Common Injuries Archives - Lucas Massage Therapy

08

Nov

Hip pain

Hip pain

Hip flexors are located on the front of the hip and lift the thigh up or bend the waist forward or down when the limbs are fixed. These muscles are used a lot in cycling, running, kicking and jumping activities. When a new load is placed on the muscle or repetitive stresses are encountered without rest, the muscle may stretch or tear.

Cause of injury

Repetitive stress on the hip flexor muscles without adequate time for recovery. Excessive stress placed on the muscles without appropriate strengthening and warm-up. Improper form when running, cycling or other activities. Forceful hyperextension of the leg at the hip.

Signs and symptoms

Pain in the upper groin area over the anterior portion of the hip. Inflammation and tenderness over the hip flexor.

Complications if left unattended

Hip flexor strains left untreated can become chronic and lead to inflexible muscles that could lead to other injuries. The muscle could also continue to tear, eventually leading to a complete rupture from the attachment.

Immediate treatment

Cessation of the activity. Ice the area immediately. X-ray for possible fracture or bone chips.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Use of proper protective equipment during activities and strengthening the supporting muscles around the hip for added padding and protection. Unfortunately there is not a lot that can be done to prevent falling or contact with the hip area.

Rehabilitation includes rest until the pain subsides, then gradual reintroduction on the activity. Any activities causing pain should be discontinued until the area is pain free.

Long-term prognosis

Hip pointers seldom cause long-term disability and most athletes can return to full function after treatment and a rehabilitation period. Surgery is seldom required except in severe fracture cases.

 

13

Oct

Sore Neck

Sore Neck injuries –  strain, fracture & contusion

Injuries to the neck can be serious, particularly in the case of broken or fractured vertebrae. Neck strains are less serious and far more common, and involve injury to the muscles or tendons of the neck. Contusions are bruises to the skin and underlying tissue of the neck, usually the result of a direct blow.

Cause of injury

Sudden twisting of the neck. Serious fall. Direct blow to the neck, in the case of contusion.

Signs and symptoms

Head, neck and shoulder pain. Crackling sensation in the neck. Loss of neck strength and mobility.

Complications if left unattended

Injuries to the neck are potentially serious and deserve prompt medical attention. Long-term paralysis, loss of motion and coordination, calcification and osteoporosis are possible side-effects. In the case of fracture, the injury can lead to paraplegia and is also sometimes fatal.

Immediate treatment 

Immobilisation to protect the spinal cord. Analgesics for pain.

Rehabilitation and prevention

For neck strains, immobilisation for a period of weeks with a brace may be recommended. In cases of fracture, the broken vertebrae may be surgically pinned together with screws and the patient may be placed in a neck cast. Physical therapy following healing will attempt to re-establish range of motion, flexibility and strength. Helmets or other athletic headgear as well as attention to proper technique can help prevent some neck injuries.

Long-term prognosis

Outcomes for neck injury vary widely depending on the nature and severity. In cases of fracture, the prognosis is generally worse with injuries occurring higher up the cervical spine.

Neck strains and contusions are far less serious and their outcome given proper treatment and rehabilitation is usually good. Severe strains in which the muscle-tendon-bone attachment is ruptured may require surgical repair.

 

22

Sep

Peroneal tendonitis

The tendons of peroneus longs and peroneus braves run from the peroneal muscles in the lateral calf to the foot. The peroneal muscles are involved in stabilising the foot and providing support to the ankle to prevent lateral rolling of the joint. Peroneal tendinitis is most commonly a result of overuse of the peroneal muscles or of inversion sprains which stretch the peroneal muscles have to work harder to stabilise the foot when it is printed.

Running and jumping involve repeated contraction of the peroneal muscles and can lead to  inflammation of their tendons. Runners who often run on uneven surfaces or have excessive pronation often develop peroneal tendinitis.

Cause of injury

Over-pronation of the foot during running or jumping. Prior ankle injury leading to an incorrect path of travel for the tendons.

Signs and symptoms

Pain and tenderness along the tendons. Pain is most severe at the beginning of the activity and diminishes as the activity continues. Gradual increase in pain over time.

Complications if left unattended

Unattended tendinitis can lead to a complete rupture of the tendons. Peroneal tendinitis can lead to subluxations. The chronic inflammation can also lead to damage to the ligaments surrounding the tendons.

Immediate treatment 

Rest, especially from running or jumping activities. Ice. Anti-inflammatory medication.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Stretching of the calf muscles and a gradual reintroduction into activity is important for rehabilitation. During the recovery period it is important to identify and correct  any foot or gait abnormalities that may be contributing to the problem. Prevention of this condition requires strong, flexible muscles of the lower leg to support the foot and ankle.

