Sports injuries can be categorized into two different areas – traumatic injuries and overuse injuries.
An example of a traumatic sports injury might be a sprained ankle, whereas an overuse injury may be ITB friction syndrome.
1. ACL Tears or Ruptures
This is one of the worst degrees of traumatic sports injuries we see, as it often means the sportsperson is destined for a reconstruction plus 12 months of rehab. There is a lot of debate in the sporting arena at the moment about hamstring vs LARS grafts but it appears that most surgeons are still opting for the traditional hamstring approach.
2. Sprained Ankles
These are super common but are also often treated poorly in the sporting world. Most netballers would probably have rolled an ankle or two in their lives, and most of us usually tape their ankles for games. However what most people don’t know is that there’s two phases of physio for ankle sprains. Phase one involves diagnosing exactly which ligaments and to what degree they’ve been injured. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for people to miss other pathologies such as ankle fractures and cartilage damage. The second phase is the rehab phase. This is incredibly important as ankle sprains become much more chronic with each additional injury.
3. Runners Knee / ITBFS and Patellofemoral Joint Pain
We commonly see this as an overuse injury in runners but can also be seen in footballers, rowers, and netballers. This usually occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles around the hip, or a problem with the biomechanics of the foot. To treat these, we firstly manage the pain with appropriate physio and occasionally medication and then put you on a sports-rehab program to get you back to the specific requirements of your sport. Read more about ITBFS.
4. Lower Back Stress Fractures
These are also an overuse injury commonly seen in fast bowlers in cricket or those doing repeated extension movements as part of their sports. The sportsperson usually comes to physio with general back pain and so it is crucial the physio has knowledge of biomechanics and the stresses and strains involved with your particular sport in order to pick these up. Usually, a CT or MRI is the best option for scans and we manage these in conjunction with a sports doctor for the best guide on medication and return to sport.
Traditionally we call these tendinitis but now that we know more about the cellular structure of what happens the medical term has now been labeled as tendinosis. It can happen in many areas – the Achilles in runners, the knee or patella in jumpers and even the wrist in golfers, tennis players and gymnasts. Tendinosis is often a chronic injury to treat and so sports physio will not only involve the usual massage therapy, we may also use dry needling, stretching, splinting and even referral for an ultrasound to outline the exact changes in the tendon itself.
Good luck on the sporting field this weekend and if you are unlucky to have suffered any injuries or have any niggles you would like some advice on, feel free to contact us. We’ve got plenty of sports experience!!