Athletic Injuries, Prevention & Management

The plantar fascia is a tough thick band. Its' fibrous structures help hold up the arch - from the heel to the ball of the foot. A rich, unrestricted blood supply and high degree of flexibility are essential for proper functioning. A minor tear or pull in the fascia can painfully hamper daily activities. It can mimic the pain of a stone bruise in the heel. "If heel pain is felt during the first few steps after sleep, I immediately think of a problem with the plantar fascia", says Dr William Hamilton, Orthopedic Surgeon for the NY City Ballet. Some Common Causes Over-training...Read more
Direct trauma to the male genitalia can result in an extremely painful and potentially serious injury. In most cases, the injury is similar to other soft tissue injuries with associated pain and swelling. However, severe trauma may lead to a twisting of the testes or testicular rupture, both of which require immediate medical attention. Signs and Symptoms Excruciating pain, which fortunately lasts only a few minutes. Athlete may experience nausea from the pain. On-Site Management Place Athlete in Position of Comfort. In many cases, the athlete will lie on his back and bring his knees to his...Read more
Injuries to the eye are not uncommon, but they are usually not severe since the globe (eyeball) itself is protected by surrounding bones (orbit) and the eye lids. When assessing the severity of any injury, all three aspects of the eye - the globe, orbit and eye lids - should be inspected. Contusions around the eye usually result from a direct blow which causes bleeding under the skin. If there is any suspicion of a fracture, and/or the athlete experiences blurred vision, double vision, or tunnel vision that does not clear within five minutes, the athlete should be immediately referred to a...Read more
Blisters are localized accumulations of fluid between layers of skin. They are usually caused by friction or direct pressure on the skin due to poorly fitting shoes, improper taping, and/or overuse. A "hot-spot" (warm reddened area) is the precursor to a blister. Continued friction and irritation leads to the formation of a serum-filled (clear fluid)or blood blister. Signs and Symptoms • Localized swelling, fluid underneath skin • Redness • Pain On-Site Management: Remove the irritant that is causing the blister and cover the blister with a blister pad or petroleum...Read more
Exercise associated muscle cramping is muscle cramping that occurs in working muscles either during or up to six hours after exercise. Although the verdict is still out of what exactly causes a muscle to suddenly cramp it is widely though that muscle cramps are usually caused by fatigue of the muscle, water loss, and electrolyte imbalances, exercising in extreme temperatures, or by inadequate stretching, conditioning, and/or warm-up. Cramps generally occur without warning and are involuntary spasming of the skeletal muscles that canRead more
Plantar fasciitis is an overuse condition that is caused from stretching or inflammation of the tissue that run along the sole of the foot. The plantar fascia is a collection of connective tissue originating at the bottom of the heel and progressing toward the ball of the foot. It helps maintain the arch and acts as an impact absorber. Usually a chronic condition, factors contributing to plantar fasciitis include pronated (or flat) feet, wearing shoes with inadequate arch support, and weak or inflexible muscles in the lower leg and foot. Signs and Symptoms: Pain along the arch or near the...Read more
A burner or stinger is a stinging or shocking sensation felt in the back of the neck or shoulder. It is caused when a nerve in the neck or shoulder is pinched by either the bones, muscles, or other neck tissues. This most often occurs when the head is turned quickly to one side and the opposite shoulder is forced downwards. Although the actual injury occurs in the neck, the symptoms can appear in the shoulder and down the arm depending on which nerves are pinched. The injury is common in football, although players in such sports as soccer, rugby and basketball are also at risk. The injury can...Read more
Tennis elbow is a chronic strain and/or inflammation where the extensor muscles of the wrist attach on the outside of the elbow joint. The condition is usually caused by overuse of weak, or inflexible wrist muscles, repetitive stress, improper technique, and/or poor warm-up. The condition most often occurs in beginner players who have poor technique. However, more advanced players who hit a topspin backhand stroke are also susceptible. Also known as "lateral epicondylitis," tennis elbow affects the lateral side of the elbow while “pitcher’s elbow" or "golfers...Read more
A laceration is a disruption of the deeper layers of skin, which has the risk of becoming infected. Lacerations may not heal well if the edges of the wound are not brought together properly, which could lead to permanent scar formation. Lacerations to the facial area usually result in extensive bleeding, as there are lots of capillaries in the thin, soft skin of the head. The amount of blood associated with a facial injury, however, is not always indicative of the severity of the injury. If sutures are required, they need not be put in immediately, but the delay should not exceed three or...Read more
Foreign bodies entering the eye are not uncommon, particularly in field sports. Dirt, grass, and field marking materials (chalk, lime) can irritate the eye and care must be taken to wash the eye thoroughly. Signs and Symptoms Eye pain. Sensation of having something in the eye. Tearing and frequent blinking (caused by the body's natural defense mechanisms attempting to clear the foreign particle). On-Site Management Protect the Eye. Avoid rubbing the eye and have the athlete close their eye until the pain and burning subside. Protect the eye from bright light. Gently Remove Object. If the...Read more

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