Sports Injuries

Virtually every sport or athletic activity comes with risk of injury, either due to acute trauma or overuse. Contact sports often lead to injuries that are traumatic in nature. Particularly, collisions with the ground, objects, and other players are common in sports like hockey, football, and rugby. These impacts may lead to contusions or bruises (i.e., damage to blood vessels and tissues), strains, sprains, wounds, fractures, head injuries such as concussions, and spinal cord injuries. Overuse injuries such as tendonitis are commonly associated with sports like gymnastics and long-distance running. Injuries to soft tissues initiate an inflammatory response that often is accompanied by pain and swelling. Most treatments of soft tissue injuries aim to minimize inflammation in order to accelerate the healing process. Then, depending on the injury, the athlete may need to complete a rehabilitation (physical therapy) program or undergo surgery. Athletes can avoid many soft tissue injuries by completing a proper warm-up regimen prior to athletic activity. Effective warm-up routines raise the heart rate and incorporate appropriate dynamic (moving) stretches. Other injuries, especially those related to contact sports, can be prevented with the use of proper protective equipment such as pads and helmets. Additionally, compression sportswear is becoming very popular among both amateur and professional athletes. Such clothing is intended to reduce the risk of muscle injury and speed up the muscle recovery process following strenuous exercise.