Athletic Injuries, Prevention & Management

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
Acute shoulder injuries commonly occur in contact sports. A direct blow to the front or side of the shoulder, or a hard fall on an outstretched hand may cause the clavicle (collarbone) to fracture. This is one of the most common fractures in sports. Most of these fractures in the middle of the bone, where there is less ligament support. Signs and Symptoms Pain in the front of the shoulder along the clavicle, usually focused in the middle of the bone. All arm and shoulder movements are painful. A "step" deformity can be evident. Swelling usually comes later (within 4-6 hours). The...Read more
Often incorrectly described as "shin splints", tibial stress syndrome is an overuse injury usually caused by running. The condition is characterized by pain and tenderness in the lower leg, usually along the front edge of the shin. There are many different opinions as to the specific cause of tibial stress, including: changing training techniques overuse problematic footwear the shape and structure of the leg training surface (or change in training surface). Signs and Symptoms Pain and tenderness developing along the front edge of the shin where the muscles are attached. Pain can...Read more
The rotator cuff muscles, used for example in throwing motions, are commonly injured as a result of chronic overuse. This usually occurs when the athlete is weak and throws forcefully or incorrectly. A stretch or tear of the muscle or a swelling and impingement of the tendon is the result. Rotator cuff injuries are common in swimming and throwing sports because of the frequency of overhead arm movements. Anatomical Details There are four muscles that make up the "rotator cuff" - supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. These muscles stabilize the shoulder and...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