Sports Injuries

What are Sports Injuries

Sports injuries are those that happen when an athlete gets hurt while playing due to many reasons. Some of them include tripping while playing, wearing the wrong accessories or over stressing. It is important to seek medical treatment at the earliest. Sports injuries are mostly injuries to the bones and the soft tissues (muscles and ligaments). Following are some sports injuries that are very commonly seen.

There are a number of sports injuries. A few are listed below:

Acute injuries: These injuries are caused by sudden trauma such as collision with obstacles on the field or between players. Common acute injuries include contusion, sprain, strain, and fracture.

Stress fracture: This kind of sports injury is a kind of overuse injury. It affects the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and growth plates. For example, swimming is associated with shoulder injuries. Gymnastics and cheerleading are associated with injuries to the wrist and elbow.

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Catastrophic sports injuries: Contact sports put the head and neck to injury along with damage to the brain or spinal cord. This kind of injury is commonly seen in ice hockey, wrestling, football, swimming, soccer, pole vaulting, cheerleading, and gymnastics.

Concussion: Mild traumatic brain injuries are classified under concussion. In these kinds of situations, the brain is assumed to move forward and backward very rapidly inside the skull.

Growth plate injuries: Growth plates are developing cartilage tissue near the ends of long bones. They are more prone to fractures as they are the last portion of the bone to harden. Injuries to the growth plate results in bone deformity. Contact sports like football or basketball are the cause for growth plate injuries.

Groin pull or groin strain: This condition pulls the legs together and often injured with quick side-to-side movements and/or a lack of flexibility.

Shin splints: This condition presents with pain in the lower leg bone or the tibia. It is mostly seen in runners, thus purchasing shoes with good arch support would help in this condition.

What are the Causes of Sports Injuries

The causes of sports injuries are bulleted as follows:

  • Overtraining: This involves doing too much of anything without proper rest in between or lack of adequate recovery time.
  • Overuse: This involves repetitive actions applying pressure to same muscles, joints, and soft tissue. A few injuries such as tennis elbow, golfer’s knee, thrower’s shoulder, plantar fasciitis, and jumper’s knee are examples.
  • Improper warm-up: Joints and muscles are not ready for exercises all of a sudden. They need to have proper warm-up before exercising. Warming-up increases body temperature and circulation of blood to the muscles. When warm-up is not proper, it leads to wear and tear of muscles and sports injuries.
  • Impact: Contact sports involve a lot of impact based sports injuries. A few to mention are football, rugby, and boxing. The impact forces of unnatural quick direction-change leads to damages to the connective tissue or leads to joint dislocation.

What are the Symptoms of Sports Injuries
Symptoms of sports injuries include excessive fatigue, inability to concentrate, insomnia, inability to perform the exercise or sport with the correct technique. Increased resting heart rate is a symptom of overtraining. Gradual pain worsening over time, swelling, and bruising are all the common symptoms of this condition.

Treatment for Sports Injuries
Treatment includes a combination of physical therapy, strengthening exercises, and bracing depending on the severity of the injury. In certain conditions surgery is the ultimate step to prevent and subsequent physiotherapy is the most common treatment option which promotes strength and flexibility.

Stem Cells Therapy for Treating Sports Injuries
Research using stem cells were evaluated in the treatment of fractures involving sports injuries. Joint injections of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) showed improvement in cartilage repair as seen in Achilles tendon. A combination of PRP and mesenchymal stem cells could help in augment the injury repair, controls the inflammation, facilitate healing by paracrine activities. A continued gradual improvement is observed as the adult stem cells heal the injuries.