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Sports Injury Treatment


Sports Injury


Warm Up


Training and the Right Technique

Cool Down


Sports injury refers to the kinds of injuries that commonly occur during sport or exercise. Sport and exercise is very beneficial to health. They can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and obesity and help to beat depression.

However, exercise can also cause injuries, particularly if you do not prepare properly or use proper safety equipment. It is very important to warm up before exercise, and to cool down afterwards.

Some sports require supervision from a qualified professional or someone who is able to administer first aid.

Most people get sports injuries through accidents, but professional and competitive athletes often develop overuse injuries. An overuse injury is usually a sprain, strain or fracture to part of the body that has been used repetitively. An example of this is a javelin thrower, who may be vulnerable to arm and shoulder injuries.

Virtually any part of your body can be injured during sport or exercise.

Some common sports injuries and their symptoms are listed below.



A sprain is a stretch or tear to a ligament; the tissue that holds two or more bones together. Symptoms of a sprain include:

pain, swelling, bruising, and restriction of movement in the affected area.

Sprains are common injuries in many sports and can be treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medication if necessary.



A strain is a twist, pull or tear of a muscle or tendon (the tough, narrow tissue at the end of a muscle that connects it to the bone). It is caused by overstretching or over-contracting a muscle. Symptoms of a strain include:


muscle spasm, and

loss of strength in the muscle.

Strains are common injuries in many sports, particularly those that involve running, jumping or rapid changes of direction. Some more injuries presented to the
clinic are;


  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer's elbow
  • Runner's knee
  • Shin splints
  • Headache
  • Shoulder pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Elbow and Forearm Pain
  • Wrist and Hand Pain
  • Knee Pain
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Sports injuries are most commonly caused by not warming up properly, not using equipment correctly and not taking the proper safety precautions for your sport. Professional and competitive athletes are particularly at risk of injury due to the intense nature of their training and the overuse of specific muscles.

Children are also more at risk of injury because they are still developing physically. The female shape in particular changes significantly during puberty (between 10-16 years of age). As the hips widen, exercise can put pressure on different parts of the legs and feet, leading to injury.

The repetitive and aggressive movements used in many sports can result in different types of injuries to different parts of the body


If your injury is severe you should visit your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department. If the injury does not require immediate attention but causes severe pain, swelling or numbness, or if you cannot place any weight on the affected area you should visit your GP or local NHS walk-in centre.



Sprains and other damage to the muscles or ligaments can be treated at home with RICE therapy. This stands for:

Rest - two days (48 hours) of rest is recommended.

Ice - apply an ice pack to the area for between 10-30 minutes. The ice must not touch the skin directly as this may cause a cold burn, so place a towel over the injured part first.

Compression - compression bandages can be used to limit swelling and movement.

Elevation - raise the leg or arm to an elevated but comfortable height to reduce swelling.

After 48 hours, you should attempt to move the injured area, and stop compression. Heat and massage can be used to increase blood flow and you may require treatment  for rehabilitation to restore full use of the arm or leg.

Although RICE therapy can be helpful for any sports injury, if the injury is severe it may need additional treatment, some of which is outlined below.

A key part of the treatment of more severe sports injuries is rehabilitation. This is a programme of gradually increased exercise designed to return the injured area to its normal level of function. With most injuries, getting the injured part moving gently as soon as possible will speed healing. As movement becomes easier and the pain decreases, stretching and strengthening exercises can help the injured area return to normal.

It is difficult for professional and competitive athletes to prevent sports injuries all the time, because of their intense and frequent training. But for most other people, sports injuries are usually a result of accidents that could have been prevented or of not following the simple guidelines which are listed below.



Warm up

The most important way to prevent sports injuries is to make sure that you have completed an adequate warm-up session (at least 5-10 minutes), before taking part in a sports activity. Warming up involves exercising muscles for a few minutes at a steady pace, before gradually increasing to a brisk pace. This will increase the blood flow to your muscles, making them more flexible and reducing the risk of muscle strains.

Start your warm up with some gentle exercise, such as walking or slow jogging. You should gradually increase the intensity by walking or jogging faster in order to ensure that your muscles have fully warmed up before you start more vigorous activity, try warming up using the musacle groups and movement similar to you exercise or activity routine.


Do not over do it

Try not to over do it at first. If you have not done much exercise for a long time, strenuous activity could be more harmful than beneficial. Be realistic and honest with yourself about what you can achieve, you will soon be able to increase your activity as you become fitter, If you are unsure use a personal instructor to put a structured programme together.


Avoid Dehydration

Dehydration can reduce your physical and mental fitness, drink plenty of water, especially when the weather is warm or when you are participating in sports that require endurance.


The Right Training The Right Technique

Learn to do your sport properly. Using the proper technique can reduce the risk of overuse injuries such as tendonitis and stress fractures. If you are exercising in a gym or leisure centre there will be experts you can ask for guidance.

Use the proper equipment

Protective equipment is essential in some sports, particularly activities that involve person to person contact. Cricket boxes, shin pads, and gloves are all examples of equipment that should be worn to prevent injury. Appropriate footwear that provides support and protection for your feet is also essential. Protective headwear is particularly important. Head guards and helmets protect the skull and the brain from injuries caused by knocks to the head and greatly reduce the risk of serious head injuries.


Cool Down

When you have finished exercising, make sure you take time to cool down properly. You should spend at least five to ten minutes after your work out doing gentle exercises until your heart rate returns to normal, stretching helps recovery as part of yor gentle cool down helping with the removal of waste products from the muscles you have used and their replacement with nutrients and oxygen. This should leave you with less muscle stiffness and soreness after your exercise.

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Our sports injury treatment is provided by experienced osteopaths, physiotherapists and rehabilitation therapists

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