Sports injuries refer to the kinds of injury that occur during sports or exercise. While it is possible to injure any part of the body when playing sports, the term sports injuries is commonly used to refer to injuries of the musculoskeletal system.
Some of the most common sports injuries include:
- Sprains – tears to the ligaments that join the ends of bones together. The ankles, knees, and wrists are commonly affected by sprains.
- Strains – pulls or tears of muscles or tendons (the tissues that attach the muscles to the bones)
- “Shin splint” – pain along the outside front of the lower leg, commonly seen in runners
- Achilles tendonitis or rupture of the Achilles tendon.These injuries involve the large band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel.
Fractures of the bones
Dislocation of joints.
Acute injuries usually occur suddenly while participating in sports or exercise. They may result in sudden and severe pain, the inability to bear weight on a limb, or inability to move the affected part of the body. Chronic injuries usually result from overuse of one area of the body over a period of time. Symptoms of chronic injuries include soreness, dull aching pain, and pain during participation in physical activity.
When a runner “pulls a groin” or a tennis player “strains a tendon,” the soft tissues in the area of pain are injured. Immediately after the injury, there are disrupted fibres of the affected muscle, tendon, and/or ligament. Additionally, the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that normally supply blood and oxygen to these tissues are broken. The broken capillaries then leak varying amounts of blood and serum into the adjacent tissues. Therefore, soon after a soft tissue injury, localized swelling occurs. The injured tissues become painful and tender, both directly from the trauma to them and indirectly from the subsequent swelling. This leads to the stiffness, pain, and tenderness that so often accompany the inflammation of tendonitis, bursitis, as well as strain and sprain injuries. It should also be noted that even a bone injury (such as a fracture) is typically accompanied by injury to the nearby soft tissues.
Acupuncture is increasingly used by top sports players and athletes to treat musculoskeletal problems. It is used both on its own and in conjunction with other therapies such as physiotherapy and osteopathy. Professional sports teams are also now offering acupuncture to their players both to treat an injury and to keep them performing at their peak. Many high profile teams have dedicated acupuncturists on board, including International Rugby teams and many Premiership football teams.
There are physical and psychological barriers to peak performance. Musculo-skeletal pain or dysfunction Musculo-skeletal pain or dysfunction can have an inhibiting effect on training and results. Acupuncture addresses these problems. It also encourages clear headedness through its relaxing effects on brain waves, and can alleviate anxiety contributing to a better mental state, allowing sports people to perform at their highest level.
In the clinic Isee a range of clients from professional sportsmen and women, to budding athletes to the more infrequent sportsperson.