Sports injury

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Player getting ankle taped at an American football game in Mexico
A tennis injury
Tackles like this one in women's Australian rules football can cause injuries.
Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres suffers an ankle sprain.

Sports injuries are injuries that occur in athletic activities. They can result from acute trauma, or from overuse of a particular body part.


Traumatic injuries account for most injuries in contact sports such as ice hockey, association football, rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules football, Gaelic football and American football because of the dynamic and high collision nature of these sports.[citation needed] Collisions with the ground, objects, and other players are common, and unexpected dynamic forces on limbs and joints can cause injury.

Traumatic injuries can include:

  • Contusion or bruise - damage to small blood vessels which causes bleeding within the tissues.
  • Strain - trauma to a muscle due to overstretching and tearing of muscle fibers
  • Sprain - an injury in a joint, caused by the ligament being stretched beyond its own capacity
  • Wound - abrasion or puncture of the skin
  • Bone fracture - break(s) in the bone
  • Head injury - concussions or serious brain damage
  • Spinal cord injury - damage to the central nervous system or spine
  • Cramp-a strong muscle contraction that can be very painful lasting in few minutes but massaging the muscles can relieve the pain

In sports medicine, a catastrophic injury is defined as severe trauma to the human head, spine, or brain.

Concussions in sports became a major issue in the United States in the 2000s, as evidence connected repeated concussions and subconcussive hits with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and increased suicide risk. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as subconcussive hits to the head that do not cause symptoms. It is most pronounced in football, and a related ailment (dementia pugilistica) afflicts boxers, but is also seen in other sports, and in females and adolescents.

Overuse and repetitive stress injury problems associated with sports include:

Some activities have particular risks; see:

Further information: Category:Overuse injuries

Sports medicine[edit]

Main article: Sports medicine

Injuries are a common occurrence in professional sports and most teams have a staff of athletic trainers and close connections to the medical community. Many retain team physicians.

Controversy has arisen at times when teams have made decisions that could threaten a players long-term health for short term gain. Sports medicine is the study and research of injuries in sport in order to prevent or reduce the severity of the injury.

Soft tissue injuries[edit]

Main article: Soft tissue injury

When soft tissue experiences trauma, the dead and damaged cells release chemicals, which initiate an inflammatory response. Inflammation is characterized by pain, localized swelling, heat, redness and a loss of function. Small blood vessels are damaged and opened up, producing bleeding within the tissue. In the body's normal reaction, a small blood clot is formed in order to stop this bleeding and from this clot special cells (called fibroblasts) begin the healing process by laying down scar tissue.

The inflammatory stage is therefore the first phase of healing. However, too much of an inflammatory response in the early stage can mean that the healing process takes longer and a return to activity is delayed.[citation needed] Sports injury treatments are intended to minimize the inflammatory phase of an injury, so that the overall healing process is accelerated. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors are determinant for the healing process.[1]

Further information: Healing


A warm-up program has been founded to decrease injuries in association football.[2] Many athletes will partake in HGH Treatment for Athletic Enhancement as a way to prevent injuries.[dubious ]

Risk of injury can be reduced by completing an effective warm up consisting of a heart raiser to get your pulse up. This is followed by sport specific dynamic stretches (stretches whilst moving).

Efforts to help make football safer for players, research has found that a novel set of helmetless-tackling drills are effective in reducing head impacts by 28 percent in one season.[3]

Sport Injury Prevention for Kids[edit]

There are approximately 8,000 children treated in emergency rooms each day for sports-related injures.[4] Also, it is estimated that there are around 1.35 million kids suffering from sports-related injuries per year worldwide.[5] This is why children need special attention and care when participating in sports.

Here's a list sports injury prevention tips for kids:[6]

  • Kids attending sports clinics tend to know the basic fundamentals of a particular sport. Injury awareness and prevention can also be learned in sports clinics.
  • Warming up improves the blood flow in muscles. This brings more nutrients in different parts of the body, therefore bringing more energy throughout.
  • Provide children the right equipment on a particular sport like helmets, shin guards, ankle braces, gloves and others to prevent injuries.
  • Kids need to have breaks and drink water as well to keep them hydrated.
  • Know certain first aid treatment on injuries to apply when there's an unforeseen accident.

Sports-Related Emotional Stress[edit]

The pressure to win can cause significant emotional stress for a child. Sadly, many coaches and parents consider winning the most important aspect of sports. Young athletes should be judged on effort, sportsmanship and hard work. They should be rewarded for trying hard and for improving their skills rather than punished or criticized for losing a game or competition.

Using proper equipment is key in preventing injury.[7] The NFL is conducting tests with new helmet designs that could reduce the number of head injuries in the league.[8]

Doctors believe fatigue can be a contributing factor in sports injuries because it is more difficult for the body to protect itself when fatigued. Stopping an activity at the first sign of fatigue can prevent sports related injuries.[9]


Sports injuries can be treated and managed by using the P.R.I.C.E.S., D.R. A.B.C., T.O.T.A.P.S and R.I.C.E.R regimes:

P – Protect
R – Rest
I – Ice
C – Compression
E – Elevation
S - Stabilize
D – Danger
R – Response
A – Airway
B – Breathing
C – Circulation
T – Talk
O – Observe
T – Touch
A – Active movement
P – Passive movement
S – Skills test
R - Rest 
I - Ice
C - Compression 
E - Elevation
R - Referral
S - Stop
A - Ask
L - Look 
T - Touch
A - Active movement
P - Passive movement 
S - Stand up 

The primary inflammatory stage typically lasts around 5 days and all treatment during this time is designed to address the cardinal signs of inflammation – pain, swelling, redness, heat and a loss of function.

Compression sportswear is becoming very popular with both professional and amateur athletes. These garments are thought to both reduce the risk of muscle injury and speed up muscle recovery.

Portable Mild Hyperbaric Chamber 40" diameter

Although not proven some professional athletes use hyperbaric chambers to speed healing. Hines Ward of the Steelers sent his personal hyperbaric chamber (similar to the one pictured) to his hotel to sleep in believing it would help heal his sprained medial collateral ligament he suffered in their playoff win against the Ravens. Hines went on to play in Super Bowl XLIII.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]