Sports Injury Treatment

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Sports injuries are most commonly caused by poor training methods; structural abnormalities; weakness in muscles, tendons, ligaments; and unsafe exercising environments. The most common cause of injury is poor training. For example, muscles need 48 hours to recover after a workout. Increasing exercise intensity too quickly and not stopping when pain develops while exercising also causes injury.

Everyone's bone architecture is a little different, and almost all of us have one or two weak points where the arrangement of bone and muscle leaves us prone to injury.

Treatment of sports injuries is based on the RICE principle:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Rest stops new injury and bleeding. Ice eases pain and reduces inflammation by constricting the blood vessels. Elevation and compression limit the amount of swelling and fluid accumulation around the injured area.

Ice should be crushed to better conform to your shape. It should be placed in a bag that is wrapped around the injury. First, put a towel between the bag and the skin. Then, wrap a bandage around the icebag, not so tight as to cut off blood flow. Ice only constricts blood vessels for about 10 minutes, after which they "rebound." For very new or traumatic injuries you should leave the ice in place for only 10 minutes at a time, removing it for the same period. Alternate like this for an hour or two, keeping the injury elevated all the time.

Thinking of starting a new physical activity program or ramping up your current training routine? If so, you may be at risk of an overuse injury — which could ultimately prevent you from being active. Find out what can cause an overuse injury and how to safely increase your activity level.

An overuse injury is any type of muscle or joint injury, such as tendinitis or a stress fracture, that's caused by repetitive trauma. An overuse injury typically stems from:

Training errors. Training errors can occur when you take on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long or simply doing too much of one type of activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury.

Technique errors. Improper technique also can take its toll on your body. If you use poor form as you do a set of strength training exercises, swing a golf club or throw a baseball, for example, you may overload certain muscles and cause an overuse injury.