Sports related injuries

Learn more about sports related injuries in order to keep doing the sports you love and enjoy. Please remember that in the event of an injury it is always important to see a medical practitioner or physiotherapist.

Lateral Ankle Ligament Sprain


What is Lateral Ankle Ligament Sprain?

Lateral ankle ligament sprain is the stretching or tearing of one or more of the 3 lateral ankle ligaments which provide stability to the outside of the ankle joint. This usually happens when the ligaments are overstretched when the ankle is forcibly rolled inwards and often during rapid change of direction or on uneven surfaces.

Pain and swelling may appear immediately as well as bruising with may appear over the coming days and may extend to the toes or up to the calf.

What should you do?

To limit the amount of damage to the ligaments, you should stop participation in your event immediately and depending on the severity – crutches may be required.

The next step is to follow the RICE principal:

  • Rest: limiting the amount of activity performed on the ankle, crutches may be required
  • Ice: should be applied to the injury site for 10 – 15minutes every 2 hours.
  • Compression: an elastic bandage should be applied around the injury site – firm but must not cause pain or restrict blood flow – this prevents excessive swelling
  • Elevation: keeping you ankle supported on pillows above the level of your heart.

The RICE regime should be continued until you consult your physiotherapist preferably within 2days of your injury.

Treatment

The aim of which is to regain full range of motion, strength, balance (proprioception) and full return to participation in your sport. Strapping or bracing may be used to assist this return to sport.

It is important that you complete your rehabilitation program with your physiotherapist in order to reduce the risk of re-injury.



Hamstring muscle strain


What is a hamstring muscle strain?

A tear in the large muscle in the back of the thigh which often happens during running or sprinting either just before or after the foot hits the ground. Minor strains may allow you to continue participating with minimal discomfort but more severe strains will stop your participation due to excessive pain, tightness and weakness. There may be an obvious defect in the muscle and swelling which may make walking difficult or painful.

What should you do?

To limit the amount of damage to the muscle, you should stop participation in your event immediately and depending on the severity – crutches may be required.

The next step is to follow the RICE principal:

  • Rest: limiting the amount of activity performed on the ankle, crutches may be required
  • Ice: should be applied to the injury site for 10 – 15minutes every 2 hours.
  • Compression: an elastic bandage should be applied around the injury site – firm but must not cause pain or restrict blood flow – this prevents excessive swelling
  • Elevation: keeping you ankle supported on pillows above the level of your heart.

The RICE regime should be continued until you consult your physiotherapist preferably within 2days of your injury. You should not apply heat, massage, stretching or increased activity as this can increase damage or delay healing.

It is important that you consult a physiotherapist so that the severity of the injury can be determined and managed appropriately to ensure timely return to sport. Pain, spasm, range of motion, swelling and weakness will all be addressed during your treatments.



Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS) – Runners knee


What is Runners knee?

The iliotibial band is a tough tendon that runs from the pelvic bone along the side of the knee to the outside of the shin bone. ITBFS is an overuse injury and occurs when the iliotibial band slides over a bony bump on the outside of the knee as the knee bends and straightens repeatedly usually when the band is excessively tight as a result of sudden increases in training, uphill running, change of running shoes or various other biomechanical factors. This results in wear and tear of the band at the side of the knee which causes pain and inflammation that gradually progresses with activity.

What should you do?

ITBFS does not get better on its own unless the cause is addressed. If you suspect that you have ITBFS you should ice the outside of your knee after any activity and also every 2 hours.

You will need and evaluation from a physiotherapist in order to help determine the cause of the injury, once this is determined an appropriate management plan with be developed to suit your needs and allow return to sport. This plan will address the pain, inflammation, tightness of band and other muscles, modify activity level initially and correct any biomechanical abnormalities that may be causing the injury through various exercises.



Extensor tendinopathy – tennis elbow


What is tennis elbow?

This is an overuse/overload injury of the tendon at the outside of the elbow. Tendons attach the muscles to bone. A tendinopathy can occur in any tendon of the body. This injury is associated with a change in the cellular structure of the tendon and derangement and degeneration of the tendon.

It is associated with pain at the tendon site during or after (up to 24 hours) activity.

You will need a physiotherapy evaluation in order to determine the severity and stage of the injury as well as identify potential risk factors or causes.

‘Tennis elbow’ occurs in association with any activity involving repeated wrist extension against resistance. This is common in sports such as squash, tennis and badminton. It can also occur after any activities such as sewing, using a screwdriver or even computer use.

Treatment

Treatment involves identification of risk factors, soft tissue and joint mobilisations, possibly dry needling, electrotherapy modalities, bracing or taping and application of a progressive tendon loading program. All treatments are aimed at returning you to sport participation.