eventually adds up, leading to excessive stress on the muscles and joints that lead to injury. In general, listen to your body, and do your best to distinguish good pain (general fatigue) from the bad (jolting or dull pains, excessive fatigue). Struggling to do those, last couple reps might seem like a good idea in the short term, but it could ruin your progress in the long run with a damaging and lingering injury.
Sports activities will at one point lead to injury mainly due to stress on the muscles and joints that will result in injury. For example, American football, gymnastics, and cheerleading are common sports activities that result into various injuries.
1.Common Football Injuries
- Overuse Injuries – Lower back or overall back pain is a common complaint in Football (American) players due to overuse. Often a leading cause is overtraining syndrome. This is when a player trains beyond the ability for the body to easily recover. Knee pain is another problem that football players complain of; this can usually be dealt with by a quadriceps strengthening program.
- Concussions – One of the most common injuries in Football (American). A concussion occurs due to a traumatic impact. Some signs of concussion are; a headache, dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, loss of balance, numbness, blurry vision, and difficulty concentrating. Concussions can be a severe injury if you think you may have suffered from one seek medical care immediately.
- Heat Injuries – With the start of training camp, this is a large concern. Most often occurs with the intense physical activities associated with long outdoor training sessions in the height of summer. Sweating depletes the body of salt and water. Some of the symptoms you may note are cramping, if not treated with simple body cooling and fluids you can suffer from heat stroke or heat exhaustion, which can if untreated lead to death.
- Traumatic Injuries – Knee injuries in football are the most common, especially those to the anterior or posterior cruciate ligament (ACL/PCL) and the menisci (cartilage of the knee). These knee injuries can adversely affect a player’s long-term involvement in the sport. Football players also have a higher chance of ankle sprains due to the surfaces played on and cutting motions. Shoulder injuries are also quite common, and the labrum (cartilage bumper surrounding the socket part of the shoulder) is particularly susceptible to injury, especially in offensive and defensive linemen. In addition, injuries to the acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) or shoulder are seen in football players.
2.Common Gymnastics Injuries
- Labral tears – (sometimes called SLAP tears) may occur during any gymnastic exercise, but the ring and bar specialists seem particularly vulnerable. It is characterized by pain that initially resolves but tends to recur with a return to sport. An MRI can be helpful in establishing a definitive diagnosis.
- Wrist Injuries – The wrist is subjected to forces that can exceed twice the body weight. The first step in treating wrist pain is to reduce the training volume of the athlete, relieve symptoms, and to participate in only pain-free activities. After an injury, gymnasts should avoid considerable pressure on the wrist joint for six weeks. If the gymnast is experiencing pain with non-gymnastic activities of daily living, using a brace or cast to immobilize the wrist temporarily may be helpful.
- ACL injuries – can result when a gymnast lands “short” or is over-rotated while tumbling, dismounting, or vaulting. A “pop” may be heard or felt followed by knee swelling for hours. MRI is often used to confirm ACL injury. As with other sports, ACL reconstruction is recommended for gymnasts who wish to return to full sports participation.
- Achilles Tendons – Gymnasts, can suffer from a variety of injuries to the Achilles tendon located just above the back of the heel, as a result of the repetitive stress of jumping and landing. Achilles tendinitis occurs in calf soreness that is aggravated with jumping and landing. Treatment should initially consist of ultrasound, stretching, activity modification, and calf exercises. Foot immobilization for seven to ten days may be beneficial for severe symptoms.
- Foot & Ankle – Injuries to the foot and ankle are common in gymnastics. Acute injuries are usually sprains, which can be minor or more serious. Swelling, bruising and tenderness directly over the bones are signs of a more serious injury. Minor injuries typically have tenderness limited to one side of the joint without significant swelling. Serious injuries require evaluation by a qualified professional while a return to participation after a minor injury is often possible within a week if there is no pain (or limping) with weight bearing activity. Protection with taping or a brace can aid recovery and reduce the risk for re-injury. Chronic ankle pain or repeated injuries are worrisome and require evaluation before continuing with participation.
- Muscle Strain – The cause of low-back pain can include muscle strain, ligament sprain, fracture, and/or disc disorders. Frequently, the low-back pain will worsen with activity, especially with extension movements, such as arching the shoulders backward. Low-back pain in gymnasts related to muscular strain or ligament sprain usually responds to rest and physical therapy exercises. Persistent back pain is uncommon and should not be ignored. An MRI or a bone scan is often helpful to rule out injuries that are more significant.
3.Common Cheerleading Injuries
One study estimates that cheerleading led to 28,000 emergency room visits in 2009 (the latest year for data). While not as frequent as injuries in other sports, cheerleading injuries tend to be more severe, making up more than half of the catastrophic injuries in female athletes. Cheerleading injuries affect all areas of the body — most commonly the wrists, shoulders, ankles, head, and neck.
Cheerleading Injury Prevention Tips:
- Stunt restrictions – In an attempt to curb the amount of catastrophic injuries in cheerleading, restrictions have been placed on stunts. They range from height restrictions in human pyramids to the thrower-flyer ratio, to the number of spotters that must be present for each person lifted above shoulder level.Basket toss stunts in which a cheerleader is thrown into the air (sometimes as high as 20 feet) are only allowed to have four throwers. The person being tossed (flyer) is not allowed to drop the head below a horizontal plane with the torso. One of the throwers must remain behind the flyer at all times during the toss.Mats should be used during practice sessions and as much as possible during competitions. Cheerleaders should not attempt a stunt if they are tired, injured, or ill, as this may disrupt their focus and cause the stunt to be performed in an unsafe manner.
- Training – The importance of a qualified coach is also critical. Coaching certification is encouraged. Precautions should always be taken during inclement weather for all stunts. In addition, a stunt should not be attempted without proper training, and not until the cheerleader is confident and comfortable with performing the stunt. Supervision should be provided at all times during stunt routines.