Whether you are an elite athlete or only exercise during your spare time, there is always a chance you could get injured. Injuries that are left untreated can have far more serious consequences such as persistent pain, limited function and muscular imbalance. Please remember that the absence of pain does not mean that the injury has healed completely. Many sports injuries are caused by unresolved or incomplete healing. It is wise to seek the advice of our doctors before commencing training again. Since exercise benefits our health, it is not wise to avoid exercising at all. Hence, it is important to find out the cause of our injury and develop ways to minimize the risks. Speak to our GSG specialists and see how we can revitalize your sporting life.
Sprains/Strains of Sporting Injuries
A sprain is a stretch or tear in ligament. Ligaments are soft tissue that connect bones at a joint and they can be overstretched during sports activities such as a fall, a twist or a direct hit. A torn ligament can result in pain, swelling, bruising and loss of joint motion. Some people may also hear or feel a pop when the injury occurs. Sprain injuries commonly occur in the ankle, foot, wrist and elbow. Injuries of the ligaments usually heal slower as ligaments don’t have a generous blood supply.
Overstretching or tearing of a tendon or muscle is known as strains. Tendons are tissues that connect muscle to bone. Sports injuries caused by twisting or pulling can result in strains leading to muscle spasm, pain, swelling and difficulty moving the muscle. Hamstring muscle and hip flexor muscles are the common muscles involved in strain injuries.
Sprains and strains injuries can be serious and should be treated properly. Some severe cases may involve fracture of the growth plates in growing children which can cause complications if they are not diagnosed and treated correctly.
Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is an inflammation of muscles, tendons and bone tissue surrounding the tibia or shin bone. It is characterized by pain along the tibia and may limit a person’s ability to walk or run during and after exercise. Shin splints is often associated with running activities and mainly caused by repetitive, overloading forces on the tibia and its surrounding tissue. People who have a sudden increase in training intensity or frequency are more at risk of a shin splint. Other risk factors that can contribute to developing a shin splint include running on uneven terrain or hard surfaces, wearing inappropriate or worn-out shoes for running, participating in sports that have fast stops and starts such as soccer and basketball, improper training techniques, flat feet or overpronation of the foot, or inadequate stretching.
Most shin splints cases can be improved with rest, ice, wearing a proper footwear and modification of training routine. If the pain does not resolve and even hurts when you rest may suggest a stress fracture of the tibia.
Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow
Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition that occurs when the tendons of the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow are inflamed. It is the most common overuse injury of the elbow due to repetitive and forceful extension or backward bending of the wrist. As the name suggests, tennis elbow can occur in tennis and racquet sport players that usually involve back hand swinging. However, this condition can also occur in nonathletic activities such as painting, driving screws, typing or computer mouse use, and using plumbing tools. Common signs and symptoms of tennis elbow include pain in the outer aspect of the elbow, morning stiffness of the elbow, or pain and weakness on grasping such as lifting a book or turning a doorknob. The pain can sometimes radiate from the elbow area to the middle of the forearm.
Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is pain on the inside of the elbow due to degeneration or inflammation of tendons of the forearm muscles. This type of injury is a result of repetitive, forceful flexion or bending of the wrist such as holding a golf club. However, this condition is not only limited to golfers but can also occur in activities such as tennis serve, overhand throwing, hammering, typing or weight training. People affected with golfer’s elbow often complain of insidious, gradually increasing pain over inner part of the elbow which usually worse with activities mentioned above. In some chronic cases, patients might also experience weakness in gripping.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear
Anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is one of the major ligaments in our knee that prevents excessive forward movement of the tibia or shin bone on the femur. Injury of the ACL can occur when it is overstretched resulting in partial or complete torn of the ligament. ACL injury is the most common knee ligament injury during sports that involve sudden stopping or cutting, directional change with a fixed foot, landing, and jumping. Examples of sports activities include basketball, soccer, volleyball, football, or skiing.
People with an ACL injury usually experience sudden knee pain following the injury, rapid joint swelling, a “pop” sound or sensation in the knee, loss of knee range of movement, instability and inability to bear weight. It is necessary to seek a professional advice as early as possible when an ACL injury or tear is suspected for accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome refers to pain at the front of the knee and around the kneecap. It is sometimes known as “runner’s knee” because people who participate in running and jumping are commonly affected. There are a few potential reasons causing the pain, including overuse or repetitive stress on the knee joint, muscle imbalances, pelvic misalignments, trauma, or surgery. This condition typically affects young adults and adolescents, women and people who participate in running and jumping sports. The pain often worsens with prolonged sitting (Theater sign), stairs climbing, kneeling on the kneecap, and squatting. Most of the people suffering from patellofemoral pain syndrome recover fully and respond positively towards non-surgical treatments. Surgery is prescribed only in cases where the pain persists, and the patients are not responding towards conservative treatments.