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Sports injuries - Q & A


Thisfactsheetlistsarangeofquestionsandanswersonsportsinjuries.Thequestionswereposted byvisitorstotheBetterHealthChannelandansweredbyapanelofexperts,whichincludes generalpractitioners,nutritionists,physicalactivityprofessionalsandotherhealthandmedical specialists. Q. Which sports cause the most injuries? AustralianRulesfootballisconsistentlythesportinwhichmostinjuriesoccurinVictoriaaccording toseparatestudiesofsportinginjuriesatasampleofVictorianhospitalemergencydepartments, sportsmedicinecentresandgeneralpractises.Howeverothersportsalsofeaturefrequently includingbasketball,runningandsoccer. Q. My son recently suffered concussion while playing Australian Rules football. What steps should I take to help prevent it, and what should we do if it occurs again? ConcussioninAustralianRulesfootballisoftennotpreventableduetothenatureofthesport. Howeversomestrategiesmaydecreasetheoccurrence: Ensurethattherulesofthegamearefollowed. Ensurethattheparticipantsaretaughtcorrecttechniquesfortackling. Ensurethatchildrenarematchedappropriatelyforsizeandability. Provideyourchildwiththeoptionofwearingprotectiveheadwearduringtrainingand matches.

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Ifanathletesuffersaconcussion,theyshouldbeseenbyadoctorandnotbeallowedtoreturnto trainingorplayinguntilclearedbythedoctor.Fullrecoverymaytakeuptosevendays.Symptoms thatmayoccurduringrecoveryinclude: Decreasedplanningability Reducedmemoryandlearning Decreasedattention Slowerreactiontimes.

Q. What is a corky? Acorkyisacontusion(bruise)thatoftenoccursincontactsports.Acontusionorbruiseiswhena largermuscleareaishitwithabluntobject:forexample,whenthequadriceps(musclesonthe frontoftheupperleg)arehitwithaknee,headorelbow.Theblowtothemusclecausesbleeding andswellingtooccur.Thisgenerallymakesthemusclefeelverytightandstiff,andoftenlimits movementandstrength. Acorky(orcontusion)requirestreatmentwithrest,ice,compressionandelevation(raisingofthe leg)inthefirst48hours.Acorkyoftenrequirestreatmentfromaphysiotherapisttoensureitis properlymanaged,sothatthepersonisreadytocompeteagainassoonaspossible.Ifthe treatmentofacorkyistooaggressive,itcanhavedisastrousconsequences.Itisessentialthatthis injuryistreatedbysomeonefullytrainedinsportsinjuries. Q. I have injured my ribs kart racing, and I think that it may be cartilage damage. How can I manage this injury? Injuriestoribscanbeveryuncomfortable,asmostthingswedobreathing,coughing,laughing, sneezing,rollingoverinbedwillcausepainanddiscomforttotheribs.Manyribinjuriesare damagetothebone(crackedorfractured)butyoucanalsodamagethecartilageandthemuscles betweentheribs. Itisfirstnecessarytodeterminewhatisdamagedandthismayrequireanx-ray.Yourdoctoror physiotherapistcanordertheseforyou.Managementofinjuriestotheribsisnoteasy,butthere aresomeoptions:

Sportsinjuries-Q&A

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Iceappliedtothepainfularea. Medicationtoeasediscomfortandpainthismayincludeanalgesicandanti-inflammatory medications. Tapingorbandagingtolimitmovementoftheribcage. Physiotherapytreatmentstoreduceswellingandtenderness.

Q. I have a recurring injury to my abdomen. I sometimes experience an acute stitch when I run. The first time, after ultrasound and blood tests, my doctor came to the conclusion that I had strained a muscle. Last time it happened, a different doctor gave me a script for electrolyte tablets. It was suggested that I might go to a physiotherapist. Is a gym ball something you would recommend for strengthening or is there a better option? Ifyouhavestrainedamuscleinyourabdomen,itisimportanttoseeasportsphysiotherapistto ensurethattherehabilitationplanisappropriateforyourinjury.Thereareanumberofmusclesin theabdominalareawithavarietyofrolesandfunctions.Aphysiotherapistwillensurethatthe diagnosisisaccurate. TherehasbeenextensiveresearchinAustraliainrecentyearsintothetrunk(abdominal,backand hip)musclesandtheirroleincorestability.Corestability(sometimesknownaspelvicorlumbar stability)describesthemusclesfunctioningcorrectlytoensureyourspineandpelvisareinastrong position,readyforyourothermusclestogenerateactivitysuchasrunningorthrowing.This techniqueoflumbarstabilisationappearssimplebutcanbequitedifficulttomaster,requiring instructionfromanexperiencedpractitioner,especiallyifyouhaveahistoryofchronicbackpainor injury. Itmaybethatyourrecurringstitchrelatestotheroleofthesemusclesand,ifso,therehabilitation needstobeappropriate.Whilemanypeopleconsidersit-ups(inanyform)theonlywayto strengthenabdominalmuscles,thisisoftennotanappropriateexercise.Inyourcase,itprobably wouldbedetrimental. Usingagym(Swiss)ballisanexcellentwaytodostrengtheningworkbut,again,theimportant factoristoknowwhatexercisesandhowtousethegymballcorrectly.Topreventthisinjury reoccurring,itwillbeimportanttodetermineexactlywhatiscausingtheinjury.Forthisreason, seeingasportsphysiotherapistwouldbeveryimportant.Theprogrammayincludestretchingand strengthening,reviewingyourrunningtechnique,andspecificexercisesforyourabdominalarea. Iftheproblemiscausedbyanimbalanceofelectrolytes,itmaybewisetoseeadietitianandlook atbothyoureatingpatternandyourfluidintakeduringactivity. Where to get help

Yourdoctor Sportscoach Doctorspecialisinginsportsmedicine Physiotherapist PhysicalActivityInfolineTel.1300885602 SportsDoctorsAustraliaTel.(02)62304650 SportsMedicineAustraliaVictoriaTel.(03)96748777.

Want to know more? GotoMoreinformationforsupportgroups,relatedlinksandreferences. This page has been produced in consultation with, and approved by:

KinectAustralia(incVICFITinVictoria)

Copyight 1999/2008StateofVictoria.ReproducedfromtheBetterHealthChannel(www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au)at nocostwithpermissionoftheVictorianMinisterforHealth.Unauthorisedreproductionandotherusescomprisedinthe copyrightareprohibitedwithoutpermission. ThisBetterHealthChannelfactsheethaspassedthrougharigorousapprovalprocess.Forthelatestupdatesandmore informationvisitwww.betterhealth.vic.gov.au.

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