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Sports have been an important part of routine curriculum owing to its magical ability to heal and improve mental and physical health. Sports in any form, recreational or professional should be attempted with accordance to certain methodology and form to prevent injuries. Most of the sportsmen involved in recreational activities injure themselves during some point of their lives and loose their form of game.
Injury prevention is always considered a better modality than to treat an injury. The focus in recent times has shifted to improvement in form of the game and prevention of injuries in athletes from enhancement of peak performance of the athlete. Injuries lead to :
- Improper form
- Inability to regain the same level of sports
- Mental fatigue
- Frustration & abandonment of sport
- Emotional burden
- Re-injuries & Permanent disabilities
- Physical pain
Diagnosing sports injuries has been another upcoming field of interest because of delayed and missed diagnosis and long term disability associated with it. Soft tissue injuries have remained unexplored territory for most general physicians who are the first contacts of most patients. The patients should understand both preventive measures and treatment options for acute injuries. The focus should always be on prevention of injuries. Some short crisp points to prevent injuries include the following. These are applicable on all athletes or people engaged in any form of sport/play.
- Rest: Astound ?? Yes, you read it correctly… Rest interval for your body to heal itself is very important. Fatigued and sore muscles always engage you in the wrong form of exercise and leads to an injury. Whenever you feel your body needs rest take a day off from your regular exercise/game.
- Adequate sleep: It’s a debatable question to how much objectively is labelled as sound sleep. Sleep requirement depends on many factors. These may include level of exercise, physical labour, quality of sleep, age, co-morbidities and metabolic rate of the body. Anything from 4-6 hours of deep sleep is usually considered adequate.
- Nutrition: Nutrition tips have flooded the market and its highly confusing for a layman to decide what when and how much to eat. Simple tips include: assessment of body weight and height (BMI), type of workout/ calories burnt, type of sport engaged in and your personal requirements. The requirements once assessed can be distributed into a balanced diet chart all by yourself. Include as many seasonal fruits and plenty of fluids in your diet !!
- Wear the right gear: Quite under-rated, the quality of your gear actually makes a lot of difference. The right gear not only prevents you from injuries but also makes the sport less tiring by increasing your efficiency. Just for an example, the shoe an athlete uses during a sprint and playing golf are completely different. Spending in the right gear of the sport you love is never a loss. Clothes, shoes and accessories play an important role in level of sporting activities.
- Warm up: Importance of warm up cannot be emphasized more. The step is missed knowing/unknowingly by lot of recreational sportsmen. Warm up or pre-conditioning emphasizes on increasing blood flow and flexibility of the involved muscles in the sport. Core muscle exercises and stretching form an essential part of warm ups. It also stimulates energy houses of the cells and promotes metabolism in presence of oxygen, thus lowering chances of post workout soreness and early recovery.
- Form of exercise: The game dictates the need for strength training and flexibility. Athletes require strength training for specific muscles being used more than others. The training and step wise conditioning are advocated. “Get-set” Application allows athletes of all levels to reach their peak performance with a defined set of exercises and rehabilitation. This app was created for the International Olympic Committee by the Oslo Sports Trauma Center, Norwegian School of Sports Science, Oslo and Making Waves as on the occasions of the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China and the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
Ultimately in case one suffers an injury it is always advisable to follow the PRICE therapy on field.
Prevent Re-injury: Abstain from further playing the game and prevent any further damage to injured part by using it.
Rest to affected part: after being diagnosed with the injury, provide adequate rest to affected part. This is also considered as immobilization of affected limb.
Ice pack application: cold packs relieve inflammation and pain in the acute phase of injury.
Compression bandage: Compression prevents excess hematoma formation and helps reduce pain, swelling, contusion in first 72 hours most importantly.
Elevation of the injured part: Elevation causes good venous return and less collection of local hematoma at the site of injury.
Stay Safe, Play Hard !