Sports Injuries – a quick guide

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The human body has amazing powers to heal itself. Sports injuries are no exception to this rule , many sports injuries occur through overuse, poor technique or poor training. Here follows a few sports injuries and how best to manage them for yourselves

Achilles tendonosis

Most Achilles injuries are overuse injuries, tendons can get swollen and tender to touch if overused and morning stiffness is a common complaint. Most Achilles problems do not respond to ant inflammatories or rest. The vast majority will get better with a specific loading exercise called eccentric loading.

Eccenteric loading is best done with standing on a step and slowly lowering the painful tendon heel off the step , alternating a bent and straight knee. Keep performing this until the tendon feels slightly sore , repeat the session three times then do the whole eccentric loading again every 48hrs. In 8 weeks you should get an improvement , if not arrange to see a sports injury specialist.

Tennis elbow

This is often caused by a sudden strain to the main muscles around the elbow which when contracting pull the wrist backwards. Its just as common in tennis players as it is with people who use hedge trimmers ! The muscle attachment gets damaged and often scarred .

You will need to friction the elbow as hard as you can with your thumb for 2minutes and then ice the area for 4 minutes , do this once a day. After 10 days of doing this start to strengthen the muscle again by lifting a light dumbbell , using a straight arm . Keep doing this until the forearm aches , repeat at least once every day. If this isn’t getting you better get the elbow checked by an experienced sports physiotherapist.

Shin splints

This is quite a difficult area to give general advice on . If the pain is on both shins with running get some arch supports for your sports shoes. Very often the shin pain on both sides is due to flattened foot arches causing a strain on one of the main muscles which support the foot arch.

Shin pain on one leg only could be a stress fracture of the tibia bone. This is most likely to occur in those who do high impact exercise or a lot of running . This need investigating properly and often a period of time in crutches.

Shin splints can also be caused by a rise in pressure inside the muscles during exercise. The muscles of the calf often become tense and cramp. Massage often doesn’t help and whilst special shoe inserts and physiotherapy can help many athletes need simple surgery to relieve the pressure after suitable medical tests.

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