Computers, television and video games are major sources of entertainment for the present generation. Unfortunately, this often produces couch-potatoes. Adults and children alike are spending their free time indoors in front of the tv or computer screen. The generations before the creation of the internet believed an outdoor sport was not only recreational but also therapeutic. Outdoor sports can give the body needed physical strength, alleviate anxiety, improve one’s mood and encourage problem solving and leadership.
Just like all good things, outdoor sports come with their own set of problems too. They can result in injuries ranging from mild sprains/strains to severe disabling conditions. Some of the injuries resulting from outdoor sport activities are sprains, strains, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, torn ligaments like ACLs (Anterior Cruciate ligament of the knee), Ulnar Collateral Ligament of the arm, head injuries, severe concussions, backaches, fractured vertebrae of the spine, broken ribs or bones of the body and so on. Common outdoor sports that can lead to such injuries are soccer, basketball, cricket, football or rugby, skiing, running, among others.4
The treatments for these injuries will depend on the severity and the location of the injury. When the injuries are not severe they can be managed at home or by a general physician. In cases of severe injuries, one should consult an orthopedic surgeon to treat and manage such conditions optimally. With less severe injuries one can follow the PRICE therapy.
- P - Protection – A support or a splint can be used to protect the injured part from further injury. Immobilize the part.
- R - Rest – Rest helps in faster recovery of the injured part. Avoiding weight bearing in cases where the leg or the foot is injured.
- I - Ice – Apply ice packs immediately to the injured limb for 20-30 minutes every 2-3 hours for next 48 hours.
- C - Compression – Wrap the injured limb with an elastic bandage to limit the swelling. Tying the bandage too tight can cut off the circulation to the injured limb leading to more damage and delayed healing.
- E - Elevation – Elevate or prop up the injured limb so that it is at a level higher than the heart. This will reduce the bleeding if there is a wound.
Physiotherapy exercises and manipulations can also improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles.
In some cases, surgery might be needed to repair torn connective tissues or to realign bones with compound fractures. Many injuries can result in a lifelong handicap due to permanent damage to the nerves or bones. Due to advances in technology and new procedures most of the conditions which were once considered non-treatable can be treated and players can return to the game over a period of few months and put their best foot forward. To help get back in the game, contact Dr. Hayden now!
Penned by Dr. Rachita Narsaria, MD