Sports injuries

What exactly is a sports injury?

The term sports injury is used for a range of injuries that occur when engaging in athletic activities. Although physical activity offers many benefits to the human body, it can also be the cause of serious injuries if the athlete is not careful enough and then, serious injuries can happen. Often, this means the athlete’s abstention from sports activities.

When someone is at risk for sports injuries?

Sports injuries can occur in both children and adults. The term “sports” is used because the chances of a sports injury increases when the person is exercising. However, injuries can also occur in non-athletes. Factors such as obesity and age tend to increase the risk of an injury.  

Risk factors in athletes

The risk increases significantly in cases of return to sports activities after a period of inactivity (e.g. after the summer). Even more, when it is a team sport that requires close physical contact with the opponent, increasing the risk of an injury. It is estimated that around the world 8.6 million people in the age group of 5 to 24 years old are injured every year during the training or the game.

Causes of sports injuries

There are many causes that can result to sports injuries. They are usually caused due to insufficient warm-up and stretching or even the use of improper equipment. It is also very important that the athlete does not push his body beyond its limits. The more there is intense is the pressure, the more likely it is for someone to get injured. As a result of sports injuries, the athlete must abstain from all training, games, or championships until he has fully recovered.  

Sports injuries: Types

Sports injuries can occur to the entire body. Of course, the most common injuries occur in the lower part of the body by 42%. Sports injuries are divided in the following types:

  • Sprains
  • Muscle strains or tendon ruptures
  • Bone fractures
  • Swollen muscles
  • Dislocations
  • Abrasions and skin wounds
  • Damage in the joints
  • Concussion or facial trauma

What are the most common sports injuries?

The most common types of sports injuries include:

  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Torn meniscus
  • Anterior cruciate ligament rupture
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Iliotibial band syndrome

Sports injuries: Prevention

Prevention is crucial. Before the exercise the athlete must warm-up properly and after to stretch out. It is important for the athlete not to overdo it. In addition, it is also important to have the proper equipment and use the proper technique.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of sports injuries depend on the type of injury and the part of the body affected. Usually, the athlete feels a sudden pain or intense sensitivity and stiffness. There may also be swelling, hematoma or bleeding. If the injury is not noticed immediately or its treatment is poor, the symptoms may appear gradually over the course of a few hours.

Diagnosis

If the athlete notices severe symptoms, it is important to visit a medical professional. The doctor will undergo a thorough physical examination and suggest the appropriate treatment. Depending on the patients’ clinical image, the doctor might recommend taking x-rays or CT/MRI.

Treatment

Depending on the patient’s case and the part of the body he is injured the treatment can differ. At that time of the injury, one can place ice locally, band the injury or take care of the wound according to the severity. In other cases, a conservative treatment may be sufficient. However, in some cases, and depending on the degree and type of the injury, the doctor might suggest surgical treatment

Surgical treatment of sports injuries

If the athlete is young and must return immediately to his athletic activities, the patient can turn to surgical treatment. Usually, the method used is arthroscopy, which is modern, safe and offers a quick rehabilitation with great results. For example:

  • Anterior cruciate ligament rupture (ACL) can be treated with ACL reconstruction.
  • Achilles’ tendon rupture can be treated either with open or percutaneous suturing.
  • Meniscus rupture can be treated with meniscectomy or meniscus repair.
  • In case of a fracture, the doctor can recommend either the placement of a splint or a cast or osteosynthesis.
  1. Bountogiannis is an Orthopaedic Surgeon with great scientific interest in sport injuries. The doctor applies all quick recovery protocols to provide a quick recovery to the athlete that will allow him to return to his activities. As it is extremely important to build a relation of trust with the patient, the doctor communicates, advises, and listens to that patient, so that they will choose together the appropriate treatment.

Quote: We use the term sports injuries because the chances of a sports injury increases when the person is exercising however, even a non-athlete can get injured.