Physiotherapy and Sports Injury

Participation in sport is an excellent way of providing exercise. While there
is a risk of injury in most sports, the risk is far outweighed by the benefits of
activity. For example, exercise can protect against heart problems, prevent
obesity and reduce the risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone density.
Sports injuries can affect sports men and women of all ages and abilities,
resulting from accidents, poor preparation or playing on after being injured.

Preventing injuries

  • Correct warm up and warm down exercises
  • Protective strapping in some cases
  • Correct footwear
  • Specific conditioning for a particular sport
  • Good general and aerobic fitness

Common causes of injuries

Poor Preparation for Sport:  Warm up allows you to increase body temperature and blood flood to the muscles and joints ofthe limbs in preparation for exercise.

Doing Too much training too soon:  Post- exercise cool down and stretching will help reduce next day stiffness.

Unsuitable equipment: Your sports gear needs to be in good condition and suitable for the sport. For example, helmets, shin guards, gum shields and footwear need to fit properly.

Returning to sport too soon after injury

Any injury will predispose you to iniury in the future: Make sure you see a Chartered Physiotherapist so that y0u will undergo
appropriate rehabilitation and receive the right advice to help prevent this.

Common injuries
• Bruises
• Ligament sprains and tears
• Muscle and tendon strains
• Joint injuries
• Overuse injuries
• Stress fractures

Severe pain, swelling and bruising are signs of serious injury and should be reviewed by a medical professional- a doctor or Chartered Physiotherapist. For more mild aches and pains apply the PRICE principles.

The PR.I.C.E. Protocol

Protect – the injured area e.g. use crutches, protective bracing if appropriate

Rest- the damaged area to avoid  further injury

Ice – the injured area for 5-10 minutes regularly within the first 48-72 hours to minimise bleeding to damaged tissue and reduce pain

Compress – the injured area to resolve swelling and aid recovery

Elevate – the injured area to prevent the accumulation of fluid