Long-term prognosis 

With proper treatment, peroneal tendinitis will usually heal completely with no lingering effects. In rare cases the tendinitis may not respond to traditional treatment and may require surgical intervention to relieve the pressure causing the inflammation. Orthotics to support the medial arch may be required in some cases.

14

Aug

Sports injuries

Sports injuries

Regardless of where the injury occurs within the body, or the seriousness of the injury, sports injuries are commonly classified in one of two ways: acute or chronic.

Acute injuries

These refer to sports injuries that occur in an instant. Common examples of acute injuries are bone fractures, muscle and tendon strains, ligament sprains and contusions. Acute injuries usually result in pain, swelling, tenderness, weakness and the inability to use or place wight on the injured area.

Chronic injuries

These refer to sports injuries that occur over an extended period of time and are sometimes called overuse injuries. Common examples of chronic injuries are tendinitis, bursitis and stress fractures. Chronic injuries, like acute injuries, also result in pain, swelling, tenderness, weakness and the inability to use or place weight on the injured area.

 

How are sports injuries classified?

As well as classifying a sports injury as acute or chronic, sports injuries are also classified according to their severity. Injuries are graded into one of three classifications: mild, moderate or severe.

Mild

A mild sports injury will result in minimal pain and swelling. It will not adversely affect sporting performance and the affected area is neither tender to touch nor deformed in any way.

Moderate

A moderate sports injury will result in some pain and swelling. It will have a limiting affect on sporting performance and the affected area will be mildly tender to touch. Some discolouration at injury site may also be present.

Severe

A severe sports injury will result in increased pain and swelling. It will not only affect sporting performance but will also affect normal daily activities. The injury site is usually very tender to touch, and discolouration and deformity are common.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

03

Apr

Sprained wrist

Sprained wrist

Wrist sprains injury to the ligaments of the wrist. Such sprains are a common occurrence when the hand is extended to break a fall. Ligaments are necessary for stabilisation of the hand and control of motion. Wrist sprains vary from moderate to severe, with the latter involving complete tearing of the ligaments and instability of the associated joint. The injury is common in athletes engaged in football, basketball, skiing, snowboarding, roller blading and a variety of other sports in which the hands are vulnerable.

 The eight carpal bones of the wrist are connected via complex ligaments – fibrous bands of connective tissue. Ligaments also connect the bones of the wrist with the radius and ulna and the metacarpal bones of the hand. The smooth coordination of these bones required for fine hand movement is impaired when one or more ligaments are injured.

Cause of injury

Engaging in sports where falls are common: in-line skating, snowboarding, cycling, soccer, football, baseball and volleyball. Lack of protective equipment, including wrist guards. Muscle weakness or atrophy.

Signs and symptoms

Pain with movement of the wrist. Burning or tingling feeling at the wrist. Bruising or discolouration of the skin.

Complications if left unattended

Moderate to severe wrist sprains left untreated can lead to ongoing deficit of movement and strength in the wrist as well as developing arthritis at the region of the injury.

Immediate treatment

RICER regimen immediately following injury. Immobilization of injured wrist to restrict movement.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Flexibility and range of motion exercises may be encouraged by a physical therapist, following initial recovery of the ligament. Should the ligament be torn completely, or if fracture accompanies the sprain, surgery may be required. Use of protective guards for wrists and concentration on balance during sport may help to avoid this injury.

Long-term prognosis

Most wrist sprains undergo full recovery given proper initial care and necessary healing time.

 

 

 

22

Feb

Lower back pain

Lower back pain

Sudden, irregular motion, repetitive stress or excessive load on the ligaments associated with the spine can cause a sprain or tearing of the ligaments. The resulting injury, which affects athletes in a broad variety of sports, produces pain and varying degrees of immobility.

Cause of injury

Lifting beyond normal capacity. Sudden torsion of the spine, including a fall during skiing or other sport. Unprepared movement involving the back.

Signs and symptoms

Pain and stiffness. Difficulty bending over and pain when straightening the back. Tenderness and inflammation.

Complications if left unattended

A sprain to the ligaments will generally force the athlete to rest the injury and allow healing time due to pain and stiffness precluding normal activity. Should activity be continued before adequate healing, further tearing of the ligaments and lasting ligament injury may result. A mild ligament sprain can become acutely painful and incapacitating if ignored.

Immediate treatment

RICER regimen immediately following injury. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Rehabilitation and prevention

In the case of mild to moderate ligament sprain, a few days rest should allow a return to most non-athletic daily activity. This should be undertaken to re-establish flexibility in the spine and avoid atrophy. Strengthening exercises for the back should not be undertaken until full recovery. Warm-ups and stretching prior to sports, good posture and attention to proper technique can help avoid this injury.

Long-term prognosis

Less than 5% of back injuries require surgery, and surgery is rarely warranted for ligament sprain, although 6-8 weeks of recovery are often required, sometimes longer, should the sprain be serious. Failure to allow complete healing will increase the risk of re-injury.

