Sports injuries are injuries that occur during athletic activities, whether training or competing. Sports injuries are either caused by a direct impact, a body part taking more force than it can handle, or from overuse, known as Repetitive Movement Injuries. Some sports injuries are unavoidable, because accidents do happen, but many sports-related injuries are caused by improper training, improper form, inadequate safety gear, or the injured person exerting themselves past their ability level.
The most common sports injuries are bruises, strains, sprains, ligament tears and muscle tears. But with high-impact sports, like football and rugby, the common injuries in these sports are more serious, and include major fractures, ACL/MCL tears, broken sternums, concussions, and more. However, most sports injuries, whether traumatic or use-based, involve soft tissue damaged that requires attention before it becomes even more weakened by the injury.
Repetitive Use Injuries: Tennis Elbow, Carpal Tunnel, De Quervain’s & Sore Joints
Overuse injuries are still trauma-based. The difference is that overuse injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome are caused by thousands of micro-injuries over time, whereas injuries from acute trauma happen all at once. All of these traumatic injuries cause damage to the cells that make up the soft tissues, causing joint pain, discomfort, weakness, numbness, etc.
Common repetitive use injuries that slowly break down important ligaments over time include De Quervain’s Syndrome, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. These conditions require solutions to entrapped or inflamed tissues so the body doesn’t keep collecting more damage at the affected site.
Acute Trauma Injuries: Broken Bones, Torn Tendons, Cracked Ribs & Concussion Headaches
Injuries resulting from a traumatic event, like a fall or a collision, are events that instantly overload the structural capacity of the body part that becomes injured. These injuries involve more intense damage and are often more debilitating during the healing process than are repetitive use injuries.
Common acute sports injuries include muscle strains and sprains, cuts, broken noses, etc. One injury that can arguably be either or both is stress fractures. They can be caused by overuse, but they can also be caused by an event that overloaded the structure of the bone.
The Body’s Healing Process for Sports Injuries
As a response to the trauma, the body begins its healing program to mitigate the issue at hand:
- The body sends platelets to help clot blood vessels that are damaged/opened.
- An inflammation response is triggered by the release of chemicals like histamine. Clotted vessels dilate a bit to allow resources to get to the injury, and white blood cells enter to protect the area from infection.
- Platelets and cells that encourage collagen production rush to the site of the injury to begin to rebuild damaged tissue.
- The body slowly continues to work on healing the wound for weeks to months afterward.
It’s important to note that you’ll never 100% recover from an injury. This is why regenerative treatments for joint pain and sports injuries are key to optimizing this last “regrowth” phase of healing. Stem cell injections and PRP therapy can offer alternatives to things like shoulder surgery, supplementing the body’s own healing program to make it more efficient.
Because the inflammatory stage of healing is a big signaler to the body to begin a healing effort, interrupting your body’s healing process can have permanent effects on that injury’s ability to heal. Continuing to run on a torn diaphragm or tumble on a cracked lumbar hobbles the body’s healing efforts at the site each time the site experiences new trauma. That’s why correct treatment for pain and injury must take into account the body’s abilities and focus on aiding them.
Holistic Rehabilitation & Treatments
There are a few things that help lower your risks of suffering a sports injury:
- Static stretching
- An effective warm up
- Sport-specific active stretching
- Staying hydrated
- Keeping proper posture/form
Sports injuries need a physical component to help rehabilitate the area, because the injured structures have to effectively perform certain motions again. That’s one reason treatments like massage, physical therapy and TENS sessions are an important part of any rehab program for a sports injury.
Likewise, sports injuries need a biological component to help rehabilitate the injury, because the internal damage, if not treated properly, will be worse and longer-lasting than the pain. Our Cincinnati health and wellness center offers holistic and regenerative treatments for sports injuries and sore joints. Stem cell therapy and platelet-rich-plasma therapy offer a minimally-invasive way to supercharge the body’s healing response using cells sourced from the patient’s own body. Similarly, trigger point injections use an innocuous substance to release painful kinks in the fascia that result from injury.
Our practice’s focus is holistic healing and wellness. We want to get to the root of your chronic pain and treat that, instead of just using pharmaceuticals that only treat symptoms. Whether you are a high school, college, weekend, or professional athlete and need treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, regenerative treatments for torn hamstring and groin tendons, holistic back pain therapy or viable alternatives to shoulder surgery for TOS, our wellness center can help you get back to playing your favorite sport in a safe and healthy way.