Injury prevention and the rehabilitation of injury

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Injury prevention and the rehabilitation of injury

Acute and chronic injuries

Acute injury - a sudden injury associated with a traumatic event. 

Acute injuries are commonly caused by collision between two players, a fall from a horse or excessive impact from a piece of equipment. 

E.g fracture of bone in jaw of boxer. 

Torn knee ligament after a slide tackle in football. 

Chronic injury - slowly developed injury associated with overuse. 

Continued stress or overuse. Commonly caused by a sudden increase in the intensity, frequency or duration of exercise. Inadequate warm up or cool down or a limited range of movement. 

E.g Tennis elbow, pain in runners heel. 

Acute hard tissue injury - damage to the bone, joint or cartilage.

E.g fractures and dislocations


A partial or complete break of a bone as a result of an excessive force that overcomes the bone’s potential to flex. 

A fracture can be diagnosed by 

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Discolouration
  • inability to move the affected area. 

Compound Fracture - a fracture that breaks through the skin, open. 

Simple fracture - a fracture where the skin remains unbroken. 

Type of fracture. 


A splitting partial break in bone as a result of a bending action, like a “fresh twig”. 

Transverse, Spiral and Oblique

A split across the length of the bone. 

Transverse - left to right. 

Oblique - diagonal. 

Spiral - twisting diagonally. 


A crack which produces multiple fragments. Shattering of the bone. 


Break caused when by compression impact. 


A bone fragment detached at the site of connective tissue attachment. 


The displacement of one bone from another out of their original position. 

Acute soft tissue injury - damage to the skin, muscle tendon or ligament. 

E.g tears, strains and sprains.

Contusion - where blood vessels have ruptured underneath the skin e.g a bruise. 

Sprain - overstretch or tear in the ligament that connects bone to bone

First degree - overstretch of a few ligaments

Second degree - partial tear

Tear - total rupture

Third degree - detachment of a ligament from the bone. 

e.g the ankle of a games player, footballer or netballer. 

Wrist of an athlete while bracing a fall. 

Strain - overstretch or tear to muscle fibres or tendon that connects muscle to bone. 

E.g 100m runner sprinting out of the blocks, lunging for a drop shot in badminton. 

Abrasion - superficial damage to the skin caused by a scraping action against a surface. 

In most sports, if the ref can see blood the game will stop. 

E.g chafing during a marathon, slipping and falling on a netball court.  

Blisters - friction forming separation of layers of skin where a pocket of fluid forms 

Usually from bad quality, poorly fitting or new footwear. 

Concussion - A traumatic brain injury resulting in a disturbance of brain function. 


The symptoms of a concussion. 


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