Do you have pain in your lower back?

 

Ever had a back massage? If you are one of the millions of back pain sufferers, you might want to consider sports & remedial massage to help relieve your pain. Here are benefits of massage.

 

BENEFITS OF SPORTS AND DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE

There are many applications and benefits to Sports and Deep Tissue massage. It can be used for:

  • stripping out tight muscles
  • loosening restricted joins
  • warming up and stimulating the body before a competition
  • improving recovery between training and competition
  • restoring energy when fatigued
  • treating strained muscles and strained ligaments
  • helping to keep minor injury from becoming a more serious problem
  • breaking up adhesions
  • releasing tight connective tissues
  • improving lymphatic circulation
  • increasing blood circulation
  • reducing swelling
  • toning muscles
  • muscle balancing
  • treating postural deviations
  • relieving pain
  • deactivating trigger points
  • treating orthopaedic and arthritic conditions
  • enhancing body awareness
  • reducing stress and anxiety
  • providing psychological boost
  • helping to keep the athlete in peak condition
  • improving performance generally
  • injury prevention
  • general relaxation
  • increasing well-being

 

 

 

29

Jan

Injuries

 Injuries

Injuries can be trivial or more serious, and they can be classified in a variety of ways. Injuries can be described as being intrinsic or extrinsic. They can also be classified according to the type of tissue that is injured. Soft, hard and special tissue injuries. They can be classified according to the type of insult inflicted upon the tissues, that is direct or indirect, such as with the direct impact of a hard tackle, or the indirect forces exerted during the overloading of a hamstring muscle in an explosive sprint. Injuries can be from one traumatic incident or as a result of overuse (repetitive stress). Injuries are usually described in relation to their stage of healing, i.e. acute, sub-acute or chronic. More simply, injuries are described as being mild, moderate or severe. Furthermore, injuries are described as being regional (i.e. pertaining to a particular body region, for example, rotator cuff tendinitis is a shoulder injury), sport-related (i.e. injuries common to a particular sport, such as knee cartilage injuries in football) and age-related (for example, Osgood-Schlatter’sndises, which is an injury problem affecting the insertion site of the patellar tendon at the tibia tuberosity in growing children, particularly boys, who play a lot of football).

Some sports and activity-related problems are perhaps not best categorised as being injuries, such as overstraining syndrome, but they are still problems none the less. These also include such conditions as cramp or stitch. 

Direct injury

These are extrinsic injuries, usually involving a forceful impact with an opponent or implement (such as a hockey stick or ball). Often produces a contusion, but haematoma, nerve damage, dislocation, sprain, strain, fracture or open wound are all possible.

Indirect injury

These are intrinsic injuries, resulting from excessive forces generated within. Commonly, it is the major muscles that span two joints, such as the hamstrings, quadriceps and gastrocnemius, that are strained during explosive activity. Ligament sprains and meniscus tears can also result from unaccustomed, ill-prepared or excessive movements.

Acute injury

This classification of injury is defined by the early onset and short duration of the particular signs and symptoms following the trauma. The injury could involve any one or more of the body’s tissues. Typically, the athlete is aware of how the injury occurred, and with acute sporting injury the common signs and symptoms can include immediate pain, tenderness, swelling, contour deformity or bleeding. An injury is normally described as being acute until the initial signs of inflammation have reduced, and the healing process has begun, which is normally after 48 to 72 hours.

Sub-acute injury

Sometimes referred to as post-acute injury, this classification is more related to the time-scale of repair, and typically, a sub-acute injury is the state of injury two to three days or a week after initial trauma. Obviously, the severity of the injury and the acute treatment provided affect the rate of healing and the quality of repair, but the sub-acute injury is where the inflammation has begun to reduce, and where there are gradual improvements in symptoms and function. The rehabilitation process begins here.

Chronic injury

These injuries usually have a gradual onset, resulting most commonly from repetitive minor insults, the cumulative effects often being the cause of a long-standing problem. Chronic problems often develop when motor injuries are poorly managed. Unfortunately, with more severe injuries, whether from one traumatic incident or from overuse, the athlete is often left with a chronic problem. Chronic problems usually demand management adaptations to normal daily activities.

 

 

12

Jan

Elbow fracture

An elbow fracture is a break involving any of the three arm bones that work together to form the elbow joint. Such fractures may occur as the result of a blunt force striking the elbow during athletics or from a fall onto the elbow. The injury is common to many sports, particularly contact sports such as football. Fractures may be classified as distal humeral fractures, radial fractures and ulnar fractures. Fractures of the radial head are the most common.

Cause of injury

Falling directly onto the elbow. Direct trauma to the elbow. Severe torsion of the elbow beyond its normal range of motion.

