Chronic Sports injuries develop over time due to continuous use of same joints or muscle groups. This requires a thorough assessment to establish the cause of injury and to establish a comprehensive rehabilitation programme.
Assessment and Rehabilitation
Acute Sports injuries occur as a result of sudden impact or awkward movement while participating in sports. Immediate symptoms include: swelling, pain and bleeding. Immediate treatment, during the first 48-72 hours, for an acute sports injury (without an open wound) should follow the PRICE regime.
Avoids further injury by protecting injured structures eg a bandage, sling or splint.
Allows the body’s own healing process to occur naturally. Too much movement of injured tissue can result in further damage. Using crutches for example rests the tissue and avoids further damage and limping.
Is used to limit the damage caused by reducing the temperature of the tissues, limits bleeding and reduces swelling. Crushed ice is best used as it conforms to the contours of the injured area. To avoid ‘skin burn’ an icepack must be wrapped in a damp towel. The ice pack should be applied to the damaged tissue until the skin starts to redden, this is approximately 10–20 minutes but keep checking the skin.
Apply a bandage or tubigrip to the injured area. This limits the amount of swelling.
Is important immediately after an injury to limit the amount of bleeding and swelling. The injured area needs to be elevated above the level of the heart as much as possible during the first 72 hours.
Following the PRICE principles is an effective way to minimise swelling and avoid further injury so the athlete can return to sport quickly.