Recognising sports injuries
We need to look at several factors to help establish what type of injury has happened, for example if you have an aching leg, if the pain or aches came on gradually over a period of time we need to ask:
How to determine what your injury is:
- Is there stiffness in the mornings but improves during the day?
- Does playing your sport make the pain worse?
- Does stiffness go when playing your sport?
- Does pain get worse through the day?
- Is the ache or pain there constantly or only with activity?
- Is there any medical condition that could be responsible for the ache or pain?
- Have you changed your training routine or increased your work load?
These and other factors can tell us if it is your sport causing injury or some other underlying factor.
The chances are that you have an overuse injury from perhaps practicing shots in a racquet sport for long sessions or you are running longer distances than usual, or using a wrong technique in your sport. Overuse injury can creep up on you!
If injury has just happened
A broken bone protruding through the skin is obvious, but ligament or tendon damage can be difficult to diagnose. There may be a popping or snapping sound when a ligament or tendon is injured. Always treat as a suspected fracture of the bone. There is usually swelling or discoloration which indicates that damage has been done, also the limb will be immobilized. Medical advice is advised.
There are 3 main types of head injury: Concussion, compression and skull fracture. It is very difficult to diagnose the extent of the damage as all three have similar signs and symptoms. Medical advice is needed as soon as possible and it is important to assume that there has been neck and spinal damage also.
Internal injuries can give pain immediately or it may be 2 or 3 hours before it is obvious that something is wrong. Symptoms can be dizziness, sickness; pale and clammy skin, aching in the abdomen (different from a usual stomach ache) and urine may be discoloured. In any event seek medical advice.