Major sports injuries: treatment and prevention

What sports injuries are there? How to prevent them and when to run to the doctor? All questions are answered by Maxim Popogrebsky, doctor, orthopedic traumatologist of the highest category of the Federal Scientific and Clinical Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation of the FMBA of Russia (Maxim works with the Olympic athletes of Russia!).

Major sports injuries: treatment and prevention

Maxim Popogrebsky

- The main sports injuries include:

  • damage to the ligaments of the ankle joint;
  • damage to the inguinal ligaments;
  • damage to the posterior muscle group;
  • damage to the ligaments of the knee joint;
  • "tennis player's elbow" (epicondylitis);
  • damage to the ligaments, muscles of the lumbar spine and intervertebral discs;
  • damage to the rotational cuff of the shoulder joint.

The most common injury is sprain, but in this case the term “sprain” is not used correctly. Ligaments and tendons are elastic, so sprain is a physiological condition that does not cause pain. When the force acting on the ligament exceeds the limit of its extensibility, fiber damage occurs and, as a result, pain and swelling.

That is, if we are talking about stretching and referring to traumatic damage, it is more correct to use the terms “rupture” or “microcrack”. Each ligament and tendon consists of thousands of parallel-directed fibers that can rupture under excessive load. The amount of damaged fibers depends on the intensity of the injury. The more fibers damaged, the more pain and swelling. Damage can occur as a result of single severe injuries or as a result of repeated chronic injuries.

Often, both of these mechanisms are connected.

Major sports injuries: treatment and prevention

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Sports injury can occur at any time and with any athlete, but often, if you follow simple rules, it can be prevented.

These are the rules.

  • Each training session should begin with a warm-up.

    This is necessary not only for warming up muscles and sprains, but also for tuning neuromuscular transmission and overall coordination. The more correct and consistent the movement, the less likely it is to get injured.

  • Until you learn the necessary motor skills, avoid serious stress. This is especially true for people older than 30 years, engaged in episodic (and without an instructor).
  • At the first sign of fatigue, you must stop your workout.

    Due to physical fatigue, neuromuscular movement control (coordination) is impaired - the likelihood of injury increases.

- Self-medication can lead to irreversible disruption of limb functions. There is no universal prescription for treatment and no universal way to diagnose injury. For effective recovery, it is important to know the exact location and extent of the damage. The only advice here is to consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Major sports injuries: treatment and prevention

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Rest is necessary to protect injured tissues ( tendons, ligaments, muscles) from subsequent damage. The required restriction of movement depends on the degree of injury. It is important to immediately stop the training and try to avoid stress on the damaged segment. Next, the injured limb is immobilized with a bandage - elastic (elastic bandage, tape) or rigid (orthosis, tire from improvised materials).

If the immobilization regimen is not observed, then tissue regeneration does not occur - this can lead to chronic inflammatory processes that are difficult to treat.

After an injury, you must attach an ice pack or any other cold object to the place edema (between the skin and cold material you need to put a layer of tissue). Cold relieves pain and reduces swelling due to spasm of capillaries. Cold application should not last longer than 20-30 minutes. Then it must be removed so as not to cause a cold burn of the skin.

The source of cold is not applied again until the skin temperature is restored.

Major sports injuries: treatment and prevention

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Compression is used to prevent and reduce edema . In fact, it reduces pain and fixes the damaged area. The simplest and most affordable way to create a compressive dressing is an elastic bandage.

If the bandage is inconvenient and pulls soft tissue, it must immediately be removed and re-applied with less tension.

Raising a limb above the level of the heart contributes to the outflow of blood and lymph - this, in in turn, reduces edema. For example, if the ankle joint is damaged, at first it is better to fix the leg on a raised platform and not get out of bed.

Major sports injuries: treatment and prevention

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In the presence of severe edema and pain, the probability severe injury is high, which means you need to immediately contact a specialist.

With minor injury, pain and swelling should begin to decrease after a couple of days. If this does not happen, you must make every effort to get to the doctor.

When pain and edema decrease and there is no way to see a doctor , it is necessary to start gradual activation: easy self-massage, passive and active movements. During the “development”, the main criterion for strengthening the loads is their tolerance without pain. But, unfortunately, not always the presence of positive dynamics in the form of a decrease in pain and an improvement in the tolerance of loads indicates a correct process of recovery.

Persistent pain most likely indicates that the severity of the injury is underestimated and complications may occur.

- Treatment of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal the apparatus is engaged in an orthopedic traumatologist. The science of biomechanics and recovery methods is constantly evolving, the amount of knowledge is huge - the specialist must constantly improve and develop. Therefore, despite the apparent simplicity, it is dangerous to diagnose and prescribe treatment without consulting a doctor.

Major sports injuries: treatment and prevention

Photo: shutterstock.

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