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Sports injuries

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Sports injuries
Within sport there are many factors that can cause injury. Not only from the impact of the opposition, for example, but it could also be personal measures that can cause injury such as illness and poor fitness. Extrinsic risk factors An extrinsic injury occurs when an outside force is applied to the body which It cannot cope with. This could be due to a number of things such as inappropriate coaching or instruction, Incorrect technique, Environmental factors, Other sports players, Equipment and clothing and footwear. Incorrect technique Incorrect technique is often linked to the instruction given by coaches or teachers. Incorrect technique or information provided to a player during training could lead to an injury during a match. If the player does not follow a coaches instruction and feedback, then poor technique can develop and become normal. Ifi incorrect technique is allowed to develop, this can increase the risk of getting injured. This can be an extrinsic risk factor because if an oppositions technique is incorrect, then it puts you at a high risk of injury. This can be prevented by making sure that all coaches nationwide know how to teach the correct techniques to their players in order to prevent inuries. Enviromental factors Sports environments have to be checked consistently as their safety can easily change from one day to another. E.g. a rugby pitch that has been fully marked out and checked one day can be perfectly safe, but over night it could have frozen through and unplayable.

This can be prevented by the referees on the day checking the pitches and making sure that they are 100% playable. Any doubt that the pitch could put a player in danger of injury then the referee should call the game off and postpone It to a later date. Clothing and footwear and other players There are certain pieces of sporting equipment that are part of the sport’s governing bodies rules and regulations. E.g gumshields should pads, scrum caps, gloves. However these pieces of clothing must be checked before each game to ensure they are safe and not illegal. Also all jewellery must be removed. Studs must be checked at the start of every game to ensure that they are not of an illegal length or sharpened in anyway. This can be prevented by once again the referee making checks before every game. Otpposing players should be checked for no illegal equipment aswell. The ref should line all players up and check all the studs to make sure that they are not off an illegal length or sharpened in anyway. Also he shoul check for any rings, necklaces, bands or anything that could cause harm to another player. Intrinsic risk factors Intrinsic factors come from within the body and cause injury. This can include, inadequate warm-up, muscle imbalance, poor preparation, postural defects, poor technique, overuse, age. Inadequate warm up Inadequate warm up is a very common cause of sports injury.

This is because a warm up prepares the body and mind for the sport/activity that you are about to take part in. A warm up should consist of a gradual increase from non-active to being ready for pace of the sport/activity that you are about to play. The length of warm-up will depend on the activity and level of fitness of the player, the weather conditions and the time available before a game. This can be prevented by having an early meeting time on game day and ensuring that all players have suffiecent time to stretch, warm up and loosen up any tight muscles that they may have. Incorrect technique Incorrect technique is often linked to the instruction given by coaches or teachers. Incorrect technique or information provided to a player during training could lead to an injury during a match. If the player does not follow a coaches instruction and feedback, then poor technique can develop and become normal. Ifi incorrect technique is allowed to develop, this can increase the risk of getting injured. This is more an intrinsic risk factor because its to do with your own personal technique. This can be prevented by making sure that you always tackle, ruck, maul etc, with the correct and legal technique so that you do not get injured. Age Injuries can vary with age and level of competition.

Young children when playing sport are more likely to suffer little injuries such as cuts and grazes from just falling over. They usually play non contact sports so there is no real fear of an injury from contact. Older children in their early to late teens are most likely to suffer injuries from collisions and violence on the pitch. This is because they are just being introduced into contact sports and learning the techniques correctly. 18+ is when you hit your professional and most athletic level of performance. Injuries at this age can vary from an instant contact injury to an overuse injury due to playing and training too much. Once you hit your late 30s early 40s then then you are too old to keep up with the youngster, you are more likely to suffer little niggley injuries rather than big ones. The way to prevent this is up until he ae of 18, age catergorise playing groups so that you are not playing with anyone younger or older than you. After 18 its elite time and you will play against younger or older. Once you hit 35 then should consider retiring from professional sport ass your body cannot physically handle it any more. Muscle imbalance and postural defects.

Most people are born with minor postural defects. E.g. one leg shorter than the other. If the defect is too large, this could affect the technique mean that while running it puts more strain on one side of the body than the other. There are very little preventative measure for postural defects other than if an operation is available to correct the defect. Other than that, running styles can be developed to work with the postural defect. Muscle imbalance is when one muscle in the agonist/antagonist pair is stronger than the other. For example if your bicep is stronger than your tricep. This can quite often lead to injury because if you have one bigger muscle, the smaller muscles is more likely to get damaed. This can be prevented by work on all muscle groups in the gym equally and fairly so that all muscles are up to a similar strength.

