Every time you pull on your running shoes, go for a bike ride or lace up your football boots there’s a chance you could end up with a sporting injury.
There’s nothing more frustrating than having to sit on the side-lines as all your previous hours of training waste away. Research has found that in the UK there are over 13.4 million sporting injuries each year, affecting one third of the country’s population. The study also found that most people will have to call in an average of five sick days a year because of an injury, showing that hurting yourself during sport affects your employer as well as the country’s economy.
But what can you do if you do pick up a sporting injury? Read on to find out the most common ailments and the benefits rehab can have to your injury and future fitness.
For a nation of football lovers it is hardly surprising that the beautiful game accounts for 32 per cent of all injuries sustained in Britain. Rugby is the sport with the next highest occurrence of injuries, equating to 13 per cent of the country’s total.
Sprains and muscle strains are the most common injuries picked up by men or woman whilst playing sport, affecting 80 per cent of athletes. Over-extension, contact injuries such as concussion and ‘runner’s knee’ are among the other top reasons why people can’t take part in sport.
Getting over a sporting injury
If you experience a sporting injury you should book an appointment with a doctor or sports professional to have your problem assessed as soon as possible. It has been calculated that around 26 per cent of people do not have their injuries treated, which leads to slower recovery times and further problems in the future.
When injured you should embark on a course of rehabilitation to help repair your problem and ready yourself for a return to action. Experts will help identify the needs of your injury and devise a recovery plan for you to follow.
Many companies now offer health cash plan policies, entitling their customers to claim back the cost of sporting injury treatment. From diagnostic scans to physiotherapy, these services can vastly improve the healing process and slash your time on the side-lines.
Depending on your injury, the first step in your rehabilitation process will often be to take anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and ease any pain. Serious injuries must also first be rested or immobilised to allow a basic level of recovery to occur. Whilst not all sports injuries require surgery, tendon or ligament damage and broken bones usually result in at least minor procedures.
Once the main cause of injury is identified and treated, you can begin exercise rehabilitation. This is a gradual process of building up the amount of work your injured area undertakes, beginning with stretching and progressing to low-level weight training to help the healing process. Scar tissue will form and then shrink over your injured area, with daily stretching and movement helping to alleviate stiffness and weakness this creates in the muscle.
Helping to prevent injuries
According to research by an American health organisation, more than half of all sports injuries in children and adults are preventable.
Preparation is vital to avoiding injuries, with a vigorous warm-up essential before undertaking any physical activity. More specifically, the chance of developing an ankle sprain can be lowered by building up the muscles around the joint, while good running shoes can help you counter shin splints. Not overexerting yourself is also important when trying to prevent injuries, with shoulder problems and groin strains often the result of you setting too fast a pace.
Have you ever had a sporting injury? What did you do during your rehab process?