Definition of injury
“Unintentional or intentional damage to the body as a result of acute exposure to thermal, mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy, or the absence of essential elements such as heat or oxygen.”
Causal factors of sports injuries:
Muscle strength / Flexibility
Type of activity
What is injury prevention?
Injuries can be prevented by changing the environment, individual behavior, products, social norms, legislation, and governmental and institutional policies to reduce or eliminate risks and increase protective factors.
Primary and secondary prevention:
Primary prevention is the prevention of the appearance of lesions.
Secondary prevention is the prevention of recurrence of lesions.
There are several factors responsible for injury prevention. Are:
1. Warm-up, 2. Stretch, 3. Bandage and brace, 4. Protective gear, 5. Correct biomechanics, 6. Adequate equipment, 7. Adequate surfaces, 8. Adequate training, 9. Adequate recovery, 10. Psychology
The literary meaning of warming up is to raise core body temperature. The warm-up is further classified into general and sport-specific warm-ups.
The benefits of warming up include:
1. Increased blood flow to muscles
2. Reduced muscle viscosity leading to smooth muscle contractions.
3. Improved mechanical efficiency of muscle
4. Favorable neuromiconductance
5. Favorable changes in muscle receptors that decrease muscle sensitivity to stretching.
6. Improved cardiovascular compatibility
7. Greater mental concentration for sports activities.
How warming up helps prevent injuries:
1. Increase the preheat ROM
2. Decrease the stiffness of the connective tissue; This leads to the greater forces and length of stretch required for a tear to occur.
The ability to move your joints smoothly throughout a full ROM is an important component of good health.
The basic principles of stretching are:
1. Warm up before stretching
2. Stretch before and after exercise / sports
3. Stretch gently and slowly
4. Stretch to the point of tension but not to the point of pain
How Stretching Helps Injury Prevention:
There is considerable research evidence to affirm;
Increased flexibility assisted through stretching appears to result in a lower incidence of musculoskeletal injuries, minimizing and alleviating muscle pain. More stretching can improve athletic performance.
3. Taping and reinforcements:
Tapes and gussets are used to restrict unrestricted and potentially harmful movement and allow for desired movement. There are two main indicators for the use of straps and braces:
1. Prevention: from the two previous procedures, the taping is used as a preventive measure for high-risk activities. For example, bandaging the ankles of basketball players.
2. rehabilitation: the bandage is used as a protective mechanism during the healing and rehabilitation phase.
4. Protective equipment:
Protective equipment protects various vital parts of the body from injury. Most importantly, the protective equipment must not interfere with sports activities.
5. Correct biomechanics:
Correct biomechanics are an important factor in achieving maximum efficiency of movement and in preventing injuries. Faulty biomechanics can be due to static (anatomic) abnormalities or dynamic (functional) abnormalities.
Static anomalies: LLD, Genu valgum, pronated calcanium
Dynamic abnormalities: running with excessive anterior pelvic tilt.
What happens when there is an altered biomechanics?
Bad techniques are the result of improper biomechanics. This poor technique results in not only injury, but also reduced performance.
6. Suitable equipment:
Equipment can vary from simple to complex.
An example of simple equipment are sports shoes.
Examples of complex equipment are; snowshoes, clubs, bicycles, motor vehicles, etc.
According to Khan & Brukner, three of the main injury producers are: footwear, snowshoes, and bicycles.
Parts of a sports shoe: heel, toe, midsole.
Racket Parts: Handle, Shaft, and Racket Head
Important parts of a bicycle from a sporting angle: seat height, saddle position, handle rest position. Pedaling technique is one of the most important aspects in which injuries can be prevented.
7. Suitable surface:
When walking and running, the body is subjected to short duration and high repetition forces, which increases the susceptibility to injury. The maximum impact forces when walking, running or jumping have been shown to approach 2 times, 3-4 times, 5-12 times respectively.
Surfaces alter the maximum force the body is subjected to during activity. Maximum impact forces are much higher on hard surfaces than on soft ones. Therefore, softer surfaces reduce the chances of sports injuries.
8. Adequate training:
Training errors are the most common predisposing factors in the development of sports injuries.
Training is a constant balance between getting enough quality and quantity of work done to maximize performance, but not so much that injuries occur.
The full explanation of the training is beyond the scope of this discussion.
In a nutshell:
The principles of formation are:
The different training methods involve:
1.Aerobic training or resistance training
2. anaerobic training or lactate training
3. strength and power training
5.speed and agility training
7. training specific skills
9. Adequate recovery:
Proper recovery is essential to get the full effect of your training and prevent injury.
“Over Range” – Inadequate recovery leads to poor performance and associated symptoms, such as tiredness and lethargy, called “Over Range”. If from this point on if the training is continued, injuries can occur. However, athletes often respond to such symptoms with an increase in training, as they perceive it as “lack of fitness.” This leads to what is called “overtraining syndrome”. Therefore, it is important that the trainer closely monitors the training program.
Proper recovery includes:
2.hot pools and spa
4. rest and sleep
5. psychological and nutritional advice
10. Psychology and injury prevention:
The detrimental effect of excessive psychological arousal is a well recognized entity. Excessive psychological arousal predisposes the athlete to injury.
Excessive arousal leads to altered muscle tension. This further leads to the alteration of the delicate balance between agonist and antagonist, which is the hallmark of quality performance. Once this synergy between agonist and antagonist is lost; a modified technique is used instead of the natural technique. There is also “loss of rhythm”. This factor predisposes to injury.
Excessive arousal also leads to loss of mental focus. Consequently, the feet and the body are not placed in the proper position on the sports field. Therefore, the participant is placed in a biomechanically poor position to play return shots. This predisposes you to injury.
Excessive arousal leads to “narrow attentional focus”; hence he does not read the play. This can result in them being easily tackled or hit from the “blind side.”
“White line fever”: This is another example of excessive arousal. Here the athlete loses all perception of danger when going out onto the field. Consequently, it places your body in positions vulnerable to injury.
Over-excited players enter a competition without proper nutrition. This further leads the individual to sports injuries.
Low excitement: less common variety. Test matches or lower level competition are produced.
The slightly excited athlete shows the following:
1. Poor reading of visual cues.
2. Slow decision making.
3. Don’t take the proper evasive action.
4. Make technical mistakes.
These points mentioned above are responsible for sports injuries in less excited athletes.
11. Nutrition and injury prevention:
1. Proper nutrition can indirectly cause injury through its effect on the recovery process.
2. Due to intense and continuous training; Muscle labile proteins are channeled into gluco-neogenesis to produce energy. Therefore, poor dietary protein can lead to soft tissue damage in muscles.
3. Inadequate hydration has an immediate impact on athletic performance, especially when exercising under a thermal challenge.
4. Minerals like calcium have a very important role to play in the physiology of muscle contraction. Increased exercise is based on your body’s calcium stores. Inadequate calcium intake weakens the bone and can lead to fractures. Electrolyte balance; furthermore, the internal environment is maintained by sodium and potassium. The deficiency of these minerals leads to serious metabolic disturbances. They can even cause death.
5. A low calorie diet can lead to a decrease in the proportion of fat to such an extent that females lose menstruation. This further leads to osteoporosis and fractures.