Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sports Injuries

Tennis Injury Handbook

Sports injuries-If you have ever played a sport you have undoubtedly suffered through on of the great bragging moments of a sports injury. Painful, unyielding and yet somehow they cause bragging rights and an insane amount of attention not only with the younger kids, but adults too are fascinated with all the facts and marginal lies surrounding injuries. We cannot seem to get enough. 

This last week, my youngest son went through the same thing. OK admittedly his was not a "sports" injury, but an unfortunate event. My little man got his ankle caught in the spoke of his bike, causing a major sprain. He ended up in a splint for the week and then he has to keep his ankle ace wrapped for another 3-4 weeks. It was kinds ironic that I harp on my kids to wear helmets, knee and elbow pads to prevent accidents, but inevitably there is always an injury waiting to happen that you simply cannot account for. One of the many joys of parenting I suppose.  However, it did lead us into the topic of injuries:common injuries in each sport, how to prevent them, treat them and a better understanding of how intricate the human body is and how each system has its own function and a combined one.

I had each of my kids look at the following sports: baseball, running, hockey, football, cricket, soccer, bicycling and gymnastics. The each wrote down what they thought would be the most common injuries that would be suffered in each sport, what body parts it involved and how they thought they would be treated. Afterwards, I had them each Google their topics and see how it compared to leading websites opinions.

Most common type of injuries in all sports results my kids found:

1. Muscle Pulls: There is little you can be done to prevent a muscle pull except to stay limber and work your muscles regularly.A muscle pulls when a sudden, severe force is applied to the muscle and the fibers are stretched beyond their capacity. If only some of the fibers tear, that is a muscle pull. If most of the fibers tear, that is a muscle tear. Treatment: Streatching and knowing when to stop working a muscle. Resting muscle groups inbetween days.
2. Neck Pain: Inability to look one direction when turning your neck from side to side due to excessive pain. Treatment:  apply ice for 20 minutes at a time and gently stretch the neck. Sit in a chair and hold onto the seat with the hand on the painful side of your neck. Bend your trunk and head to the opposite side. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Or gently drop your chin to your chest and move the chin in a semicircle from shoulder to shoulder five times. The same exercises can strengthen the neck and prevent pain.
3. Shoulder impingement: caused by rotator cuff muscles being stretched out after prolonged use, causing tendons to be inflammedTreatments:  Physical therapy, ultrasound, moist heat and electrical muscle stimulation.
4. Lower Back Strain: twisting awkwardly, lifting a heavy weight or doing some unpracticed activity. Virtually all lower back injuries are due to weak or tense muscles or muscle strain. Treatment:  Rest for a few days and take medication such as aspirin or other anti-inflammatory agents. Ice the back for 20 minutes at a time for as long as the pain persists or call MD
5. Tennis Elbow: inflammation of the muscles of the forearm and the tendon that connects the muscles to the bones in the elbow. Treatment: learning proper form- normally this is in tennis players and golfers more than anyone.
6. Runners Knee: misalignment of the kneecap in its groove, causes both the cartilage on the side of the groove and the cartilage on the back of the kneecap to wear out. On occasion, fluid will build up and cause swelling in the knee. Treatment involves strengthening the quadriceps muscle

7.Shin Splints: Shin splints are pains in the muscles near the shin bones. They can be caused by running or jumping on hard surfaces or simply overuse. They occur most often in people unaccustomed to training. Treatment:  arch supports, start exercising slowly to warm up the leg muscles, wear athletic shoes with good support and run on a softer surface, for example, changing from asphalt to grass every few runs.

8. Ankle Sprains: The most common ankle sprain happens when the foot rolls to the outside and sprains the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The outside of the ankle swells up and throbs, and may turn black and blue around the injury. Treatment: The tried-and-true treatment for an any ankle sprain is RICE: Rest, Ice, Elevation and Compression. The goal is to limit internal bleeding and cut down on swelling-This is what my son is doing right at this moment and its driving him BONKERS!! :)
9. Arch Pain :  over-stretching or partially tearing the arch pad. This happens most often to people with rigid, high arches. Tratment: arch supports most common treatment we could find.
Of course this list is just a small sample of injuries, treatment and you should always seek professional advise and not self diagnos and treat when in question. We gatghered our info from a lot of differntsites, but there favorite was the Mayo Clinic because of the cool videos on surgeries related to sports injuries- very graphic so be mindful when watching with younger kids!

So what kind of injruies have you suffered in your family? Do you use traditional methods to treat or home remedies? I would love to hear your comments!

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