Article #14: Sports Injuries
Did You Know?
A concussion is a type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that occurs from a blow or jolt to the head.
Approximately how many Traumatic Brain Injuries are treated in children ages 5 to 18 by US emergency departments?
a. More than 1,000
b. More than 5,000
c. More than 50,000
d. More than 100,000
Each year an estimated 135,000 sports and recreation-related TBIs are diagnosed and treated. (Source: MMWR
It comes with the territory. Youíre playing a game and everything is going fine, then you roll an ankle, or you feel something "pop." Play hard enough and sport injuries are bound to happen. Here are some ways to help prevent them:
1. Get Organized:
Organized sports have trained coaches that are committed to preventing sports injuries. The coaching staff should demonstrate proper techniques and make proper equipment available. Many teams also have trainers with first-aid training and CPR certification. Itís about staying on the field, or court, and keeping players safe.
2. Get Warm:
Start slowly for at least 5-10 minutes before you begin play. Do some light jogging and try to mimic some of the movements you will be doing during your sport. If youíre playing baseball, swing a bat. If youíre playing soccer, work in some lateral movement. The light exercise will make your tissues warmer and more flexible, and youíll be ready for your game.
3. Stretch It:
Once the body is warm, work to engage your muscles by lengthening them. Always consult with doctors, athletic trainers, or trained coaches on the stretching exercises that are best for your sport. Never bounce, or stretch beyond the point you begin to feel any pain. Back it off a little, until muscles, ligaments, and tendons are warm and flexible enough to bend and stretch with you.
4. Cool Down:
Light exercise and stretching can aid recovery and help you stay flexible. And always drink plenty of water before, during, and after you play.
If a soft-tissue injury occurs such as a sprain (ligament damage in a joint) or strain (muscle or tendon damage), the best treatment is to "RICE"
Stop using and stay off the injured area for at least 48 hours after the injury.
Put an ice pack on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day. Keep ice packs in your freezer or a plastic bag filled it ice. Icing will reduce swelling in the area and speed recovery.
Ask your doctor about the proper way to wrap, brace, or splint the injured area. Compressing it, like icing, reduces swelling while protecting the area from being bumped and jostled.
Keep the injured area above the heart to keep the swelling down. Use a pillow to elevate your arm or leg and let it heal completely before getting back out there.
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