For this round (Research Round 3 Cycle 5) I will be focusing on physiotherapy. I will look into 3 common injuries, what they are, how to identify them, how to treat them with exercises and other methods, and how to avoid these injuries. My inquiry is, "How are different sports beneficial/detrimental to certain body types?"
-What is it? There are ligaments (tough bands of tissue) that connect your leg bones to your feet, and when you sprain your ankle, you tear these ligaments. When your foot suddenly rolls or twists, the joint is forced out of the position it is normally in which causes the tissue around it to stretch and tear.. (1)
-How to identify it? There are three grades of an ankle sprain, but in every single one the ligaments around the ankle that were torn may be swollen and/or bruised. This means there is damage to the blood vessels, tendons, and/or cartilage around the are, so there will most likely be pain and discolouration of the skin. (1) (2)
-How to treat it? When you sprain your ankle, you want to immediately go for the RICE approach- this means: Rest (try not to walk using your ankle, put minimum weight on it, relax, try using crutches if you need to walk around), Ice (20 minutes at a time, with a cloth around it, to minimize swelling while avoiding frostbite), Compression (to immobilize as well as support the injury, while keeping swelling in control), and Elevation (reclining and propping up the foot above the waist also to minimize swelling). (3) There are also some exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles and return to full mobility: tracing the alphabet with your toe 3 times, keeping your foot flat while sitting in a chair and moving your knee side to side, and standing on your injured foot with hands across your chest and eyes closed trying to balance. (4)
-How to avoid it? To prevent these sprains, there are many things you can do. You should always stretch before and after any exercise, and you can focus on special ankle exercises if you'd like. There are also ankle strengthening exercises available that can build the muscles in your foot so you can avoid the injury. (5) You may tape your ankle to decrease the frequency and severity of rolling your ankle as well. (6)
-What is it? The ACL is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in your knee. Like the ankle sprain, this injury occurs when the ligament is stretched and torn. It occurs most in people who play high-risk sports such as soccer and basketball. (7)
-How to identify it? When someone's ACL is torn, the knee will feel unstable and swollen and they will experience a lot of pain. It will hurt to walk and there will no longer be the normal, full range of motion, as well as tenderness along the joint line. You can also use X-Rays and MRI's to check for injuries consistent with the ACL tear, such as in the meniscus cartilage, or articular cartilage, and for possible fractures in the knee. (7)
-How to treat it? There are two ways to treat this injury: surgically and non-surgically. With the surgical treatment, it is not always the first option as there can always be complications, such as infection, blood clots, growth plate injury, viral transmission, bleeding, numbness, etc and there is always a risk with the anesthesia. In the surgery, the ACL is not sewn together; rather, it is replaced by a tendon graft. The non-surgical option requires physical therapy and rehabilitation (as well as the surgical option, for after the surgery) which can potentially restore the knee. However, it will still be susceptible to injuries again. (7) (8) Some exercises include: the seated staff isometric quad engagement, child's pose, high lunge, tree pose, and reclined leg raises. Remember, you still need to be very careful with these exercises to minimize the risk of further injuries! (9)
-How to avoid it? To avoid this energy, there are a couple of things you can do. Like with the ankle sprain, you must always stretch and warm up before and after doing any kind of exercise. This in itself will minimize the risk of any injury. You must also learn to strengthen your muscles, both in the legs and knees (squats, lunges) and in your core to improve stability. Balance exercises should also be done, because many injuries occur when athletes are off-balance. Finally, rest. When you exercise, essentially you tear the fibres in your muscles, you want to rest so that these fibres can reconstruct themselves. (10)
-What is it? This occurs in the lateral epicondyle, that bony bump on your elbow. The injury extends to the muscles of the wrist and the finger, which are attached to that bony bump. It occurs when too much force is applied to the bone, more than the tissues can handle, so the damaged muscle tissue anchors to the arm bone at the elbow. (11)
-How to identify it? If you have this injury, then extending your wrist or your fingers, stretching the muscles, or performing gripping tasks will be painful. There may also be some trigger points in the wrist or tenderness over the bony epicondyle, but you will still be able to move your elbow normally and without pain despite the injury. There may be some signs of nerve irritation, and possible stiffness/tenderness in the neck. (11)
-How to treat it? There are many treatment options for this injury, the main one being physiotherapy which can include electrotherapy, elbow kinesio taping, muscle stretches, neural mobilisations, massage and strengthening. There is also the option of acupuncture/dry needling to relieve pain. (11)
-How to avoid it? Essentially, you want to avoid using your wrist and elbow too much and focus on using the entire arm muscle and shoulder. Building the muscles in the forearm will help you prevent the injury too. And, like with the two previous injuries, always stretch AND warm up before and after any exercise you do. (12)
That's it for this week! Next week, I will be focusing on dietary aspects of this research. I will look into the diets and nutrition of professional athletes vs those that aren't professional, and compare what effects this may have in their training. Thank you all so much for reading and commenting on my last post. I took many suggestions from last week for my post today and I just want to thank everyone for their input!