Archive for the Sports Injury Category
Knee injuries afflict sports stars more often than us mere mortals. In this series we will document famous sports stars that have had to deal with injuries that have ranged from mere career threatening to career ending. Sometimes these injuries have led to the premature end of many a promising career. Top quality physiotherapists are in demand for sports clubs in order to protect players from injury, with sport becoming a global entertainment business; knee health is serious business and can be worth millions in high end professional sport.
Owen Hargreaves was an English professional footballer. Hard-working, Hargreaves was the midfield engine room, working hard to win the ball back for the teams that he played for. Hargreaves won the Champions League with Bayern Munich in 2001 and was capped for the England national team. In 2007 he joined Manchester United for a cool 17 million pounds (see what we mean by knees being serious business?)
Hargreaves started becoming injured around 2007 in which he returned after breaking his leg. It is believed that the leg muscle became weaker after he broke his leg and this caused a muscle imbalance that resulted in pain that Hargreaves ignored and played on with.
This resulted in a patella tendon injury that became patellar tendonitis. This condition plagued his career and he eventually had to retire in 2012. From 2008 to 2012 he only played 9 competitive games, every time it looked like he would make a comeback, he would hit a setback and not be able to play.
What is patellar tendonitis? This is a condition also known as jumpers knee it is a common injury found in athletes and occurs in those engaged in frequent jumping like motions. Patellar tendonitis is particularly prevalent in jumping intensive sports such as basketball and volleyball.
Jumpers knee can creep up unsuspecting with 4 known stages that can be diagnosed. Stage 1 is early onset jumpers knee with pain occurring only after activity. Stage 2 is advanced stage with pain occurring during and after the activity. In the case of Owen Hargreaves he was possibly at stage 2 during the 2007 season and he made the mistake of playing through the pain. Stage 3 advances even further with increasing pain that makes performing activities at a high level very difficult to do, the pain is prevalent at most time. Stage 4 finally results in the tendon tearing requiring surgical repair. It is said that by the time Hargreaves came to surgery the doctors described the extent of the injury as the worst he had seen in 35 years’ experience. Hargreaves inability to recover may also have been hampered by trying to get back playing too soon after surgery.
It is a shame that a great player like Hargreaves career was ended in its prime. Manchester United also have had to deal with losses in excess of £17 million. In sports there is thus a high demand for quality physiotherapy work that will save them from losing money in the long run on their investments.
Mobility and flexibility in the knees can be improved upon through daily knee stretches. Not only that but doing simple stretches each day can also help you to correct form and prevent tightness and strain on the knees which can help to prevent injury.
Immobility, pain and stiffness of the knees may be down to several reason for instance muscles and bio mechanical imbalances , tightness and irritation of the tendons found in your knees which have all been linked to poor posture, a whole host of over-use injuries and an increased chance of twisting and damaging the ligaments in the knees and legs. All of these things can affect your lifestyle and health as a result.
Stretching exercises can help bring back mobility to your knees and help them to function correctly and safely!
Balance within our knees is important, your knee joints are complex hinges that need to strike a balance otherwise imbalances can result in ligament tightness, sprains and damage.
Exercise and stretches are often used with helping the recovery of a wide variety of injuries such as knee osteoarthritis to help better control inflammation and minimise tightness around the knee that can worsen arthritis pain.
Fractures or breaks to the lower leg Fibula bone (the Fibula bone is found on the outer most part of your lower leg) can result from sudden traumas, falls or even through overuse. Symptoms of a broken or fractured Fibula bone often include;
- Pain on the damaged part of the leg
Protruding bones from a break may result in deformity of the lower leg. If you suspect that you have indeed broken your leg it is highly recommended that you see a doctor as soon as possible.
In sport such as football it is fairly common to see instances of leg breaking on the field and this is due commonly to twisting of the leg whilst the foot is fixed to the ground or from a collision with another player. It is therefore highly recommend to take precautions when you are playing sports like football, precautions such as wearing shin guards to protect your Fibula bones from traumas, also stretching fully the feet, knees and legs before a game to improve Proprioception in your muscles helping to give you better muscle activation and awareness which can help you know where your legs are moving helping you to avoid awkward movement which may result in a compromising twist or turn that could potentially damage or break your bones.
