How to recognize and treat injury from physical training

Physical training damages our cell structure, leading to repair and anabolic process during the recovery, which in turn creates stronger and larger muscle fibers and other physiological responses. However, sometimes pushing your body above safe threshold or an accident can cause injury. Most injuries will respond to rest or RICE treatment (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), but many injuries will require physical rehabilitation and changes to training plan in order to allow your body to repair and reduce any long term damage. First step is recognising the fact that you are injured and you can’t simply train through it. Unfortunately, too many people tend to ignore little aches and pains that are first signs of a potential more serious injury.

Next it is important to ascertain the correct diagnosis to proceed with your recovery and rehabilitation process. Frequently General Practitioners would not be very helpful, in many cases sport doctors or experienced physiotherapists will be better suited in providing you with a correct diagnosis and rehabilitation programme.

Find below a list of some of the common types of injuries;

  • Bone Injuries: Injuries that are caused by direct blow, twisting movement and overuse stress, usually take the form of fractures.
  • Articular Injuries: Articular cartridge is located at the end of long bones and it reduces friction between the bones as well as shock absorption. Articular cartridge is commonly injured in joint dislocation as well as overuse.
  • Ligaments: Ligament binds bone to bone, hold the joint together. A healthy ligament is highly flexible but not elastic. Ligaments tend to get injured when joint is pulled beyond its range of movement, such as a sprain. When sprain occurs ligaments are typically stretched beyond their capabilities, which can cause ligament to have a partial tear or a full tear.
  • Tendon: Tendons attach muscle to bone and are designed to withstand large tensile stresses. Tendons can get injured (ruptured) from either one traumatic stress or from repeated overuse, such as weightlifting.
  • Muscle: A muscle tear or strain (minor tear) occurs when a muscle fiber is unable to take the strain placed on it by the exercise. Muscle strains are usually classified as grade 1, 2 or 3. Grade 1 strains involve only a few muscle fibers, while a grade 3 is a complete tear. The site where the muscle meets the tendon is generally regarded as the weakest point of the muscle.
  • Bursa: The bursa is a small sac of synovial fluid located around joints and it provides a cushion between bones and tendons and/or muscles around a joint. This helps to reduce friction between the bones and allows free movement. Bursae are filled with synovial fluid and are found around most major joints of the body. The bursa can become inflamed causing a bursitis. The most common sites for bursitis are in the knee, ankle and elbow.