Exercise is good for the body and the mind… as long as proper precautions are taken. The reality is, most sports injuriescould have been prevented. The top reasons sports injuries occur:
- Wearing no or low-quality protective equipment (padding, mouth guards, shoes, helmets, etc). Wearing gear that’s too small or too big also fits into this category.
- Improper or poor training practices, including incorrect warm-up, cool-down, or stretching practices.
- Being in poor health or condition.
As you can see, with proper care, we can eliminate these concerns, drastically reducing injuries while playing.
MOST COMMON INJURIES
HIP FLEXOR STRAINS: The set of muscles that help move the leg up are the hip flexors, when stretched too far a strain develops. This injury is usually caused by forgetting to warm up. This injury can take a couple of weeks to heal; ice and some over-the-counter inflammatories are best. You may find your hip flexors are becoming strained on a regular basis. If that’s the case a Physiocare Physiotherapist can help you properly recover and train the muscle to prevent it from coming back.
TORN ACL: This can be a game-changer in any sport. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is usually torn from a sudden stop or change in direction, causing a tear. The only treatment is a surgical reconstruction, where a new ligament is fashioned. Post-surgery, physiotherapy is needed, taking a year to a year and a half to fully recover.
CONCUSSION: Contact sports are more likely to lead to concussions, but you should know, not all concussions cause a loss of consciousness. Any blow to the head should be investigated. Recovery time varies but usually consists of rest. Physiocare Physiotherapists are specially trained to deal with your concussion, using a personalized, multi-discipline and collaborative team approach.
PULLED GROIN: There are muscles on the inside of your thigh that are shaped like a fan, that’s the groin. These muscles are used to squeeze your legs together. You’re more likely to experience a pulled groin when the sportrequires a lot of side-to-side movement. Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories are recommended as you heal, along with a complete clinical examination performed by a physiotherapist. The examination will include checking the motion of the hip joint and flexibility of the groin and hip muscles.
SHIN SPLINTS: Shooting pains down the front of your calves are likely shin splints, they come on from exercising too much or too intensely. These are common among runners and will only heal with rest and ice. If the pain doesn’t go away then it’s worth bringing up to your doctor as there could be a fracture in the bone.
INJURIES BY SPORT
- BASKETBALL: Believe it or not, basketball actually causes more injuries than any other sport, partially because it’s the most played sport in North America. To play safe, wear a mouth guard, elbow and knee pads, as well as eye protection and an athletic supporter. Be sure to warm up gently too.
- FOOTBALL: Teens are more likely to be injured playing football and a player is more likely to be hospitalized from a football injury, than any other sport. To play safe, wear all pads and protective gear, not just during the game but practice too. It’s also important to limit head contact and learn proper tackling techniques.
- SOCCER: Collisions are most common in soccer, head and neck injuries are a risk as well from improper heading. To play safe, learn the proper way to strike the ball with your head and practice footwork so you don’t have to look at your feet/the ball while running with it.
- HOCKEY: No sport causes more concussions than hockey, in fact over one-third of hockey injuries are concussions. To play safe, limit head contact during play and don’t tough it out, if you think an injury has occurred getting it looked after sooner rather than later can significantly decrease the severity of a concussion.