In relation to sports injuries, any one is usually affected. Everyday men and women playing for recreational purposes can have injuries.
Sports injuries vary from sport to sport. They can be anything from contact injuries because of a tackle in football or road running traumas that affect the bone, to soft tissue injuries that may occur through playing tennis or through skiing. Injuries can happen during a sporting activity but might also be due to an everyday musculo-skeletal condition that needs treating. Our sports injury clinic offers high standards of care, that is reflected in the treatment provided by our specialist physiotherapists. We offer a very specialised service to individuals at all levels from recreational to professional and treat athletes of abilities.
What causes sports injuries?
Sports injuries can have a variety of causes and vary between sports and different individuals. One of the objectives for sports injuries is to identify the factors that caused it after which aim to prevent further problems in the future.
Treatment of Sports Injuries in the Young Athlete
While not common, back and neck injuries can happen in young athletes who participate in sports. Though injuries that create back pain are not the most common cause of injury in the young athlete, they are able to cause frustration. Most athletic injuries towards the back are sprains from the ligaments or strains from the muscles. However, several more serious conditions can have symptoms much like a routine sprain or strain. Many injuries occur after repetitive overuse from the structures of the spine. Therefore, proper treatment of a young athlete always features a good physician evaluation with imaging studies when necessary.
Muscle Strains and Ligament Sprains
Muscle strains and Ligament sprains would be the most common injuries that cause back pain in the young athlete. They can be caused by athletic overuse, improper body mechanics and technique, lack of proper conditioning, insufficient stretching, in addition to trauma. The athlete will complain of lower back pain with activity and will feel relief with rest.
Initial treatment may need a period of rest and taking out the athlete from sports participation. Treatments can include medication and special exercise. Ice can be used along with pain medications, which should be used sparingly. In addition, other measures to manage pain and restore motion are generally used. Initially, ice and medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories can be used. For persistent symptoms, particularly those associated with muscle spasm, heat can also be very helpful.
As pain decreases, the injured athlete ought to be shown proper exercise to help recovery. An exercise program can be very beneficial to improve flexibility and strength from the appropriate muscles for athletic performance in addition to help decrease risk for an additional similar injury. It is also vital that you maintain aerobic conditioning during strategy to back pain. Aerobic exercise needs to be tailored towards the athlete and performed as pain allows. The repetitive overuse from the spine (particularly rotation) should be avoided, at least initially. Before being released to return to play, sport-specific exercises that mimic activities of athletic competition in many cases are included in the exercise program. It is also always important to evaluate and correct poor technique and mechanics that may have predisposed the athlete towards the initial injury.
Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis
Defects of the vertebra’s pars interarticularis (spondylolysis) and the slippage of one vertebra with regards to another vertebra (spondylolithesis) are common causes of lower back pain in the young athlete. These injuries in many cases are seen in athletes who participate in sports that require twisting and hyperextension from the spine, such as in gymnastics. The athlete usually complains of pain that worsens when arching the rear. The physician must be alert since these injuries often appear to be a sprain or strain. X-ray images are often normal and special imaging studies for example bone scan and CT scan may be required to confirm the diagnosis.
Recovery needs a period of relative rest, ice, medication and specific exercises. It is important that inflexible muscles are stretched and the trunk muscles strengthened. In some cases, bracing may be necessary to permit proper healing. Progression to sports is similar to that for sprains and strains.
Several special considerations are important within an athlete who has developed a spondylolisthesis. Athletes with 50% or fewer forward slippage can usually return to all sporting activities after pain resolves and appropriate rehabilitation continues to be completed. Athletes with 50% or greater forward slippage are encouraged to participate in less aggravating sports. Also, athletes having a spondylolithesis should be monitored every six months for progressive slippage because they go through any adolescent growth spurt.