Anyone who ever suffered from a sports injury would know how annoying, sudden and often painful it can be. And what’s most common is that they happen when you least suspect them. Although most sports injuries can be cured from relatively quickly through self-treatment, it may cause issues for you when performing physical tasks as well as restraining your level of activity for a certain period until it heals.
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With a healthy lifestyle and exercise becoming a prominent influence in the UAE culture, there is an abundance of indoor and outdoor sports facilities available. So it’s important to understand how to prevent, as well as treating sports injuries so it won’t cause you any problems.
The Most Common Types of Sports Injuries
1. Ankle Sprain
This is probably the most common type of sports injury and will be experienced at least once in most peoples lives. Ankle sprains occur when the foot turns inward. This will stretch or may even tear the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
2. Groin Pull
This injury occurs when you shift or push all of your body’s weight to one side of the body to the other. This physical and erratic motion can cause strains in the inner thigh muscles and groin.
3. Hamstring Strain
Just like the groin pull, hamstring strains occur when the body is excessively working with erratic motions and movements. Hamstring strains occur in the three muscles that form the back part of your leg. When they are overstretched or overworked, this is when they will strain.
4. The Knee Injury
It is also known as an ACL tear, the anterior cruciate ligament is responsible for holding the leg bone to the knee. Sudden stops and heavy pressure can strain and tear the ACL. If the ACL actually tears, you may hear a ‘pop’ sound followed by extreme pain. Immediate medical attention is advisable.
5. Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbows usually occur over a long time. This is when your elbow motion is used many times, and small tears build up over time. This injury usually develops in people between 30-60 years of age.
6. Shin Splints
Shin splints occur when your skin becomes inflamed, and you feel a warm, hot or tingling sensation. It happens because small tears in muscle or bone tissue occur in the area you have been putting too much pressure on.
How to Prevent a Sports Injury
The only way you can avoid the pain, agony, and nuisance of a sports injury is by preventing it from happening in the first place. It’s important to enjoy your exercise or workout out as well as giving it your full focus, but always be mindful of your body and to protect it from injuries and other serious problems.
Always practice and keep these below points in mind before you do any physical activities:
- Make sure you know what you’re doing and that you have the proper technique and that you’ve done the required stretching and warm-up routines.
- Ensure your body get proper rest before training. This may mean getting extra sleep the night before you have a strenuous or physically demanding day.
- Make sure your diet is up to standard, and you’re getting the essential nutrients you need. Malnutrition is a common reason why people struggle with physical activity.
- Hydrate well. With the scorching weather in the UAE, dehydration is very common, and you are very likely to get an injury or more severe problem if you aren’t getting enough fluids in.
- Know when to stop. Most sports injuries from professional athletes occur when their bodies tell them to stop, but they aren’t mentally prepared to do so. If you’re tired and past your limit, then stop. Once you’re fatigued, you’re asking for trouble if you keep going.
Treating a Sports Injury
- A universal approach to self-treating a sports injury is ‘PRICE’.
- Protect from further injury by covering the injured area with a pad, crutch or splint.
- Restrict activity immediately and stop applying pressure to the injured or damaged area to prevent worsening the condition.
- Ice is a great way to calm down the swelling as it is an anti-inflammatory. Wrapping it in a towel and applying it to the affected area for 20 minutes should have an immediate effect.
- Compress the affected area with a bandage to reduce further swelling or bruising.
- Elevate the injured area. It is recommended to bring it above the heart to reduce swelling.
When to See a Doctor for Sports Injury?
No matter how tough you think you may be, if your body can’t handle what your mind is telling it to do, sports injuries are going to happen. And even if you think a sports injury may be worth the price, think again because there can be serious consequences. If you notice a physical deformity from a joint, bone or muscle, seek attention immediately.
If you are in agonizing pain or begin to feel faint, seek medical attention immediately. If the condition does not improve through self-treatment for prolonged amounts of time, seek medical attention. Your doctor can prevent even the worst of cases.
Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.
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