With a closed fracture where bone fragments are quite close together an orthopaedic doctor will usually look to move the bones fragments closely together and then fix a plater cast around the broken leg so that your leg can connect the two bone fragments together and heal by itself. A plaster cast is needed to keep the bones in place and prevent deformity. The estimated time the plaster cast stays on for a broken leg such as this usually ranges from 13-16 weeks. However even after the cast has been removed pain may still be present and the leg muscles will have been weakened both by the injury and inactivity of the muscle groups of the leg causing instability in the leg and knees. Physiotherapy is therefore recommended to help re-strengthen the lower legs. Physiotherapy is also recommended to help correct mechanical, muscle and postural imbalances that may have resulted from the injury.
Resistance bands are excellent for helping you to keep your other unaffected muscles groups active and strong whilst you recover and also help to build fitness, balance and strength in your weakened lower leg once your broken leg has healed.
Metatarsal fractures are a painful foot injury that affects many in the sporting world. Many famous names in sport have been hit with this in some cases career ending foot injury.
To know fully about metatarsal fractures it is best to know a little bit more about how your foot is put together and how your feet work.
In each of your feet you have precisely 5 metatarsal bones, these long bones are found in between your “phalanges” toes bones and the “tarsal” bones around the hind of the foot.
You ankle has been designed with two specific uses which are support and propulsion. So the bones in your foot must be able to cope and be mobile under immense pressure and strain from your bodyweight. The metatarsal bones have been designed to help with propulsion and support, the metatarsal bones will act as a lever for your foot helping your to bend your foot whilst walking, jumping and running, they also help to stabilize the foot and help with supporting the structure of your foot to hold your body weight.
There are many causes to why people fracture the metatarsal bones including that of over use or harsh rotation of the foot, or direct trauma; for example metatarsal fractures occur frequently in football when a player accidentally kicks another player’s foot or steps on it, or even when a player accidentally kicks the ground instead of the football.
You can injure specific metatarsal bones, injuring the 2nd 3rd and 4th metatarsal bones is quite frequent in football by the accidents that can happen above.
Metatarsal fractures can occur from over use too making sports people more susceptible. Overuse will often cause stress fractures on the bones; the pain in the metatarsal area will gradually increase as the stress fractures weaken the bones and causing a full fracture to the bones as the stress builds.
Metatarsal fractures can cause real pain in suffers, making walking very hard, people suffering from metatarsal fractures will usually have swollen feet and it will be painful to touch the metatarsal area.
There are a few things that you can do if you have a metatarsal fracture:
-see a doctor or physiotherapist for full diagnosis
-reduce swelling and inflammation with cold ice (this can also help to reduce pain as well as swelling can cause pressure on the tissues around the metatarsal bones causing pain)
Protect the foot from further stress and damage with a cast
Often doctors will use x rays to confirm whether the metatarsal bones are fractured or not. Depending on the severity of the fracture treatment and recover will often last somewhere between 6-8 weeks.
Having a removable plastic cast that support the foot but also can be removed is the preferred option to a pot or plaster cast as physiotherapy is a major part of recovering from metatarsal fractures so removing it to do physiotherapy is important.
Metatarsal pads can be used to help strengthen the metatarsal area after you have recovered.
It is always a good idea to wear footwear and insoles that can help protect your foot from fractures; however it does depend on the force as sometimes no amount of protection can prevent a fracture.
ACL stands for the anterior cruciate ligament which is found in your knee joint. It is quite easy and common for this ligament to become damaged and tear, there is an increased risk of this in sports and physical activities that require the person to quickly turn and change direction, another possible cause is if a person jumps but lands on a bent knees and then quickly twisting or another possible cause is when somebody jumps and lands on an extended knee. In sports like rugby incidents of ACL knee injury’s is very common as collision with the knee can cause damage and tears and even simply avoiding over player can cause sudden twists and changes in direction and like I said before this is a very likely cause of ACL knee injuries.
Knee braces are a very good way of treating ACL knee injuries, however in some cases this cannot be enough and surgery is needed to reconstruct the ligament and help improve mobility back into the knee, untreated ACL knee injuries can cause knee arthritis.
