Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries

“No matter how much attention is directed toward the general principles of injury prevention, the nature of participation in physical activity dictates that sooner or later injury will occur” – my Athletic Training textbook.

I’m currently enrolled in a class called Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries. It’s a very exciting subject for me, especially since I’m so physically active and so injury prone. We are about 1 month into the semester and we have covered the topics of strength and conditioning, musculoskeletal trauma, acute care and emergency procedures and now we are learning about therapeutic exercise used as rehabilitation.

Strength and conditioning is all about safety, consistency and the overload principle. When the body is consistently overloaded with intensity, it will gradually adapt to overcome the demands that are placed on it. That means as the body adapts to the exercises, the intensity must be increased to continue to gain strength. The importance of warm up, cool down and flexibility is thoroughly addressed. Just as I have mentioned in previous posts, flexibility, warm up and cool down are frequently ignored.

The ability to recognize musculoskeletal trauma is very important in the field of athletic training. Over time, wear and tear from normal activities is inevitable. The type of therapy or care will be dependent on the severity or type of injury. When an injury occurs, care must be taken immediately to prevent an acute injury from becoming a chronic injury. If an acute injury does not heal properly, it can worsen and turn into a chronic injury that is much more difficult to heal.

As a part of my class, I have to complete 9 hours of observation in the athletic training department at my school. I’ve completed 6 hours so far and what I have noticed is that every injury for every athlete is treated with some good ole ice and compression. This is especially important in the acute stage of the injury. We all know that ice helps to reduce swelling. Icing also helps to increase circulation around the area being treated, which can speed up the healing process.

This week we read the chapter on therapeutic exercise. Once the acute stage of the injury has passed, it’s time to move on to the repair stage. Did you know muscles begin to decrease in size within 48 hours after exercise? If the injured body part is immobilized, the area quickly begins to lose strength and the injured person will quickly begin to experience a general loss of fitness. That’s why it’s recommended to incorporate gentle therapeutic exercise as quickly as possible.

I have been applying all this knowledge to my own physical fitness routines. I hope it can help you too. Let me know what you think about this post. Have you ever injured yourself from physical activity? I know I sure have.

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