We have heard this term quite often. “Sports Injury” refers to a wide array of conditions including ranging from joint dislocations, bone fractures, tendon tears, or ligament strains to simpler forms of injury such as muscle strains and bruising. A sports physiotherapist would be best placed to treat sports injuries.
The treatment options entirely depend on the severity of injuries and healing timings also differ from case to case. For instance, typically, a muscle will heal quicker than a fractured bone, similarly, ligaments tears heal quicker than cartilages.
In broader terms, sports injuries are classified as either intrinsic or extrinsic injuries. A twist or a contact/impact with another player as well falling causes extrinsic injuries. To some extent, these injuries are unavoidable regardless of a player’s fitness, training, and conditioning levels.
In such a case, treatment options are targeted towards quick repair and ensuring that there are no residual or long-term effects as a result of injury. Extrinsic injuries are generally easier to diagnose and the treatment is pretty straightforward.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have intrinsic injuries. These injuries result from straining or pulling an area either during active playing or post-game due to resulting soreness. Typically, in intrinsic injuries, there is no incident to report that specifically caused the injury.
Groins, hamstrings, shoulder, lower back, and tendonitis are usually the areas involved in intrinsic injuries. These injuries are relatively complex to manage, not because of the severity of the injury but because a comprehensive analysis of the underlying cause of injury must be determined first.
If the underlying cause of the injury is not properly diagnosed, patients can develop chronic conditions that can impair their sports ability as well as the general quality of life. Due to their less severe appearance, intrinsic injuries are overlooked initially until the injury progresses and complications start to arise one after another.
For such a case, the Sports Physiotherapist has to play a twofold role: Initially, the acute pain should be treated by employing a combination of anti-inflammatory modalities, manual therapy, providing protection to affected areas, maintaining range of motion, and muscle strength.