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Sports Injuries

Sports Injuries

 

Sports injuries refer to any injury that is caused as a direct result of participating in sport and exercise. Sports injuries can be classified as either acute, meaning they occur due to sudden damage to the tissue (e.g. sprained ankle); or chronic, meaning they occur over a longer period of time and are caused by repeated overuse of the tissue (e.g. tennis elbow).      

 

Signs and symptoms of common sports injuries:

 

Injury Description Example Signs & Symptoms
Bruise (contusion, cork) Bleeding into the soft tissue (hematoma) ‘Corked’ thigh

- Swelling and/or discolouration

- Reduced muscular flexibility and range of motion

Sprain Overstretching and tearing of the ligament that supports the joint Ankle sprain

- Swelling

- Loss of power or ability to bear weight

- Sudden onset of pain

-Discolouration and bruising

Strain A partial or complete tear of the muscle and/or tendon fibres Hamstring strain

- Swelling and pain

- Discolouration and bruising

- Muscular strength and flexibility reduced

Dislocation Occurs when two bones that come together to form a joint become separated Shoulder dislocation

- Swelling

- Visible bump in shoulder

- Pain on moving the shoulder especially when raising arms above shoulder height

Fracture Refers to a break or crack in the bone. Acute fractures are caused by a one-time blow to the bone while stress fractures often arise from repetitive stress. Fractured wrist

- Severe pain

- Swelling, bruising or bleeding

- Joint looks out of place

- Numbness and tingling

- Very restricted movement

Knee injuries Can be caused by jumping, running and constant stress on the knee from twisting and turning Tearing of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

- A loud ‘crack’ or ‘pop’ sound

- Extreme pain

- Swelling

- Severe restriction of movement

Concussion A brain injury that may be caused by either a direct or indirect blow to the head, face, neck or body  

-Unconscious /loss of responsiveness - Unsteady on feet

- Dazed

- Nausea

 

Management  

Immediate treatment of any soft tissue injury should consist of the ‘RICER’ protocol – rest, ice, compress, elevation, and referral. The injured area should be rested in an elevated position with an ice pack applied for 20 minutes every two hours (never apply ice directly to the skin). A correctly sized compression bandage should also be applied to limit bleeding and swelling in the joint. This protocol should be continued for the first 48-72 hours following the injury.  

 

The ‘No HARM’ principle should also be followed – no heat, no alcohol, no running, and no massage within the first 24 hours.  

 

In the case of a concussion injury, an ambulance (call: 000) should be called immediately.      

 

Disclaimer  

The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.   Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.  

 

Sources  

http://sma.org.au/resources-advice/injury-fact-sheets/   http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Sports_injuries

 

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