Physiological responses to sports injuries
Physiological responses to an injury is how the body reacts to an injury immediately after its occurrence and how it adapts over a period of time after the injury has occurred. When an injury occurs there will be immediate signs and symptoms related with the injury. Signs are something that you can see. E.g. the colour of the skin. Symptoms is something that the person will report to you. E.g. how they are feeling, how painful it is. Signs There are a few signs to when injury occurs: Swelling – Swelling is most commonly associated with breaks and dislocations. The swelling occurs so that is protects the injured area and stops it from further injury. Swelling is also categorized with inflammation, heat and redness.

Bleeding – A cut will normally leed to bleeding. Bleeding is a good thing because when the blood dries it causes scabbing. This scabbing is what makes the skin cells grow back together to heal. Their is also internal bleeding know as a haematoma. A haematoma is bleeding into or around a muscle. Haematomas can be recognised as bruises.

Discoloration – Discolaration is often at a limb or a joint. You can tell when discoloration has happened because it will lead to abnormal alignments of a limb or a joint. Symptons There are a few symptons to when an injury occurs: Change in colour round the area of the injury – This is so that the physio can see the injured area and not touch it to hurt it any more. Pain – associated with all injuries. Levels of pain vary on levels of adrenaline that are present. Heat – Heat causes redness, this redness is what shows where the injury is. Nausea – A bang on the head, or a little to screemish can cause nausea. Tiredness – lack of sleep the night before. Loss of feeling – depending on the type of injury, loss of feeling is normally present. This can be good as it reduces pain.

Soft tissue damage
With Soft tissue damage their are quite a few signs and symptons. The first sign of soft tissue damage is swelling and the immediate symptom is pain. This pain is due to swelling which creates pressure on nerves. Swelling occurs because blood vessels are ruptured and blood enters the area along with tissue fluid and causes the area to appear red and feel hot. There will be reduced or no function around the injured area. With soft tissue injuries there is quite a complicated healing process. First your clotting mechanism (platelets) seals the blood vessel. Then these platelets make the blood sticky and stick to the surface of the blood vessel. Repair on injury then starts within the first 24 hours after injury has occurred. This healing process continues from 8-72 hours right up until 21 days.

Psychological responses to injury
The Psychological responses to injury are the mental aspect of how an athlete copes and come to terms with their injury and treatment and how well they cope with coming back into the game. How well you psychologically respond to injury can have a direct effect on whether you can return as a professional sportsman, or whether it ruins your career. The most common psychological effects are fear, stress and anxiety, motivation, depression, anger, decreased confidence, denial, frustration and isolation. Fear Whenever an injury happens there is going to be fear of returning to playing. Fear that you will return from injury a worse player than you where. Fear that the injury could re occur. Fear of going into contact because psychologically your afraid that you will come of second best and get injured again. This fear can ruin your career. If you can never mentally overcome that fear of injury, then you will never be able to return to a professional career because you won’t be able to play up to the standards that are required. Anger As soon as an injury happens there is always going to be anger present. Anger at the opposing player for injury, anger at yourself for poor technique leading to the injury and obviously anger that you will be out of action for a long time. This can be a good thing as it can lead to motivation to perfect your technique, strength, power etc, for when you return from injury. However this anger can also lead to frustration. If anger leads to frustration then it can affect how well the recovery process goes.

Isolation and depression When you are injured it can make you feel very isolated within your team environment. This is because that you cannot join in with training, you cant join in with matches, you cant join in with offsite activities and you just feel left out within the team. If you are starting to feel isolated then it can lead to depression. As soon as depression kicks in while you are injured then it can take alot to get out of depression. If you are still depressed when you eventually return from injury then it can effect how well you perform on the pitch. If you start to perform badly then the coaches, players and even the fans will start to doubt your ability to play at a professional standard. This can again lead to more depression and eventually be the cause of you too be dropped from playing professional sport.

How physiological and psychological responses interact during injury.

During the recovery process of injury if it is a long term injury you will experience alot of anxiety. Questions like Will it ever get better, is the physio doing there job, am I resting it properly will constantly pop into your head. This anxiety can either make you come back from injury motivated or can lead to alot of frustration. If it leads to frustration then the athlete will start to doubt whether he will ever recover from injury. He could then be tempted into training befor all swelling, bruising or any sign of injury are fully gone. This will then cause the injury to get even worse only frustrating the athlete more. Frustration can also kick in when the athkete see’s no immediate recovery during the first period of physio therapy. However if anxiety leads to motivation then it can be a very good thing. This motivation can cause you to wait that little bit longer to recover from injury so that you know the injury is fully gone while in the mean time you are setting little goals that you want to push yourself towards hitting when you get back from injury. This motivation that you have can cause you too come back from injury a better player than you where before you got injured. With short term injuries there is not so much anxiety and depression, there is just frustration and anger. This frustration and anger can deeply motivate you aswell though. Once all the physiological signs and symptons have dissapered, then you can get back straight into training and return back to training.

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