Why sportsmen get injured more frequently?

Why am I frequently getting  injured? Even though I have been playing the sport for long time and maintaining proper physique ” these questions are asked many times on different occasions by sportsmen to doctors or therapist. If  you are training improperly as you try to take your fitness to the next level you’re probably going to get injured sooner or later. That injury will not only prevent you from achieving your goal, but now you will spend weeks if not months or longer recovering from the injury. Obviously this means you’re going to lose a huge amount of fitness and if or when you return to your sport you’ll be spending a lot of time making up lost ground.

So why do athletes get injured? apart from some  trauma/accident, you are prone to an injury because your training formula became imbalanced. You trained too hard or did not trained enough before entering the field or took on more stress than you were able to handle. It is as simple yet complex. Call it overtraining or under-recovered  it is major cause of an injury.

Sometimes you don’t just suddenly become injured. These injuries take some time to develop and often there are warning signs and symptoms in your body that are letting you know that you  need to change what you’re doing and it is going to get bad or worse.

Let us take a look at some basic reasons for cause of an injury to athletes or sportsman:

 

1) Issues regarding Biomechanics:

Biomechanics is a study and quantitative analysis of  activities of sportsmen. It is also known as ‘Physics of Sports’ which is applied in order to achieve the analysis of an athletes performance. Human body is the greatest cheater because we like to perform tasks, no matter what technique is involved. From time to time we demand more from our bodies along with overlooking it’s weaknesses. But human body is not any machine it is pretty complexed network of interacting parts and in a different scenario under-training affects them for example; In Cricket if a bowler who has to bowl 10-15 over in a day (sometimes more overs in Test format) or a batsman who has to bat 4-5 hours, if he does not train enough before the actual match then  he is more prone to the injury as the body cannot take proper workload due to lack of enough training.

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2) Structural issues:

Structure is considered something you’re born with, but you can also develop structural abnormalities throughout life. If you sustain a structural lesion or damage, depending on the extent, it can contribute to changing your biomechanics, or how you move, as well. Surgery is often the most efficient way to fix structural problems. For example, an athlete suffering from a meniscus issue may not be able to change directions effectively on the field. Americans, Europeans and Africans have more structural advantage over Asians. This indirectly impacts their career.

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3) Diet

Nutritional problems are by far the main reason athletes get injured and don’t fully recover. These problems can range from a lack of protein to too much caffeine. Biochemical problems are more due to nutrient deficiencies either from depletion or even free radical damage from too much oxidative stress or not eating well.

Apart from paying specific attention to the protein, carbs, and fats as just sportsmen should not forget that when you’re injured you need more nutrients and also minerals like zinc, magnesium, and manganese. And they should  not be keen on taking a multi-supplement. Multi-supplements never work as they just cause nutrient imbalances  rather than correct an imbalance. Focus up on the vegetables when you’re injured, and even as part of healthy injury-prevention program especially when you’re training hard.

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4) Overload and not enough rest

The harder you train the more you need to rest and recover. This means not just a restful night’s sleep but also lowering daily stress to the best of your ability. Load is a crucial factor in many injuries, but it is difficult to quantify. Some people are poor structurally but because they never do anything they won’t experience pain. That’s why those who do a lot cannot compromise. Overload is easy to manage, and changing it can make a difference in the short term. Unfortunately, its the one thing we don’t enjoy modifying as sometimes it may affect our performance. If you’re training mostly aerobically in  longer duration, you need to balance this with more recovery.

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5) Past injuries

This is by far the main reason sportsmen are unable to recover from an injury. It’s also the reason why some people get injured over and over. It is common for an old ankle injury to still be affecting you and the next thing you know your knee or hip is injured even though there is no longer any apparent pain in the actual ankle anymore. The problem with these types of injures  is that they are more difficult to cure since most physicians and therapists don’t know how to identify them and the athlete no longer feels pain or discomfort in the previously injured area  so they go untreated. Make sure you find a good therapist/doctor  when you are injured and  your injured area is fully functioning and not just pain-free.

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How to change this?                         

If you are injured and not healing then don’t keep doing what you’re doing. Undergoing the same therapy month after month with no success will not all of a sudden heal your body. Get a second opinion and seek  a doctor or therapist with a different perspective. Trying to play before the injury is properly healed will only cause further damage and will delay the recovery process. A comprehensive physical therapy treatment program will be useful to correct the various areas of muscular and soft tissue tightness and weakness throughout the neck, upper back and shoulder region. Sometimes,  little things such as changing your diet, assessing and treating a specific muscle, or changing how you have always done something a certain way that can be the difference between slow or no progress to a fast and full recovery.

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Return to Play:

Before the sportsman can return to take the field, several goals must be met:

  • The athlete must be completely free of pain and weakness and must regain full range of motion of the neck.
  • The diagnostic tests such as the EMG or MRI should not reveal any active nerve damage or severe nerve compression.
  • The athlete must be reconditioned for the sport especially if he has not competed for a while.
  • Improvement in the athlete’s playing technique should be assessed and equipment modifications should be made to protect the athlete from further injury.

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