Sports Injuries

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Sports injury prevention

Proper preparation could reduce sports injuries by up to 25%

Using the right equipment

  • correctly fitting/appropriate footwear
  • protective equipment/clothing - support weak joints

Taping and bracing

  • aids support around ligaments
  • prevent ligament injuries
  • taping needs to be expertly done to provide support without limiting mobility
  • braces must be fully adjustable to limit movement in joints with strectched ligaments

Protective equipment

  • protection from impact injuries/penetrative injuries
  • helmets/mouth guards/body armour/knee pads etc.
  • must be accurately fitted to be effective and meet NGB regulations
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Sports injury prevention

Clothing: keeping cool, staying warm, dealing with sweat

  • important to stay warm and dry -> risk of hypothermia is significantly increased if wet and cold
  • in high temperatures - important to decrease chances of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke
  • sweating is one of the body's cooling mechanisms -> wearing synthetic, microfibre-type clothing that allows sweat to 'wick' away from the body will help the performer avoid problems with overheating and discomfort
  • ovoid overheating with plenty of fluids and acclimatise body by training in same temp/humidity conditions

Warm-up and cool-down

 

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Injury prevention and training

Strength training

  • help minimise risk of injury and improve performance
  • requires resistance work/body-weight exercises/isometric work and use of weights
  • storng muscles reduce risk of repetitive strain injuries

Conditioning

  • physical activities that prepare body for intense exercise
  • must relate specifically to physical demands of activity 

Core strength/stability

  • developing deep trunk muscles, paraspinal muscles and pelvic floor muscles -> help to stabilise the spine
  • before any movement these contract to give trunk stability -> helps control movement and transfer energy 
  • helps improve performance and posture -> make performer less prone to lower back injuries
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Sports injury prevention summary

  • Correct recovery time/don’t over train
  • Taping/elastic support/neoprene support/braces
  • Conditioning/strength programme/core strength training
  • Correct diet/nutrition/fluid intake/glycogen loading
  • Long term athlete development programme
  • Ice baths/cryotherapy chambers/hyperbaric chambers
  • Massages
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Hyperbaric chambers

  • Reduces pressure at injured area/reduces swelling
  • Chamber delivers oxygen at high pressure
  • Approximately 2.5 more times than normal/100% pure oxygen
  • Haemoglobin/red blood cells fully saturated with oxygen
  • Excess oxygen dissolved in plasma
  • Oxygen reaches parts of body that not normally saturated
  • Increased white blood cell activity at injury site
  • Increased blood supply/formation of new blood cells 
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Oxygen tents

  • elite sports people sleep in them over night to stimulate the effects of high altitude providing a low oxygen environment
  • the oxygen delpletion causes higher levels of haemoglobin which more oxygen can be extracted from the blood
  • this improves athlete's ability to perform work -> more O2 available to working muscles
  • they are very useful for endurance sports which require a high level of stamina
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Ice baths

  • Involves sitting in ice cold water for between 5 – 20 minutes
  • Causes blood vessels to tightenvasoconstriction
  • Restricting blood flow to the area
  • Reduces swelling/tissue breakdown/aids muscle repair
  • After leaving the ice bath, area is flooded with new blood/vasodilation
  • Fresh oxygen removes lactic acid (when out of the ice bath)
  • Some studies suggest ice baths of limited value
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DOMS

delayed onset of muscle soreness - muscle soreness 24-48 hours after exercise

  • pain is due to inflammation of muscle area; microscopic tears of muscle fibres, not clearing lactate

Causes

  • very high intensity training 
  • not warming up poroperly
  • excessive eccentric contractions
  • not training progressively

How to avoid DOMS

  • Active warm-up/Active warm-down/cool down/stretching
  • Avoid eccentric contractions early in session
  • Gradually increase intensity of workload
  • Massage
  • Ice baths 
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