Sports Injuries

If Mrs Jones spraines her ankle its a sprained ankle, if she is wearing running shoes its a sports injury. The physiology of an injury is the same regardless of the activity, the difference is the speed the athlete may want to return to activity and the intensity of the rehabilitation program.

In many cases, sports injuries are often due to overuse or acute trauma of a part of the body when participating in a certain activity. For example, runners knee is a painful condition generally associated with running, while tennis elbow is a form of repetitive stress injury at the elbow. Other types of injuries can be caused by a hard contact with something, which can often cause a broken bone or torn ligament or tendon

Sports injuries can be broadly classified as either traumatic or overuse injuries. Traumatic injuries account for most injuries in contact sports  because of the dynamic and high collision nature of these sports. These injuries range from bruises and muscle strains, to fractures.

A bruise  is damage to small blood vessels which causes bleeding within the tissues. A muscle strain is a small tear of muscle fibres and a ligament strain is a small tear of ligament tissue. The body’s response to these sports injuries is the same in the initial period immediately following the traumatic incident – inflammation.

The inflammatory stage is therefore the first phase of healing. However, too much of an inflammatory response in the early stage can mean that the healing process takes longer and a return to activity is delayed.




The first thing to do after an injury occurs is to get ice/cold on the damaged tissue to constrict blood vessels, reducing blood supply and inflammatory chemicals going to the injured tissue and making it worse.