Athletic Injuries, Prevention & Management

The iliotibial band (ITB) is a thick band of tissue that extends down the lateral side of the leg from the thigh down over the knee and attaches to the tibia. When the knee flexes and extends, the ITB slides over the bony parts of the outside of the knee. Friction occurs during running when the tendon moves back and forth across the distal femur (along the outside) and results in localized symptoms of tendinitis.This friction can be magnified by: increased training (especially running hills or too much too soon), poor shock absorption from shoes or rigid feet, and bio-mechanical malalignment...Read more
Cleanse the wound. Thoroughly clean the wound with a soapy solution to remove dirt and debris. A gentle brushing may be required to remove all foreign materials. Ice. An application of ice should ease the pain and reduce local inflammation. Protection. The wound should be protected from further irritation, caused by clothing or equipment, by using a sterile non-adherent dressing such as a Telfa Pad Larger abrasions, such as road rash, tend to seep fluids and should be covered with a bland water- soluble ointment. Antibiotic ointments are usually not required and greasy ointments should be...Read more
Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis) is a fungal infection, which most often affects the feet, but can also occur on the head, body, skin and nails. The condition is recognized by dry scaling and cracks in the skin surface between the toes. If left untreated, the fungus progresses to large patches of flaky skin. Signs and Symptoms Pain manifests itself as more of an irritation. Itching is the most indicative sign. Initially appears as a rash, and may contain small pimples or blisters which discharge a yellowish fluid. With scratching, the skin can become inflamed and red, and there can be wide...Read more
A "stitch" is a common abdominal pain usually associated with running sports. It is brought about by various physiological factors. Among the more common causes are muscle spasm of the diaphragm or eating too much and too soon prior to exercise. The muscle spasms of the diaphragm usually arise because not enough oxygen is getting to the muscle. This can be due to poor conditioning, improper breathing techniques, and/or ischemia of the diaphragm. Other factors include; constipation, intestinal gas, distended spleen, or weak abdominal muscles. Signs and Symptoms Sharp pain on either...Read more
In the muscle-tendon unit, the area where the muscle joins the tendon is often the weakest link in the chain. Consequently, this is often the location where acute ruptures (or complete tearing) of the tendon occur. The tendon, however, can also completely tear away from its bony attachment. In sport, ruptures of the Achilles tendon and biceps tendon are the most common tendon ruptures. Tendon ruptures often occur when quick, explosive actions are involved or after prolonged tendinitis where there were micro tears of the tendon. Signs and Symptoms Loss of muscle function. Localized pain...Read more
A pre-determined emergency action plan allows for the proper assessment and care of athletes who have suffered injury or sudden illness. In emergency situations, the luxury of time is not available. Injuries can be dealt with quickly and efficiently if you have a clearly defined emergency action plan. Whenever it is practical or appropriate, the emergency action plan should be prepared in conjunction with local paramedics, hospital emergency departments, sports physicians, school nurses, and other health care professionals associated with the team. As part of the plan, assign key roles to...Read more
As the winter weather approaches we might be thinking "What I can do during this down time to improve my sports performance?" My suggestion is "take time to improve your global flexibility or mobility." The words "flexibility" or "mobility" will both be used in this article and can be defined as the broad range of movement (ROM) in a joint or series of joints. It is of significant importance to all types of training. Developing an appreciation of the flexibility needs will help to prevent injuries and to improve performance. Unfortunately, this type of...Read more
Hyphema is a bleeding into the anterior chamber of the eye, as a result of blunt trauma, and is recognized by a pool of blood partially filling the iris (coloured part) of the eye. This is a very serious injury. Any direct trauma should be managed with extreme caution because of the chance of permanent damage to the eye, leading to blindness. Signs and Symptoms Immediate pain and a high degree of anxiety. Athlete usually covers the eye with his/her hand. Athlete may complain of seeing spots or stars and of decreased vision. Vision may be completely blocked if chamber is completely filled...Read more
Back pain is a common complaint of many individuals. It is an ailment that will afflict 8 out of 10 people at some point in their lives. Although an athlete may be in better overall physical condition than someone who is sedentary, they are very much at risk of sustaining a back injury due to the many repetitive and excessive stresses and strains that they subject their body to. Paddlers and rowers subject themselves to numerous factors that can lead to neck and back pain. The highly repetitive nature of paddle sports involve high torque, awkward asymmetric mechanics, and an unstable platform...Read more
With summer water sports and recreation, hypothermiais a constant risk. However, hypothermia prevention in open water swimming in the Lower Mainland has improved since the introduction of guidelines by the Vancouver Lifeguard Society, says Ron Straight, a paramedic and lifeguard, who teaches first aid courses for SportMedBC. And Dale Miller of the Canadian Lifesaving Society says that his organization is seeing fewer drownings every year. When drowning does occur, "the problem is that most people have no intention of going into the water so they don't prepare properly," he says...Read more

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