Sports injuries can happen for a variety of reasons including poor technique, improper warm up and weakness in muscles. Muscles that are not used regularly are prone to injury. This is why proper warm up is very important to avoid sports injuries. Our doctors at A&C urgent Care in Anaheim specialize in treating sports injuries and all orthopedic injuries in general.
Major causes of sports injury
- Poor technique
- Improper warm up
Seven most common sport injuries
- Ankle sprain
- Groin pull
- Hamstring strain
- Shin splints
- Knee injury: ACL tear
- Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome — injury resulting from the repetitive movement of your kneecap against your thigh bone.
- Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)
How to prevent these injuries
Regardless of the sport or physical activity you plan to engage in, its important to do a warm up that covers the muscles the activity will use. It is suggested that these muscles should be warmed up even weeks prior to the activity to avoid injury. This will strengthen the muscle while also improving its flexibility.
The Harvard Medical School has developed PRICE to treat sports injuries at home, you can try these at home before seeing a doctor. Read their treatment plan below or visit their site for more information.
Use a five-point program to handle your injuries; the key is PRICE: Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Protection. Injured tissues must be protected against further injury. Protect your small injuries by applying bandages, elastic wraps, or simple splints. Something as easy as taping an injured toe to its healthy neighbor can do the job. See your doctor for problems that require precision splints or casts.
Rest. Injured tissues need time to heal. It’s an obvious principle, but once you’re hooked on exercise you may be tempted to ignore it. Don’t give in to temptation — you’ll shortchange yourself with shortcuts. But you can rest selectively; you may have to give up tennis while your serving shoulder recovers from tendinitis, but you can still walk, jog, or hike. In a curious way, an injury is often a blessing in disguise, forcing you to diversify your workouts and acquire new skills.
Ice. It’s the cheapest, simplest, yet most effective way to manage many injuries. Ice is an excellent anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling and pain. For best results, apply an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes as soon as possible after an injury. Repeat the ice treatment each hour for the first four hours, then four times a day for the next two to three days. Protect your skin with a thin cloth, and don’t allow your skin to become red, blistered, or numb. After 48 to 72 hours, switch to heat treatments, using the same schedule and principles.
Compression. Pressure will help reduce swelling and inflammation. In most cases, a simple elastic bandage will suffice; it should be snug but not too tight. Remember that swelling may develop slowly hours after your injury, so you may have to loosen your wrap. Another trick is to place a small piece of foam rubber directly on the injured area before you wrap it; this will allow you to put gentle pressure where it’s needed without constricting an entire joint or limb.
Elevation. It’s a simple strategy that enlists the force of gravity to drain fluid away from injured tissues, reducing swelling, inflammation, and pain. Keep your sore foot or other limb up on a hassock or put a pillow under it in bed; elevating an injured area will help you get back to Earth faster.