What is a Sports Injury?
Sports injuries are a common occurrence in professional sports as well as in leisure time sporting activities. Athletes and sports enthusiasts many times endure intense training programs in order to perform at an optimal level.
When athletes sustain an injury, many times they find themselves unprepared for the physical and mental setbacks that come with the recovery process.
Diagnosing a Sports Injury
It is important to have the injury diagnosed properly. First aid and treatment should be performed immediately after the injury occurs to ensure that you have more chance of a full and complete recovery.
When treating soft tissue injuries for instance, the R.I.C.E.R method is the most effective. This type of treatment involves (R) rest, (I) ice, (C) compression, (E) elevation and (R) referral for appropriate medical treatment.
The aim of treatment is to allow the injury to heal as quickly as possible with minimum consequences. Often the affected area may be painful and uncomfortable, leaving the person immobilized and unable to train.
Painkillers or anti-inflammatories may be prescribed to reduce pain and swelling. In more severe episodes where ligaments are torn, surgery may be required.
If you have injured a lower limb, it may be necessary to use support mechanisms such as walking on crutches, a lightweight cast or an ankle brace.
What Causes a Sports Injury?
Various types of injuries result from overusing a part of the body when participating in a certain activity. The most common type of sports injury is a soft tissue injury which includes sprains, strains, tears and bruises which affect muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.
Athletes commonly experience sprained ankles, hamstring tears, pulled calf muscles, fractures, whiplash or strained shoulder ligaments.
Many athletes ignore their sports injuries, and sometimes a slight muscle twinge can develop into a tear or ruptured ligament causing recurring injuries. Some injuries may be quite severe and athletes may find themselves out of action for a while – rehabilitation is necessary to ensure a speedy recovery.
Help for a Sports Injury
There are many natural and holistic alternatives available for treating sport related injuries. Treatments such as herbal and homeopathic remedies provide a gentle alternative without the harmful side effects of allopathic medicine.
These remedies contain ingredients such as Arnica D6 which have powerful anti-inflammatory and tissue healing properties while Filipendula almaria is an herb which has been used for centuries by herbalists as a natural treatment for pain.
Magnesium phosphoricum D6 is a biochemic tissue salt found naturally in the body and is also an effective muscle relaxant.
Other ingredients include Symphytum officinale (also known as comfrey) encourage bone, cartilage and muscle cells to grow while Matricaria recutita C6h as soothing, anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.
More Information on Sports Injuries
Recovering from a Sports Injury
Recovery from a sports related injury can sometimes be a long process but there are various ways to help you get back into the game:
- Nutrition can speed-up recovery - by increasing your intake of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and protein), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and hydration strategies you can provide the necessary building blocks for healing.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids
- Run cold water over your legs after a training session to help reduce fluid build-up or edema.
- Use contrast therapy – after you have placed cold water or ice on your legs, take a hot shower and repeat this process several times.
- Try to get as much sleep and rest as possible as it promotes healing and recovery.
- Regular massages and stretching exercises will also help to keep muscles supple.
- Swim regularly as it helps remove waste products and extra fluids that build up in the legs.
- During recovery, try to run on soft surfaces such as grass which help to reduce post training soreness.
- During the recovery period, you should get as much rest as possible until your doctor recommends that you are ready for light training. A sports rehabilitation specialist or physiotherapist will assist with strengthening exercises which increase the strength and flexibility of the body. Swimming, gym work, and massage are also excellent ways to help with recovery and maintain fitness levels.
- While the physical injuries may heal, the psychological scars may take even longer to heal. When a sportsperson is injured, he or she may have difficulty accepting the career setback. They may also be fearful that if they participate and are in the same situation again, they may risk repeat injury.
- To overcome psychological scars and phobias, you can seek help from a sports therapist. By accepting the injury, setting achievable goals, and through mental stamina and determination, progress can be made in your recovery. The support and encouragement of family and friends can make a huge difference to the injured athlete’s mental state and is important for a successful recovery.