Signs and symptoms

Swelling and pain in the region of the elbow. Deformity of the elbow due to bone fracture. Loss of arm mobility.

Complications if left unattended 

Without treatment, fractured bones of the elbow can fail to heal properly, and at times fuse in misalignment. This can lead to long term deficit in range of motion and strength, increased vulnerability to re-injury and deformity of the joint.

Immediate treatment 

Apply ice immediately to the swollen area. Immobilize the arm in a splint or sling before seeking emergency help.

Rehabilitation and prevention 

Elbow fractures occur from sudden, accidental trauma and are often difficult to prevent. Avoiding athletics at periods of extreme fatigue and protection of the elbow with padding during athletics are both prudent.

Additionally, consuming calcium and performing bone strengthening exercises  may help avoid fractures.

Long-term prognosis

Long-term prospects for elbow fractures vary depending on the nature and severity of the fracture as well as the age and medical history of the injured athlete. Infections, stiffening of the elbow joint, arthritis, non-union or malfunction of bone are possible. In the case of less severe elbow fractures, full recovery may be expected, though the healing process often requires several months.

27

Dec

Fractured ankle

Fractured ankle

Due to the ankle’s involvement in all running and jumping activities it is very susceptible to injury. The majority of athletes have experienced at least a minor sprain  of the  ankle. Ankle fractures are less common  but are nonetheless more common than other fractures. Running or jumping on uneven or changing surfaces can lead to ankle fractures. High-impact sports such as football and rugby, where the possibility of forceful twisting of the ankle may occur, also have a high incidence of ankle fractures.

In an ankle fracture, any or all of the bones and ligaments may become involved. Ankle fractures  most commonly involve the ends of the tibia or fibula, or both, with some ligament stretching and tearing present was well.

Cause of injury

Forceful twisting or rolling of the ankle can cause the ends of the bones to fracture. Forceful impact to the medial or lateral side of the ankle while the foot is planted.

Signs and symptoms

Painful to touch. Swelling and discolouration. Inability to weight bear. Deformity may be present in the joint.

Complications if left unattended

An  ankle fracture that is left unattended can result in incorrect or incomplete healing of the bones. Continued walking or running on the injured ankle could result in further damage to the ligaments, blood vessels and nerves that pass through the joint.

Immediate treatment

Stop the activity. Immobilize the joint and apply ice. Seek medical attention.

Rehabilitation and prevention

While the ankle is immobilised it is important to keep conditioning levels up by using upper body exercises and weight training. When cleared for activity with the ankle, strengthening and stretching of the muscles of the lower leg is essential for a speedy recovery. An ankle brace may be needed for support during the initial return to activity. Stronger calf and anterior compartment muscles help support the ankle and prevent or lessen the incidence of injuries. Avoid running and jumping on uneven surfaces as much as possible.

Long-term prognosis

Although people who have fractured their ankle tend to have a slightly higher rate of re-injury, proper strengthening and rehabilitation usually lead to a full recovery. Compound fractures or fractures resulting in bony misalignment may require surgical pinning to hold the bone in place while it heals.

 

11

Dec

Meniscus

Meniscus tear

Tearing of the menisci can occur with forceful twisting of the knee or may accompany other injuries such as ligament strains. An ‘unhappy triad’ is when a blow to the lateral side of the knee causes tearing of the medial collateral ligament, the anterior cruciate ligament and the menisci. This is often seen in sports that require a planting of the foot to quickly change direction. The medial meniscus is injured much more frequently than the lateral meniscus, mainly due to it being more securely attached to the tibia and, therefore, less mobile.

Cause of injury

Forceful twisting of the knee joint, most commonly seen when the knee is also bent. May accompany ligament strains well.

Signs and symptoms

Pain in the knee joint. Swelling. Catching or locking in the joint.

Complications if left unattended

A menisci tear can cause premature wear on the cartilage at the ends of the bones and under the patella. This can lead to arthritic conditions and a fluid build-up in the knee joint. Loose pieces of cartilage and jagged edges of a damaged meniscus and can cause catching and locking.

Immediate treatment

RICER. Anti-inflammatory medication.

Rehabilitation and prevention

When recovering from a menisci tear it is important to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee to prevent the injury from happening again. Strong quadriceps and hamstring again. Strong quadriceps and hamstrings help support the knee and prevent the twisting that might cause a tear. The muscles should be stretched regularly  as well since tight muscles can also cause problems in the knee. After surgical repair of a meniscus tear weight bearing should be encouraged as tolerable, but as with any restart of activity should be done gradually.

Long-term prognosis

A tear to a meniscus usually requires arthroscopic surgery to repair. The surgery requires removal of the torn edges of the meniscus but leaves the main body of the meniscus intact. Therefore, most meniscus tears heal fully with no long-term limitations.