Life Health & Wellbeing

Monday 16 September 2019

Five facts about sports injuries

 

If your injury is not responding as anticipated to conservative management, further investigations may be required.
If your injury is not responding as anticipated to conservative management, further investigations may be required.

Five facts about sports injuries:

1. Why we need exercise...

Being inactive increases your risk of chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. The risk of anxiety and depression is higher in people who sit more. According to www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au, physical inactivity contributes to more than 3m preventable deaths worldwide each year - this equates to 6pc of all deaths.

In Australia, physical inactivity is the second highest cause of cancer after smoking. The Australian Health Survey 2011-2012 demonstrated that 60pc of all adults do less than the recommended 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day.

The average number of steps adults take each day is 7,400, with fewer than one in five adults completing the recommended 10,000 steps/day.

This is comparable with findings from the Healthy Ireland Survey 2015 in which only 32pc of the total population were considered to be highly active. On average, Irish people spend just over 5 hours a day sitting.

2 Warm up and cool down...

Warming up and cooling down before and after exercise is recommended to prevent injury and make your workouts more effective. Compliance among the recreational athlete with this is variable.

Research in 2019 investigated the warm-up and cool-down routines for 1,419 recreational runners, of which 80.6pc were male and 19.4pc female. On average, they trained four times per week, with a weekly distance of 47.3km.

Just over 70pc of all participants included 'continuous running' as their warm-up, which lasted 13 minutes. Nearly 46pc included 'continuous running' as their cool-down, with 43pc reporting to only completing a cool-down after high-intensity training.

On average, participants in this study spent seven minutes cooling down three times a week.

3 Injuries that require surgery...

According to the UK Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, only 20pc of all sporting injuries require surgery. The decision to proceed to surgery should be fully discussed by you and your healthcare professional - each person's needs are unique.

4 When to visit your GP...

If your symptoms are not settling within 48 hours you need to seek advice from either your GP or a suitably qualified healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist, physical therapist or athletic trainer.

5 When to visit a consultant...

If your injury has been reviewed by an appropriate healthcare professional and rehabilitation has started, and after 10 days your recovery is not meeting the anticipated goals, you may be referred to a sports-medicine consultant or consultant in orthopaedic medicine for ongoing management.

If your injury is not responding as anticipated to conservative management, further investigations may be required. This decision is made by the consultant in conjunction with other members of the multi-disciplinary team as required.

Dr Pat O'Neill is a Medical Consultant in Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine at Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital in Dublin and lecturer in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine at TCD

Irish Independent

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