With more and more people, including middle aged people becoming more physically active more than ever, it is always prudent to be mindful of the potential for injuries that may be caused by exercising and physical activities. Although most of us are not proficient athletes, even simple exercising activities such as jogging, playing tennis, training with weights, and even brisk walking can still cause injury.
Yes, the feeling after a good sweaty workout may be exhilarating and comforting for you, however working out too long and hard may lead to a sports injuries, which may need medical treatment right away.
Many exercise and sports related injuries are due to the lack of good or professional training, over exertion or strain to your physical conditioning, not warming up adequately before a good or robust workout, or the wrong usage of training or exercise equipment and machines.
Some sports injuries can be categorized as chronic injuries. This means that the injuries are developed progressively over a period of time and can be permanent in nature. These injuries can occur after years of training or exercise and are usually as a result of repetitive movements. Some examples are jogging, playing golf or racquet games such as tennis or badmninton. These repetitive movements usually cause stress on your ankles, elbows, wrists, knees, shoulders, ankles or hips. Among the many injuries categorized as “chronic injuries” are :-
1) Stress Fractures and Hairline - This is an orthopedic condition where hairline cracks or small tiny fractures are developed in the bones. These are stress fractures and are usually created by repetitive force and pressure on the bones concerned such as in long distance or marathon running or repetitive jumping as in playing basketball.
2) Tendinitis - This condition is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon in a joint or several joints. It can also occur by formation of calcium deposits at the tendons known as calcific tendinitis and can be a very painful condition. Although tendinitis can develop on any of your tendons, the condition usually affects shoulder joints, elbows, wrists, knees, heels and the ankles.
3) Sciatica - Sciatica is a type of pain that emanates around the sciatic nerves. The symptoms usually affects only one side of the body. This is a type of back pain which can also shoots down to the leg and foot. The pain is usually manifested as a dull ache, but patients may also suffer from sharp pain as well.
The phenomena may also cause numbness, weaknesses to the limb affected, a burning sensation or the tingling feelings of pins and needles to the limb. Sciatica usually occurs to a person's body is constantly in a forward posture such a cyclist or someone who is constantly using the trunk rotation such as in playing golf or tennis. If this injury is not being treated sooner than later, it will become worse and over the passage of time and may develop into chronic arthritis.
Acute injuries are injuries which happen on the spot while you are exercising, such as a twisted ankle, dropping a dumbbell on a foot or a wrist sprain. These injuries are often manifested as immediate sudden pain, redness, and swelling of the area affected.
Somebody who has an acute injury is usually unable to place some weight or pressure on the injured area. He or she will also be unable to move the joint through its full range of motion because of the pain and inflammation which obstruct any movement. Bone fractures, swelling or joint dislocation are also classified as acute injuries. If you are older in age, acute injuries especially in bone fractures can lead to serious medical consequences especially in concussion and hip fractures.
If you are inflicted with a sports injury, do seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Depending on the severity and extent of the injury, you may require immediate attention by a medical professional. Your medical doctor may prescribe some pain relief medicine, a corticosteroid injection which is a medicine which is used to treat muscle and joint inflammation, or put the injured area in a cast such as in the case of a broken bone to protect it from further damages and allowing it to heal.
After leaving the medical treatment area, the injured person will have to follow up with the R.I.C.E. treatment procedure to help in the healing process. So what is R.I.C.E.? It is an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Resting, especially sleeping will give the tissues time to repair and heal faster.
Ice will also need to be applied periodically to a soft tissue injury such as in a swelling or a bruise. Ice is usually wrapped in a piece of cloth and place in contact on the injured area for not more than 15- 20 minutes at a time. Using a thin material like a washcloth or towel between the ice and your skin will help control the swelling and redness of an injury without risking the possibility of a frostbite.
Compression is advised through the use of an ACE bandage or medical wrapping. However, if you feel that the bandage is too tight, then you may want to re-wrap the swollen or affected area. Elevation of the limb affected can help to control or diminish any swelling if the injured limb is placed above the level of the heart.
Once you have carried out the R.I.C.E. steps and let the injured limb to heal and recover, you can also apply soft massages to the injured area to help to reduce any scar tissues and improve the healing process to the soft tissues.
Gentle and slow stretches that test the full range of the limb’s motion are recommended. This is best done with the supervision of a physiotherapist if the injury is more serious in nature. This is because overstretching an injured limb or the wrong type of stretches can run the risk of injuring it yet again. As such, a certified therapist can help you to properly rehabilitate your injured limb and avoid overworking it causing more harm than good.
About The Author Of This Guest Posting - Max Gottlieb is the content manager for Senior Planning and Prime Medical Alert. Prime Medical Alert provides medical alert systems to help seniors maintain their independence and Senior Planning is a free service designed to help seniors find long term health care.