Sports injuries are injuries that occur to athletes in major or non major sporting events. They can happen to professionals and amateurs alike in many cases, these types of injuries are due to overuse of a part of the body when participating in a certain activity.

For example, runner's knee is a painful condition generally associated with running, while tennis elbow is a form of repetitive stress injury at the elbow although it does no often occur with tennis players. Other types of injuries can be caused by a hard contact with something. This can often cause a broken bone or torn ligament or tendon as seen in many contact sports like American football, Soccer, Rugby and Ice hockey.

Injuries are a common occurrence in professional sports and most teams have a staff of Athletic Trainers and close connections to the medical community. Controversy has arisen at times when teams have made decisions that could threaten a player’s long-term health for short term gain. Sports injuries could be career threatening even life threatening in some cases. All athletes dread this type of occupancy and even though these injuries are serious they are very rare.

In the case of Kevin Everett formally of the Buffalo Bills, he had a severe neck injury in the first game of the 06-07 season. He was stretchered off the field. At the time of the injury it was very doubtful that he would survive, let alone walk again. After months of rehabilitation he was able to walk out onto the Bills field, even though he will never play again, he is able to walk thanks to the fast acting doctors and medical staff, who lowered his body temperature and repaired his spinal cord with break through surgical procedures.

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

A bruise or contusion is damage to small blood vessels which causes bleeding within the tissues. A muscle strain is a small tear of muscle fibers and a ligament sprain is a small tear of ligament tissue. The body’s response to these sports injuries is the same in the initial five day period immediately following the traumatic incident-inflammation. Inflammation is characterized by pain, localized swelling, heat, redness and a loss of function. All of these traumatic injuries cause damage to the cells that make up the soft tissues. The dead and damaged cells release chemicals, which initiate an inflammatory response. Small blood vessels are damaged and opened up, producing bleeding within the tissue. In the body’s normal reaction, a small blood clot is formed in order to stop this bleeding and from this clot special cells (called fibroblasts) begin the healing process by laying down scar tissue. 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 or not possible. The sports injury treatments are intended to minimize the inflammatory phase of an injury, so that the overall healing process is accelerated. In a most cases an athlete will return to action within the time frame their injury allows, however there may be some side effects of injuries that they have sustained, a concussion is a good example of this. Research has not confirmed yet that after suffering a concussion a person will recover fully, or may lead to further brain damage if further contact happens. Also chronic pain may occur after an injury heals.

Many sports injuries also occur as a result of returning from injury too soon. An athlete can in fact do irreversible damage to joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons by trying to “get back into the game“ these injuries may also cause an athlete a starting spot on the team, therefore rushing their return.

Pain is subjective in nature and is defined by the person experiencing it, and the medical community's understanding of chronic pain now includes the impact that the mind has in processing and interpreting pain signals. If people who sustain everyday injuries were to receive the prompt treatment that athletes were afforded, many chronic pain issues and conditions would be reversed. The healthcare community would be wise to focus early attention to injuries and insults to the body as they do in athletic sports.

Author's Bio: 

Brian Levy is the Owner of Safety First Training based out of Northern Virginia. Mr. Levy grew up in Great Brittan and is a permanent resident of the United States, where he is actively seeking American Citizenship. When not teaching others the important aspects of living life safely and saving lives, he is active physically active in sports such as basketball and enjoys attending professional sporting events. Brian hopes to shorten the distance between students and their instructors in an active, hands on learning environment as well as follow-up communication for questions in regard to public safety issues. He has spent thousands of hours lecturing students in lifeguarding, CPR, First Aid and AED techniques. Certifications include; Atlantis Certified Submersible Pilot (International certification), PADI Rescue diver, Ellis and Associates International lifeguard training instructor, American Red Cross lifeguard instructor/Lay/Professional rescuer instructor, Pet CPR/FA Instructor, ASHI CPR/FA/AED/ Professional rescuer instructor, NSC CPR/FA/AED/Professional rescuer instructor, EMS Safety Services CPR/FA/AED/ Professional rescuer Instructor/Instructor Trainer, ALA Pool operator license, and NLA Life guard certification. Mr. Levy also serves as an Executive Board member of The Power of Pain Foundation and safety educator for pain management seminars, a 501(C)(3) charity.