Most Palmdale Physical Therapist will tell you that sports injuries have sidelined many athletes for games, seasons, and worse, careers. Injuries are common while participating in organized sports, competitions, training exercises, or fitness activities.
Poor training methods, improper warm-ups, and lack of conditioning are some of the causes of sports injuries. Injuries can be caused by a combination of those things without necessarily being the only reasons.
Fatigue and overuse are also drastic contributors to an injury, and not excluding also the psychosocial aspects and dehydration that cause athletes to be prone to injuries.
Dealing with sports injuries often requires physical rehabilitation. Physical therapy helps people rebuild strength and movement in parts of their body after an injury. Therapy can also assist someone in managing pain and prevent permanent damage and problems that keep on happening over and over again.
In addition, most Palmdale Physical Therapists are trained to help patients recover following an injury. As part of physical therapy, they can teach exercises, stretches, and techniques using specialized equipment to address problems.
Physical therapists will examine a patient to help figure out if there are weak or inflexible muscles in the body that could make you more prone to an injury.
Common Sports Injuries
According to the National Institutes of Health, the most common sports injuries include:
- Knee injuries
- Swollen muscles
- Shin splints
- And dislocations
Athletes participate in a variety of sports. Each sport carries its own risk of injury for the athlete. These injuries should be appropriately addressed in order to keep the athlete safe. It is useful to examine the biomechanics of an athlete participating in a particular sport, therapists say.
This is actually very useful for repetitive-motion athletes like golfers, baseball’s pitchers, and tennis players. These are different sports, although they share similar biomechanical concepts.
During their games, these athletes have to constantly go through the same motion, putting the same body structures through the same stress.
This motion most of the time involves some sort of a loading or pre-swing phase, some sort of swing phase or throwing phase, and finally the ‘follow-through’ phase
It is common for these athletes to develop comparable injuries such as lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), inflammation or pain on the outside of the upper arm near the elbow; medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow), inflammation or pain on the inner side of the upper arm near the elbow; or “Tommy John” injury for pitchers, which is an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow.
The biomechanics of these players need to be completely precise during the game to avoid an excessive load of forces distributed to the wrong or same anatomical structure.
Furthermore, athletes may neglect or struggle with a particular phase of their motion and expose a specific anatomic structure more.
Sports Injuries and Treatment
Physical therapists need to clearly understand the involved and injured structure and the extent of the injury prior to treating it.
Rehabilitation of an injured athlete should carefully be evaluated on a routine basis. Moreover, injuries are time dependent, which means that the normal healing process follows a pattern of acute phase, subacute phase, and chronic phase.
Each phase determines a different treatment approach and it is the physical therapist’s responsibility to accurately diagnose which phase and what treatment the patient should receive.
The acute phase involves the R.I.C.E. (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation) principle, which allows for healing to take place and controls inflammation.
The subacute phase also is a control motion phase, however the athlete may carefully perform active-assisted range of motion exercises and strengthening exercises. And the chronic phase is a return to function phase in which the athlete progressively returns to pre-injury workout routines.
Palmdale Physical Therapist say that over the years, therapists have been successfully able to log the ‘steps’ for each phase, thus now we have collective treatment protocols that have a complete analysis of what activities and treatments the athlete should be receiving based on his current phase.
In addition to injuries to muscles, joints, and bones, concussions are a hot topic in sports today. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that may result in bad headaches, an altered level of alertness, or unconsciousness.
It may result when the head hits an object or a moving object strikes the head. Athletes in all sports are at risk of a sports-related concussion, but the most at risk are athletes who participate in football, boxing, hockey, rugby, and snow skiing.
Concussions are one of the most difficult-to-manage injuries in sports today. Physical therapists are an integral part in the multidisciplinary approach to the identification and treatment of these injuries.
Being able to get a better picture the signs and symptoms of a concussion, as well as a multitude of other diagnoses, can be essential to a Palmdale Physical Therapist as a patient is able to access the services without requiring a referral from a physician.