Athletic Injuries, Prevention & Management

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
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
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
A broken nose is an actual break in the cartilage or bone of the nose caused by a direct blow. It is one of the most common fractures of the face, usually caused by the separation of the frontal portion of the facial bones or as the separation of the cartilage within the nose itself. Sometimes the injury can involve both. Signs and Symptoms Excessive bleeding Extreme pain Deformity Inability to breathe through nose On-Site Management ABC's. Make sure the blood is not impeding the athlete's airway, and that the athlete is breathing properly. Check for a pulse and monitor the heart rate...Read more

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