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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.