When we are young and fit, it seems that sporting injuries are something that only happens to other people. That is until we are injured; the time we realise that we are not superhuman after all. Sporting injuries can be very expensive to athletes both for the treatment they must undergo, and loss of earnings from being unable to compete.
Of course, these injuries are not confined to those who compete professionally, everyone is susceptible to them, whatever their age or level of fitness. Here are some that you should be aware of if you have an active lifestyle. They will often have long term effects on the body as it ages.
Yes, you read it correctly. There is a surprising amount of power behind a golf swing. Over many years, it sometimes leads to painful inflammation if the tendons in the forearm. The problem arises from gripping golf clubs over a long period. it’s not just golfers that suffer, however, tennis players are just as prone to the condition.
You may not have heard of this injury either. The ligaments in the thumb become damaged when someone has a fall with an outstretched hand or the thumb is bent backwards somehow. Skiers have plenty of falls, so this is probably how it got the name. As will all ligament damage, they never quite recover their full strength to the time before the accident.
A dislocated shoulder is common within many sports and is easily treated by manipulating it back into place. If it happens once, a person is susceptible to it for the rest of their lives. The more times a shoulder is dislocated, the weaker it gets, leading to pain later in life.
Impact injuries are a risk within most team sports. They often result in broken bones or heavy bruising which increases the risk of osteomyelitis (infection of the bone) later in life. The risk is small, but it is there nonetheless.
When the ankle stretches beyond its limits, damage is caused to the ligaments that give it strength. The ligaments are affected by small tears that never heal fully. The only treatment for a sprained ankle is to rest it and apply ice. People often experience pain for many years after the injury when they accidentally flex their ankle a little too far.
The knees are the springs of the body, and they take a pounding in daily life as well as in competitions. The most common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis, and when it becomes severe, the knee joint is replaced. This operation is common now and is considered routine. Obviously, anyone with a knee replacement is affected for life.
Damage to the Achilles tendon is extremely painful. It is common in people who run, play football, tennis, or any activity where someone uses a sudden burst of power. People describe a snapping noise when the injury occurs, and they are incapacitated immediately. The only effective treatment for a damaged tendon is to raise the leg and rest it while taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the discomfort.
The human body is a marvelous machine, but it is not magical. When you are old and have aches and pains, try to remember how you got them. It is all worth it though so don’t give up having fun just yet.