There a few symptoms to look out for
If you can feel a snap in your knee when bending it
Pain in the knee
A swollen knee
An unstable knee
These are just a few symptoms of an ACL knee injury if you believe that you are suffering from this or any other kind of knee injury it is advised to go see your doctor for diagnosis.
Tennis elbow is one of the main causes of elbow pain. So what exactly causes tennis elbow? Tennis elbow has been linked to extended time periods of gripping activities and is common amongst tennis players as they grip their racket hard for long periods of time.
The pain is most prominent down the sufferers forearm; a way to detect tennis elbow is to straighten the arm whilst you move your hand back towards your wrist.
If you suffer from serious tennis elbow a doctor may prescribe some anti-inflammatory drugs the doctor will also advise you to have a rest from any sports which may cause further aggravation to the condition.
Compression straps are often used by people who suffer from tennis elbow these straps allow the sufferer to live a more active lifestyle whilst recovering from tennis elbow and help to support the elbow increasing recovery time and even reduce pain and symptoms associated with tennis elbow.
You can also aid the recovery from tennis elbow by using exercises to help re-strengthen the muscles around the elbow.
Most people do make a full recovery after suffering from tennis elbow.
Achilles tendonitis is a form of tendonitis that affects the Achilles heel; there are many reasons why someone may get Achilles tendonitis. The most common cause of Achilles tendonitis is through over use of the Achilles heel. This can mean healthy athletes have a greater risk of getting Achilles tendonitis than someone whom does not use their Achilles tendon as much.
Something to keep in mind is that the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis can be confused with that of xanthoma of the Achilles tendon; xanthoma is often caused by the build-up of cholesterol due to hypercholesterolemia. In contrast to Achilles tendonitis, xanthoma of the Achilles is actually linked to a unhealthy and inactive lifestyle rather than that of a healthy athletic one.
If you get Achilles tendonitis then recovery can often be long due to the fact that the tissues and cells in the Achilles tendon have a limited supply of blood meaning rebuilding and repairing of Achilles tendon will often take time.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include:
You may suffer from stiffness of the Achilles tendon when you wake up in the morning
– Pain which gets worse on the Achilles tendon or on back of your heel when using the Achilles tendon for example whilst running.
– Pain the day after excessive use of the Achilles
– Swelling which gets worse when you use the Achilles
– A bone spur
– Tearing the Achilles tendon can cause a sudden “pop” so to speak if you have experienced this or something similar then it may be best to go see your doctor for further advice.
How does the tendon repair itself?
Scientist believe that when the Achilles tendon needs repairing cells from other tissues surrounding will actually migrate to the Achilles tendon to help repair the damage.
Also blood from blood vessels shall also provide new fibres that will help the tendon reconstruct itself; it has been thought though that this process may actually be a cause to the pain experience when suffering from Achilles tendonitis. Scientific experiments have shown that by injecting local anaesthetics in patients suffering from Achilles tendonitis near these blood vessels the pain can be dramatically reduced.
Achilles tendonitis can be prevented with proper stretching and warm up of the Achilles heel before exercise or sport. Also Achilles tendonitis can occur if one is not wearing correctly fitted and supportive shoes and insoles. That is why buying the right fitting insoles and shoes is quiet important.
There are many tried and tested treatments for Achilles tendonitis including wearing orthotics and also heel pads to help reduce the pressure on the Achilles tendon. By better supporting the Achilles tendon with heel pads it has been proven to drastically improve recovery time, not only that but heel pads for Achilles tendonitis can help to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place.
Preventing Achilles tendonitis is easy with regular stretching exercises and heel pads.
As we get older the fact is that our tissues and bones weaken and this is a natural part of growing older. However this does mean the risk of getting such problems as Achilles tendonitis is greatly increased. To combat this and reduce the risk you can re strengthen the muscles and tissues that are around the Achilles tendon by doing regular stretching exercises. One of the exercises you can do quite easily each day is to slowly lower and raise your body whilst using the leg that is suffering from Achilles tendonitis.
Heel pads are another great way to prevent Achilles tendonitis as they will spread the pressure that can build up on the Achilles tendon and spread it evenly rather than it being focused on one point which may cause damage.
Heel pads can be bought here at NuovaHealth.
