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The Most Common Sports Injuries

Jan 25, 2008
From tennis and soccer to football and running, organized and individual sports activities are key to any healthy lifestyle. But they can also result in common sports injuries that require attention, either at home or at the doctor, to heal properly.
Abrasions are perhaps some of the most common sports injuries and can result from a fall on a hard surface.

As an athlete slides or falls on the ground, the friction from the fall causes layers of skin to rub off. For cyclists, these abrasions are often referred to as "road rash" and are caused by a bike crash. While some abrasions can be severe and painful, most abrasions are scrapes that do not extend into the deeper layer of the skin (dermis) or cause a great amount of bleeding. However, these abrasions can cause a great deal of pain because of the exposed nerve endings.

The most standard treatment of abrasions include cleaning the area with mild soap and water or an antiseptic wash such as hydrogen peroxide, and then covering the affected area with antibiotic ointment and a dry dressing. Some medical findings suggest that the use of hydrogen peroxide can interfere with the healing process and cause harm to the skin tissue.

Severe abrasions should be seen and cleaned by a doctor. However, you can do some things to aide in the healing of the affected area. It's important to keep the injured area clean and remove and dirt or debris. Consider using sodium chloride or Shur-Clens in a syringe to cleanse the area. A clean gauze can be used to gently scrub the area. Products such as Second Skin or Bioclusive are ideal for covering a severe abrasion wound. Dressings should be changed every few days to prevent infection. Keeping the area moist helps to promote healing, improve tissue formation and protect from infection.

Any deep lacerations may require stitches to heal properly. Cuts that continue to bleed after 15 minutes of direct pressure or extend deep into the skin and have edges that fall apart may also require stitches. If you are unsure if you need stitches, you should see a physician immediately.

The largest and most vulnerable tendon in the body, the Achilles tendon joins the calf and soleus muscles of the lower leg to the heel of the foot. While tendons are strong, they are not very flexible and therefore are more likely to become inflamed or tear and rupture. An Achilles tendon rupture can happen suddenly and may be linked to weak calf muscles. Muscles that are weak and fatigued can be tighten and shorten, which increases the stress on the Achilles tendon, resulting in a rupture. A classic sign of Achilles tendon rupture is the feeling of being hit in that area and often a "pop" sound is heard. While there may be little pain, the person will be unable to lift up onto his toes.
Ruptured Achilles tendons may require surgery and a couple of months in a cast. Partial tears can sometimes be treated with surgery followed by wearing a cast. During the healing process, the tendon will shorten so a heel lift is often required for six months or more after the cast comes off. Physical therapy will help to regain flexibility and strength as soon as the cast comes off.

An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury occurs when an athlete changes direction rapidly, twisting without moving his or her feet, slows down abruptly, or misses a landing from a jump. The ACL and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) cross each other around the knee, providing stability. Typically, injuries to the ACL are a sprain. The ligament is torn or stretched when an athlete makes a sudden twisting motion while the feet remain planted. These sorts of injuries are often seen in football or soccer. While the cause is not completely understood, women are more likely to suffer an ACL tear than men.

ACL tears that are incomplete are treated conservatively to allow the body to heal the injury on its own. Ice, rest, compression, and elevation are effective immediate treatments. Physical therapy is used to build muscle strength. For complete tears of the ACL, surgery is usually required.
About the Author
Acheaway is now available for home use to soothe the aches and pains associated with arthritis, psoriasis, tired joints and sore muscles from an active lifestyle. Thousands have benefited from the pain relieving power of these safe, natural, non-prescription treatments.
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