For many people the summer is an opportunity to get out and enjoy the sun and get some physical activity in before the rain and clouds come back in fall to force us back inside. Whether one enjoys team sports such as lacrosse, soccer, and football or pushing the limits with adrenaline pumping sports like mountain biking and skateboarding – or even something casual like hiking, cycling, or jogging (although some of us are much less casual than others about these activities!) the potential for injury is always there. This potential is a risk we take for doing what we love, but when sports injuries happen they can seriously affect our quality of life – far beyond preventing the enjoyment of a favorite activity.
Injury PreventionThe best thing to do, of course, is to avoid injury in the first place. We can improve our odds in certain sports by using proper techniques, stretching, doing warm ups and cool downs, paying attention to our surroundings when playing and wearing properly fitted protective equipment. Possibly the most important advice is to avoid playing while injured. An injury, even a minor one like a sprain, can become aggravated and lead to a much more serious problem. If it hurts – stop playing. Some sports like golf and tennis can be very hard on the body because of their overuse of particular muscle groups that aren’t made to take such strenuous activity – make sure to rest and not overdo these sports.
Some basic tips for preventing injury for common summer sporting activities.
Soccer Injury: Properly fitted cleats and shin guards are vital, and ankle guards can significantly reduce instances of rolled and sprained ankles. Stretching is very important to reduce groin and leg injuries.
Baseball Injury: Elbow and shoulder injuries are a common problem, particularly with pitchers who throw too much. Make sure to rest your arm between games and rotate your position occasionally.
Tennis Injury: Most people have heard of tennis elbow, and for good reason – it is a very common injury that occurs when muscles overextended during racquet impact. Pay attention to grip technique, use a properly sized racquet and avoid playing too frequently.
Volleyball Injury: When playing outdoor volleyball make sure to check the sand or grass for hazardous objects. When a ball is coming between players make sure to call it to avoid injury. Use knee-pads when playing indoors.
Running Injury: With this repetitive activity proper footwear is key to prevent common foot and ankle injuries. Orthotics are especially important for runners with high arches, flat feet or other issues.
Football Injury: Because of the high intensity impacts involved with football, injuries are common. Properly fitted protective padding is essential, as are warm-ups, cool-downs and stretching.
Golf Injury: Poor flexibility is a key risk factor. Warm up before playing and make sure to keep proper swing technique to avoid injury. As a repetitive sport it is important to rest between rounds to avoid stress.
Basketball Injury: Basketball can be very hard on the knees and ankles, resting an injured knee and wearing a knee brace can help keep these injuries from getting worse.
Lacrosse Injury: Protective equipment is very important in this contact sport. Masks, Gloves, and mouthpieces should all be worn.
Injury Diagnosis – X-Ray, CT Scan, MRI Scan, Arthrogram
No matter how diligent we are with injury prevention for our favorite summer sports, the risk of injury is always there. When a sports injury happens diagnosis is often needed. Seeing a doctor is the first step, but for the most accurate diagnosis and treatment diagnostic testing need to be done. False Creek Healthcare Centre utilizes some of the world’s most innovative state-of-the-art equipment for diagnosing sports injuries. X-Rays can be used to reveal most fractures. For more complicated injuries Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) uses a series of x-rays to produce cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissue of the body. For the best view of an injury possible The 3.0 Tesla MRI produces high resolution images two times more detailed than regular MRI – helping to evaluate joint disorders, sport and traumatic injuries. MRI arthrography, the injection of a contrast into the joint, is also available to provide structural joint information on the ankle, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, and wrist by highlighting the affected area, making diagnosis clearer.
Injury Treatment – Latest Techniques – Arthroscopic Techniques
Once an injury has been diagnosed the final step is getting the proper treatment to recover from an injury. The use of arthroscopic techniques has been particularly important for patients who have suffered joint injuries. Arthroscopy was pioneered in the early 1950s by Dr. Masaki Watanabe of Japan to perform minimally invasive cartilage surgery and the reconstruction of torn ligaments. Arthroscopy helped patients recover from the surgery in a matter of days, rather than the weeks to months required by conventional, ‘open’ surgery.
False Creek Healthcare Centre offers a broad range of sports injury treatment and orthopaedic surgery, including arthroscopic techniques. Our expert physicians and surgeons excel in general orthopedics and procedures such as shoulder, elbow, wrist, and knee surgery.