Study Notes

Ways to classify Sports injuries

Injuries are more frequent in contact sports like rugby league or soccer but can be evident in many other sports due to overuse movements such as running.

You can generally classify sports injuries as either direct or indirect (how they were caused), soft tissue or hard tissue (where in the body the injury occurred) or as acute and overuse injuries (which is what type of injury it is).

– Direct and Indirect

Direct injuries are caused from a direct or external force or collision from an external source that is produced from a source away from the body.

Examples could be an object such as a ball or an opposing player making contact with the body.

Direct injuries can include fractures, sprains, bruising, dislocation or as serious as internal bleeding.

An example of this is a broken bone being caused as a result of a mistimed tackle in soccer or possibly falling awkwardly in a tackle in a game of AFL onto an outstretched arm causing a break or dislocation in the shoulder.

Indirect injuries are the result of either an internal force within the body or excessive force coming from outside the body.

Examples include:

– A torn hamstring whilst sprinting due to an inadequate warm up.

– A result of lifting weights that are too heavy causing a tear in the muscle being used result of poor technique.

– An imbalance in your muscle.

– Ballistic movements or weakness in a particular area of the muscle

These types of injuries can often be away from the contact site outside of the body. For example, when sprinting, the hamstring can tear which is essentially away from the contact point of the ground. It is the excess strain placed on the muscles, ligaments and tendons that causes stress on the body.

– Soft and Hard Tissue

Soft tissue injuries can include damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, skin, organs and blood vessels.

Examples:

Muscle strains, which may be a result of over-stretching a quad muscle when kicking a ball in soccer

ligament damage where the joint has moved beyond its normal range of motion as seen in an awkward tackle in rugby league where the ankle is caught under the tacklers body grazes to the skin caused by hard ground or even blisters forming on your heels.

Soft tissue injuries can occur suddenly which is acute or be caused by prolonged use, which is a chronic injury. The most common form of soft tissue injury is often a tear or strain of muscles and ligaments.

Hard tissue injuries refer to the damage of bones or teeth.

Examples:

Dislocation of a joint such as a dislocated knee seen when in an awkward tackle in AFL fractured bones, which may be the result of an excessive force such as a heavy collision in rugby league of an outstretched arm, the ground an opposing player. This is often the most common type of hard tissue injury is the loss of a tooth caused by an external blow to the mouth caused by opposing player or object.

– Acute and overuse injuries

Acute is the result of an instant or sudden force that causes damage to the body. Eg. dislocated shoulder or sprained ankle.

Overuse injuries are the result of repetitive and or damaging force, which over time develops into a serious injury.

They can often be caused by low impact activities such as walking, jogging and are often ignored to begin with as they generally start with only slight pain.

An example of an overuse injury is shin splints. This is when there is a build up in pain in the shin area. It can often be caused as a result of poor technique or a high workload on the affected area. These type of injuries can often lead to stress fractures.

Full Written Notes

Critical question 1: How are sports injuries classified and managed?
Ways to classify Sports injuries

Injuries are a commonplace aspect of participating in any kind of physical activity. Typically, injuries are more likely to occur in contact sports, like rugby league or soccer, but they can also result from the overuse of particular movements, such as running, in other athletic activities.

Sports injuries are usually classified as either direct or indirect (cause), soft tissue or hard tissue (location) or as acute and overuse injuries (type).

Direct and Indirect

Direct injuries are caused by an external force or collision, which is produced by a source outside of the body. For example: an injury caused when a ball or an opposing player makes contact with the athlete’s body. Direct injuries can cause fractures, sprains, bruising, dislocation and internal bleeding.

Other examples of a direct injuries are the occurrence of a broken bones as a result of mistimed intercepts in soccer or falling awkwardly after a tackle in a game of AFL, putting stress on an outstretched arm and causing a break or shoulder dislocation.

Indirect injuries are the result of either an internal force, within the body, or excessive force, from outside it. Muscle tears caused by inadequate warm ups or lifting weights which are too heavy are both examples of indirect injuries. These type of injuries can also occur when athletes demonstrate poor technique, have imbalance in their muscles, perform ballistic movements or possess weakness in a particular area of their muscle.

Indirect injuries may also occur after or apart from the bodies contact with external forces. For example, when sprinting the hamstring can tear, even though it is extended away from the contact point of the ground. The injury is caused by the excess strain placed on the muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Soft and Hard Tissue

Soft tissue injuries occur when there is damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, skin, organs and blood vessels. Common types of soft tissue injuries include:

  • muscle strains (i.e. over-stretching a quad muscle when kicking a ball in soccer)
  • ligament damage (i.e. extending a joint beyond the normal range of motion, like when an ankle is caught under body after an awkward tackle)
  • grazes and blisters

Soft tissue injuries may be classified as acute, meaning that they occur suddenly, or chronic, meaning they develop over time. The most common form of soft tissue injuries are a tears or strain to muscles and ligaments.

Hard tissue injuries occur when there is damage to the bones or teeth. These type of injuries are often more serious and severe than soft tissue injuries. Examples of hard tissue injuries include:

  • dislocation (i.e. dislocating a knee after an awkward tackle)
  • fractured bones (usually the result of excessive force such as a heavy collision)
  • tooth loss (caused by an external blow to the mouth caused by a player or object)

Overuse injuries

Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive or damaging movements, which, over time, develop into more serious injuries. They typically result from low impact activities such as walking or jogging and are often dismissed in the early stages, as they generally present as mild pain. If an athlete chooses to ignore these symptoms and doesn’t allow time for the body to heal, greater problems can arise.

Shin splints, which involve a build-up in pain in the shin area, are an example of an overuse injury. Overuse injuries typically occur as a result of poor technique or a high workload on a particularly area of the body and can lead to stress fractures.

The opposite of overuse injuries are acute injuries. Acute injuries result from an instant or sudden force, which causes damage to the body, for example, a dislocated shoulder or sprained ankle.