Sports-related injuries can impact both elite and amateur athletes alike.
Many of these injuries tend to stem from minor trauma to muscles, ligaments, and/or tendons according to the Massachusetts General Hospital Orthopedics. Sprains, and strains are common injuries suffered by athletes in general.
Sometimes though, a sports injury can be serious injuries like a head or neck injury. When facing a sports injury it is important to understand to address and treat a new injury.
Assess a new injury using the “ABCDE” method
When an injury happens, medical professionals and sometimes bystanders should determine if an athlete is conscious or has imparied mobility. To evaluate you or your child’s sports injury start with the An evaluation of the “ABCDE” trauma protocol:
- Check to see if air is moving in and out of a person’s lungs/mouth. Also stabilize the athlete’s neck and spine in a neutral position
- Determine if the athlete is breathing by checking for obstruction, respiratory rate, labored breathing, and uneven chest rise
- Check the athlete’s circulation by finding a pulse. Also check areas including an athlete’s radial and wrist joints.
- Evaluate if an athlete has a disability via a neurological evaluation. Also check for alertness
- Finally, assess the exposure and environment of an injury to see if the current area is a danger to the injured athlete’s condition. Make sure to limit exposure to harmful conditions such as cold temperatures.
The proper method of transportation of the injured athlete can be determined following an initial on-field assessment.
How to treat athletic and sports injuries
Self-treatment: An athlete sometimes can’t administer self-treatment if they experience a singificant injury. However, athletes with a minor or stabilize injury should try these self-treatment options using the P.R.I.C.E method: Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation to manage injuries.
Athletes need a lot of rest to rehabilitate injuries and should try and keep pressure off of the injured limb initially. Injured athletes should use ice to reduce inflammation that can cause swelling and pain. Compression in the form of gentle pressure can help to decrease swelling. Elevation limits blood flow to the injured area, helping to minimize swelling, pain, and discomfort.
Also, a protective brace, cast, or spilnt is usually necessary to help an injured limb heal faster.
Medication: Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen or provenance help reduce pain and inflammation that result from sports injuries.
Rehabilitation: An important part of treating sports injury is rehabilitation. Effective rehabilitation includes reconditioning and injured limb, participating in personalized treatment, and using targeted exercises to help you return to normal function.