If you run regularly then you can run the risk of injury. This article addresses one of the most common running injuries and the steps you can take to avoid it. Injury can dent motivation so injury prevention is an important part of allowing people to stick to a training regime. If you find yourself injured it is important to take a step back and listen to your body, it means giving yourself plenty of rest and not running if you are in pain and to only start running again when the pain has been reduced sufficiently. If you continue to run through the pain you can cause a minor injury to become much more serious.
Knee pain is one of the most common conditions to affect runners and can be caused by swelling under the knee cap. The pain can be dull or sharp and severe. It is advised to apply ice to the knee and to engage in regular stretching. It is important to never apply ice directly to the skin instead wrap it in a towel. It is important to stop running if you have knee pain, a week’s rest should be sufficient but if it persists we recommend visiting your doctor so he or she can have a look at it.
In order to prevent reoccurring knee pain we recommend trying knee-strengthening exercises and a good pair of sports insoles. Knees can be strengthened through the use of squats, thigh contractions, leg raises and lunges. It is recommended that if you do go with the squat that you have a certified gym instructor teach you the lift properly. The squat is the king of all exercises and is brilliant when done correctly as it really does strengthen the legs and knees more than any other exercise out there but if it is done incorrectly then the poor form can lead to injury if you are doing high weights.
Running insoles cushion the impact of your foot on hard flat road surfaces thus protecting your ligaments and joints from wear. Running insoles also come with additional arch support that helps to prevent over-pronation and encourages an efficient biomechanical stance thus improving posture and giving your knees a well deserved rest.
Sports insoles are extremely useful and help runners avoid common problems associated with running such as plantar fasciitis and repetitive strain injuries. These injuries come about due to the impact of your foot bouncing on the hard flat surfaces found in urban areas. Think of your weight striking the ground and an equal and opposite force going upwards from the base of your foot, this can wreck havoc on your knees, back and feet. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your toes to the heel; this can end up inflamed and swollen leading to debilitating heel pain. You need an insole that absorbs the shock and prevents it from travelling through your joints and ligaments and thus preventing injury. That is what sports insoles are all about – injury prevention! It is much better to avoid injury and in the long term it means you can train harder and for longer, you don’t want your progress to suddenly stop due to injury, this can lead to de-motivation and a premature stop to your athletic goals.
Nuova Health have sourced excellent quality sports insoles designed for the keen sportsman or woman. They are unisex, fit all sizes and simply just need to be cut down to the correct size in order to fit your favourite pair of trainers. They are made of shock absorbing eva, preventing forces from wrecking havoc on your poor limbs. They also come with an arch support further protecting the arch of the foot and the plantar fascia. Our sports insoles even have been designed with improved sports performance in mind and can help you to run faster. The shock absorbing eva not only absorbs the shock and protects your feet it then redirects the force away from your foot resulting in more explosive power as you run.
If this interests you then check out our store and you will find the latest sports insoles available at affordable prices.
If you are involved in athletics then you can benefit from the use of sports insoles. Sports insoles offer reduced risk of injury and improve performance.
Running is an example of an activity that can be improved by the use of sports insoles. Running is extremely popular due to the high amount of calories it burns, the ease in which you can take part and the improvement in your cardiovascular health however running comes with risks. When your foot hits the ground the force generated is equal to 5x your body weight and this force is transmitted throughout the foot and up the legs and into your lower back. This force is then repeated over and over again as you run. The problem is that over time it results in strain on the knee joints and the lower back resulting in pain.
Sports insoles benefit you by absorbing the shock as you hit the ground. The impact is reduced and so straining is reduced. Sports insoles also come with a specially designed arch support. The arch support is an orthotic feature. The orthotic creates an extra cushioning effect on the foot which will alleviate conditions such as flat foot (that can be made worse by running) and help to create an optimal and mechanically efficient posture further reducing pain in the knees and the lower back.
In conclusion many people take up running and athletics as part of their new year’s resolution and we fully support this as it offers tremendous health benefits. Nuova Health however caution new runners because running is a high impact activity you can make certain conditions worse. Sports insoles can reduce the risk of injuring yourself so you can enjoy all the benefits of running or sport and not have to suffer any of the downsides.
Nuova Health sell high quality insoles designed for all types of conditions. We recommend you take a look at our sports insoles.