Sport by its very nature means that injury of varying degrees is bound to happen. Injuries can occur from not warming up properly before exercising, poor technique, pushing yourself too hard or simply from an accidental fall or blow.
The ankles and knees are particularly prone to injury, and injuries can affect the bones, joints, muscles and the connective tissue in-between. Of these tissues, tendons bind the muscle to bone, ligaments secure bone to bone. Sprains can occur to ligaments, and strains to a muscle or tendon, with dislocations and breaks, to joints and bones respectively. Breaks are also known as fractures and there are several types.
With all of these as possible sports injuries, a proper assessment is essential. Fractures, dislocations, sprains, and strains may have similar symptoms such as swelling, soreness, and a lack of mobility. However, management of these conditions may require one or a range of treatments.
If the pain is experienced during exercise, be that suddenly or by building up over time, it is best to stop immediately. Continuing to push through pain that is uncomfortable may cause even more damage, and consequently slow recovery time. Sports injuries do not always occur immediately and tenderness, stiffness or bruising may become noticeable several hours after exercising or playing a sport.
Minor injuries can be self-managed through rest and taking care of the affected area. If the injury persists or is of concern then an immediate visit to a doctor can help determine a course of action that takes into account your current medical history.
This may involve an examination and some simple advice or anti-inflammatory medication. Further to this, different types of sports medicine professionals may be engaged.
When the condition of the injury is more sudden and severe, there are options available for referral for further evaluation and treatment. From sports medicine doctors such as orthopaedic surgeons to allied health providers like physiotherapists and podiatrists, a plan of recovery can be formulated to assist recovery and return to the sport you enjoy.