We have all experienced muscle strains and sprained joints during sports. While most are mild and recover with a bit of rest, some are more severe and may not completely heal. Some of these chronic symptoms are due to inadequate treatment and can recover with proper care. Others result in some permanent injury and limit our ability to play sports. More severe symptoms still can lead to degeneration with time and affect our daily living. Some injuries do heal, but the injury can recur upon returning to sports due to poor technique or loss of fitness during the recovery period. It is not always obvious as to which injuries will recover and which won’t.
In sports medicine, the way to deal with sports injury includes:
- Where is the injury, how severe is it, and how will it affect your sports?
- Knowledge of the sports, your training methods and a detailed assessment is needed to answer these questions
Look for the best method to aid recovery
- Recovery methods may vary from person to person and between sports
- A doctor and physiotherapist familiar with you and the nature of your sports would be required
- The physical requirements of sports exceed that of daily living and the injured area must be strong enough to take the physical demands of sports
- It is also important to maintain fitness during recovery so that the return to sports is easier
Continual care beyond return to sports
- The aim is to return to sports at the pre-injury level with adequate strength training and sports specific physical and conditioning
Look for the underlying causes
- This aspect is often overlooked
- Hunting down and correcting the causes is important in order to prevent recurrence of the injury. This may entail consultation with the coach
- Some injuries are preventable with conditioning, proper planning of training programme, musculoskeletal assessment and preventive exercises
It is indeed an irony that while sports and exercise can make us healthier and stronger, sometimes it results in an injury. You can take a step in the right direction by having your injuries treated early.