The Prevention and Treatment of Common Sport Injuries
Sport injuries are quite a common problem, especially among the amateur sportsmen and women, who tend to lack the experience of their professional peers, while those most at risk are young children. The possibility of mishaps, however, is a risk shared by everyone who enjoys exercise or competitive physical activities, unless their bodies have been sufficiently conditioned to stand up to the demands of their chosen pursuit. Obviously, those engaged in physical contact with other players, as in rugby and soccer, face the greatest risk. Nevertheless, anyone who is not active on a regular basis or who overlooks the need to warm up correctly can be equally vulnerable, even when exercising at their local gym or at home.
Among the most common sport injuries seen are sprains and strains. The former is the result of overstretching or tearing one of the ligaments that connect the bones of a joint, while the latter arises from the same type of trauma, but results in damage to a muscle or a tendon. The ankle joints are the most common site of a sprain, while the lower back and hamstrings are typically prone to strains. Both of these display the same symptoms of pain, swelling, and loss of flexibility. However, the main differentiator between the two is that a sprain is usually accompanied by visible bruising, while a strain is most often characterised by muscle spasms.
Other sport injuries that tend to be encountered quite frequently are fractures, dislocations, a ruptured Achilles tendon, and damage to one of the four muscles that form the rotator cuff in the shoulder. While fractured limbs and some of the more serious problems are certain to require the attention of a physician, or even an orthopaedic surgeon, many can be successfully treated with a course of physiotherapy. Even those who have been required to undergo some form of surgical intervention can significantly speed the process of rehabilitation with the help of the various treatments offered by these specialised healthcare professionals.
Regardless of whether your sport injuries may be new or longstanding, the physiotherapist holds a degree in their subject, and will have been trained to select and to apply the most effective treatments available, based upon an in-depth evaluation of the injured area and the circumstances under which the damage was incurred. These can take a variety of forms and, for example, might include a programme of exercises designed to improve mobility and strength, as well as to reduce long- and short-term pain. Other options could include hydrotherapy – a particularly effective means to aid the rehabilitation of muscles and joints. While prevention may be best, physiotherapy remains invaluable.