City Way Osteopaths look at how understanding your body can help protect your body from potential injuries
Know your body
Understanding your body can sometimes help you to put the right protection in place to help protect your body from potential injuries.
The connective tissues which join the ends of bones in a joint are called ligaments. Muscles attach to bones with tendons. A sprain is when a ligament partially or completely tears in or around a joint. Sprains are described as first, second, or third degree. Commonly affected areas for sprains are ankles, knees, and wrists and cause by a twist, fall or overstretching of the involved tissue. The signs of sprain include bruising, inflammation, swelling, pain, tenderness, instability, and immobility.
When there is excessive stretching of a muscle or tendon resulting in pain, soreness and inability to use normally it’s called a strain. Strains are described as first, second, or third degree. Signs of strain are pain, muscle contraction or tremor, and loss of strength. Causes of strain are excessive use, pull or stretch of tissue affected; strain may happen suddenly or over time from chronic use or overuse.
A break in the bone is called a fracture. There are two types of fractures — acute and stress fractures. Acute fractures are caused by a one-time blow to the bone. Acute fractures can be simple or compound. A simple acute fracture is one with just one crack/break and very little damage to the surrounding tissues. A compound fracture is where there are multiple cracks and the broken bone sticks out through the skin. Compound fractures can be very dangerous because the risk of infection increases. Stress fractures occur mostly on legs and feet from repetitive stress on those areas from sports like sprints, hurdles, gymnastics etc., which requires constant running and jumping.
A dislocation is when the bones in a joint completely separate and caused by pressure severe enough to push or force a bone from a joint. Sports which involve lot of pushing, stretching, or falling, like football or basketball, can cause dislocations. The shoulder joint is the most prone to dislocation.
Knee injuries vary from mild to severe and can affect the knee bones, ligaments, tendons or cartilage. Mild knee injuries include runner’s knee, which causes pain on the sides and below the knee; iliotibial band syndrome, which causes pain on the outer part of the knee; and tendinosis, which causes the tendons to wear out. More severe injuries involve damage to the cartilage, ligaments, or the bones. Knee injuries can be caused by jumping, running, and constant stress on the knee from twisting and turning, which are all a part of sports activities. Click here to learn more about knee anatomy and function or ACL ligament injuries.
Shin splints affect the shin or tibia, the front portion of the lower leg. However, shin splints is generally used to denote any type of leg pain. This injury is caused by overuse or improper use of the lower leg like incorrect exercise techniques, over training, overstretching, and running or jumping on hard surfaces. It occurs with new runners where the person may not aware of the correct warm up or running techniques or is not wearing shoes with proper padding for support.
Achilles tendon injuries
The tendon that attaches the calf muscles to the heel is the Achilles tendon. Any injury resulting in stretching or tearing of this tendon is an Achilles tendon injury. It mostly occurs with trauma when the tendon becomes weak due to aging or overuse. It occurs in football, basketball, or tennis if the player has not warmed up enough before the game or if the tendon has become weak from overuse.
The muscles of the body along with the adjacent nerves and blood vessels are covered within a membrane called fascia. The fascia forms a “compartment.” With certain injuries, the muscle swells and causes pressure on the adjacent nerves and blood vessels within the compartment. This causes pain and the symptom is called compartment syndrome as it involves the compartment. It can occur in any kind of sport and caused either by a one-time injury, repeated overuse or repeated injuries to the same area.
For any information about these injuries or how to help prevent them please contact us directly.