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Common Sports Injuries That Benefit From Physiotherapy Treatment!

Participating in any sport is a fantastic way to stay active and healthy, but it also comes with the risk of injuries. Whether you are a professional or recreational athlete, knowing how to manage and recover from sports injuries is crucial. 

In the fiscal year 2021-2022, Manitoba recorded 1,089 hospital admissions due to sports injuries, highlighting the significant impact these can have on health systems and individuals alike. Physiotherapy treatment plays a vital role in rehabilitation from sports injuries, offering an alternative to medication and potentially avoiding hospital stays. 

It helps athletes recover more quickly, return to their sport, and minimize the risk of future injuries. In this blog, we will discuss the most common sports injuries and how physiotherapy can play a beneficial role in recovery and management. 

What Are the Most Common Sports Injuries?

Sports injuries generally result from overuse, direct impact, or the application of force exceeding what a body part can structurally tolerate. Here are the most common types of sports injuries that athletes and sportspersons may face:

Sprains and Strains

These common injuries among athletes or sportspersons result from overstretching or tearing ligaments (sprains), muscles, and tendons (strains). They affect areas such as the ankles, knees, wrists, and hamstrings. Generally, symptoms of these issues include pain, swelling, a reduced range of motion, and localized tenderness. 

Fractures and Dislocations

These sports injuries are medical conditions in which bones break or are displaced from their natural alignment. They are frequently seen in high-risk, high-impact sports such as football or extreme sports. The symptoms of these sports injuries include severe pain, visible deformity, and restricted mobility of the affected area. 

Lower Back Pain

This type of discomfort is often the result of back injuries, which occur due to incorrect technique, particularly during activities that involve lifting heavy objects or transitioning positions. For example, using improper form while performing squats, deadlifts, or even during routine training can place undue stress on the lower back. 

ACL Tear

The anterior cruciate ligament is essential for maintaining knee stability, particularly in athletes involved in dynamic sports such as soccer, basketball, and skiing, where quick movements are common. An ACL tear is a prevalent injury among these athletes, leading to potential instability and loss of function. 

Plantar Fasciitis

This is a painful condition caused by continuous stress on the plantar fascia, a thick tissue band along the foot’s bottom. It often arises from wearing inappropriate footwear that lacks proper support or from employing incorrect techniques during physical activities. This ongoing strain leads to discomfort and pain in the foot, particularly impacting daily movements and athletic performance.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, or epicondylitis, is an injury characterized by discomfort and pain due to repetitive motion. This condition primarily arises in the inflamed forearm tendons near the elbow. Although it is associated with tennis players due to the nature of their sport, tennis elbow can also occur in other sportspersons who engage in similar repetitive motions.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This injury often develops from specific wrist movements associated with sports or activities involving a relaxed grip, upward palm rotation, and rapid wrist turns to execute maneuvers like a topspin. This repetitive motion can place undue stress on the wrist, which can lead to inflammation and swelling over time.

Rotator Cuff Injury

A rotator cuff sports injury includes damage to the rotator cuff, a group of muscles & tendons that stabilize the shoulder. This injury is particularly prevalent in sports that demand extensive arm movements, such as swimming or baseball. The repetitive overhead action in these activities can strain the rotator cuff tissues, leading to pain and reduced shoulder mobility.

Patellofemoral Syndrome

This is a common ailment among runners and cyclists, characterized by knee pain stemming from the kneecap (patella) misalignment. The repetitive motion of running and cycling can lead to stress on the knee joint, mainly if the kneecap does not track properly in its groove on the thigh bone, causing irritation and discomfort.

Concussions

Sports injuries can lead to various traumatic brain injuries, which occur from blows to the head or abrupt movements that cause the brain to shift rapidly within the skull. This sudden disruption of brain function can result in immediate symptoms, including confusion, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Such injuries disrupt normal brain activities and can have both immediate and lasting effects on health.

Meniscal Tear

This particular sports injury involves damage to the cartilage cushioning the femur and tibia at the knee joint. This injury occurs in sports like basketball, soccer, and football. It can be a result of abrupt twisting, sharp directional changes, or sudden stops, often resulting in pain, swelling, and joint instability. This can cause a popping sensation and trouble you extending your leg.

The Benefits of Physiotherapy for Sports Injuries 

Physiotherapy is crucial in helping athletes or sportspersons recover from injuries and return to their activities safely and effectively. Here’s a closer look at the significant benefits of physiotherapy for sports injury management:

Faster Injury Recovery

Athletes often turn to physiotherapy for quicker healing from sports injuries. Physiotherapists use techniques such as massage, joint mobilization, stretching, and low-impact exercises to hasten the body’s natural recovery process. Starting treatment during the early stages of an injury can drastically shorten the recovery period. 

Physiotherapists tailor treatment plans that cater to an athlete’s specific needs and objectives, helping them return to activity safely and swiftly. Compared to resting alone, regular physiotherapy sessions can lead to a faster return to sports from sprained ankles, hamstring strains, or knee injuries.

Improved Mobility

Sports injuries can often restrict mobility, flexibility, and range of motion. Physiotherapists, who are experts in movement, work to enhance these functional areas. Techniques such as joint manipulation, muscle release, acupuncture, and therapeutic exercises improve mobility. 

Athletes are also provided with stretches and strength-training exercises to continue their improvement outside of clinical settings. Restoring mobility not only relieves pain but also helps athletes perform better in their specific sports by optimizing their motion capabilities.

Future Injury Prevention

Physiotherapy treatment is critical in preventing future sports injuries. By analyzing an athlete’s movement during physical activities, physiotherapists identify any weaknesses or imbalances that could lead to future injuries. 

They address these issues by providing exercises that strengthen weak muscles, loosen tight tissues, and enhance proprioception to foster correct movement patterns. Physiotherapists also design sport-specific conditioning programs and may use taping or bracing to protect vulnerable joints during activities, thereby minimizing the risk of injuries.

Pain Relief

Physiotherapy treatment offers various hands-on techniques that provide pain relief. These techniques include joint and soft tissue mobilization, massage, and other manual therapies, which reduce pain at the injury site. 

Additional therapeutic modalities like ice, heat, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation help relieve pain by altering nerve signals and improving circulation, which aids in recovery. Exercise therapy also strengthens muscles around the affected area, reduces strain, and enhances functional performance.

Correcting Muscle Imbalances

Muscle imbalances can negatively impact athletic performance and increase the risk of injuries. These imbalances may result from overuse, previous injuries, or poor mechanics, causing muscles to compensate and become overloaded. Physiotherapists thoroughly assess strength, flexibility, coordination, and muscle activation patterns. 

They also develop personalized exercise programs to address these imbalances and dysfunctional movements. Targeted exercises strengthen weaker muscles while stretches address tightness, and sport-specific drills retrain athletes in proper techniques, improving overall movement efficiency.

Conclusion

The role of physiotherapy in treating sports injuries can be invaluable. It facilitates faster recovery, enhances mobility, and prevents future injuries. This complete approach supports athletes in returning to their peak performance levels while prioritizing their overall health and well-being. For anyone engaged in sports, understanding the benefits of physiotherapy can significantly influence your recovery outcomes and long-term physical health. Our physiotherapists provide tailored sports rehabilitation with trusted techniques to return you to the field, court, or ice safely. Contact Us Today!