Athletic Injuries, Prevention & Management

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
Growth plates and epiphyses are areas located at the ends of long bones, in which new bone is produced. Pre-adolescent and adolescent bones are not yet mature and trauma can lead to disruption of bone growth patterns by causing the growth plate to close prematurely. The growth plate may be injured with greater frequency than injuries to ligaments and bones due to the fact that the growth plate at this stage is the weakest link in the musculoskeletal system. Forces through muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bone most commonly affect growth plates in the wrist, ankle, knee, and elbow joints...Read more
Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs lined with synovial membrane that are usually located in or close to joints. They function to reduce friction created by the movements of skin, tendons, and muscles over rough bony surfaces. Bursae may become inflamed as a result of excess frictional rubbing (overuse) or direct trauma or prolonged point pressure. Bursitis is an irritation or inflammation of a bursa sac. As a protective mechanism, bursae swell in order to limit movements that increase both friction and subsequentRead more
Caused by a fall on the outstretched hand, a scaphoid fracture often goes unreported and unrecognized for many months after it has occurred. Wrist injuries are common and usually consist of minor sprains, strains and contusions. A "sprained" wrist should never be taken lightly and should always be considered a fracture until proven otherwise. Anatomical Details The scaphoid bone is located on the thumb side of the wrist. It can be palpated by compressing between the radius and second row of carpal bones. It is important to remember that the wrist can move in any one of six different...Read more
Shoulder separations, also known as an acromio-clavicular (or A/C) separation, usually results from a direct blow to the shoulder, a fall on an outstretched hand, or a direct blow that pushes the shoulder forward. It is a sprain or rupture of the ligaments connecting the clavicle and the acromion process. There are three grades of shoulder separations: Grade 1 involves only a slight sprain of the acromioclavicular ligaments. Grade 2 involves some ruptured and torn ligaments. Grade 3 is a complete tearing of all ligaments (with obvious deformity). A severe sprain may cause nerve and artery...Read more
A Plantar's Wart (Verruca Plantaris) is a benign soft tissue lesion on the sole of the foot. They are caused by a viral infection that enters the foot through a break in the skin or pressure area and are common in adolescents. They are extremely contagious. Signs and Symptoms A plantar wart has a distinct edge with a central core. It usually does not project beyond the skin surface, but appears to grow inward. The wart may appear as a small, painful black dot in a centre surrounded by a clear callus area. It can sometimes resemble a black seed and is related to dry pinpoint bleeding. The...Read more
Joint stability depends not only upon ligaments and muscles, but also on the bony architecture of the joint. Dislocation (a complete disruption of the joint) and subluxation (a partial dislocation followed by relocation) can damage the ligaments, nerves, joint surfaces (cartilage), as well as the bones that make up the joint. The most common dislocations and subluxations in sport occur to the shoulder, elbow, fingers, and knee (kneecap). In the shoulder, falling on an outstretched arm (arm/shoulder slipped out) can cause either condition. Signs and Symptoms Pain is usually severe, even upon...Read more