Possible Sports Injuries From Full Contact Martial Arts

Many people around the world participate in martial arts. There are 3 types of martial arts namely the light, medium and full contact martial arts and as the names suggest, each differs in the amount of body contact involved. Martial arts have many benefits to it, most prominently are the health benefits as well as the coordination between various parts of the body, body balance and flexibility. However, as with all kinds of full contact sports, there are injuries that are associated with it.

Facial Laceration

Facial lacerations are the most common injuries sustained from full contact martial arts. They account for nearly 50% of all injuries in martial arts. Martial arts is all about predicting what your opponent will do next and if you fail to react accordingly, it can cause trauma to parts of your body, commonly the face. The result of a full blown kick to the face can cause facial laceration.

Knee Tendinitis

During martial arts, tremendous stress is placed upon both of the knees and kicking is required throughout the whole session. As such, it can cause hypertension of the knee joint which will result to tendinitis. It can create strain to the back of the knees, patellar tendons and patella, causing pain and discomfort in players.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are also a common injury in martial arts due to the nature of uneven surfaces that the event take place. Most venues will place gym mattresses or other soft cushioning materials to absorb the impact of players. However, these soft and uneven surfaces can lead to improper weight distribution when kicking, causing sprains in the ankles.

Kneecap Dislocation

Kneecap dislocation is a serious injury that happens when the patella is shifted out of alignment with the knee. It is often caused by improper leg alignment or sudden kneeling motion, causing a sudden trauma to the knee.

Plantar Fasciitis

Whenever our feet is in use, the connective tissue or plantar fascia which supports the arch of our foot will tighten and stretch. However, it is prone to overuse if the incorrect footwear is worn. It is especially common in people with flat feet and who do not use the correct footwear with the correct support.

Martial arts have a low risk of injury as compared to other full contact sports such as rugby. Most of the injuries that are suffered are often minor such as bruises. However, more serious injuries can happen either due to trauma or due to improper usage of protective equipment or total lack of them. Upon injury, for personal well-being, it is highly recommended to pursue professional diagnosis for the injury. It should be regardless of perceived severity as most injuries do not reveal the actual impact until years later or when there is severe pain. If the martial artist is serious about his practice, then all injuries should be treated at earliest time possible.

Difference Between Chiropractor and Orthopaedic Doctors

An unfortunate accident occurred one day while you were playing contact sports and that left you with a knee injury. You know that you need to consult a medical professional for this injury and you start to evaluate the options available. Should you go to an Orthopaedic doctor or should you go to a Chiropractor? Each has its own advantages. For some cases, chiropractic sports are great to treat certain injuries while some injuries fall outside the jurisdiction of chiropractic and only orthopaedic surgery can treat them.

Who are Chiropractors and how do they treat an injury? First of all, Chiropractors are not medical doctors and they do not prescribe medications. Chiropractors believe in hands on and alternative treatment instead of surgery. They believe that the body is able to heal on its own. For example, if mobility to a certain part of the body is observed, they will manipulate that particular part to regain mobility. A visit to a Chiropractor usually cost a lot lesser than a visit to an Orthopaedic doctor. Some chiropractors even make the first consultation complimentary. Not only that, you are also able to fix an appointment at an earlier date as compared to an appointment with an Orthopaedic doctor. However, multiple visits to Chiropractors are required to be able to see results and in the long term, it may cost more than a visit to the latter.

Orthopaedic doctors on the other hand are medical doctors. They specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of our musculoskeletal system. Many people have the idea that orthopaedic doctors are doctors who will recommend surgery for everything, from a torn meniscus to a dislocated bone. This is not true. Orthopaedic doctors will often only recommend surgery when all other available options are exhausted. If the injury can be treated with physical therapy, they will recommend that unless patients insist on surgery in the first place. Orthopaedic doctors will make use of medical technologies such as X-Rays and MRI scans to tell the patient what exactly is wrong with their body. They are also able to prescribe pain relief medications be it orally or via injections, something that Chiropractors are not able to.

Deciding on a visit either to a Chiropractor or an Orthopaedic doctor is purely the decision of the patient. As a patient, you need to know what type of injury you have suffered and make your decision based on that. Different people prefer different things and be sure to know what results you really want.

Sprained, Tears or Fractured?

Sports injuries are inevitable at some point in time of your life. After a hard training session or a game of your favourite sports, there will definitely be those post game aches and pain that you will suffer which are perfectly normal. In unwanted cases, you could have landed badly from a jump or fell awkwardly on your shoulders, resulting in a swollen ankle or shoulder. You try to self medicate but what injury is it exactly? Is it a sprain, muscle tear or a fracture? How do you differentiate them from one another?

Sprains

A sprain occurs when you stretch or partially tear the fibrous tissues or more commonly known as your ligaments. They occur mostly in places such as your ankles and wrists. Ligaments helps to connect the connective tissues from your bones to your joints. There are three degrees of sprains namely the first, second and third degree. Some signs of sprains include pain, bruising, tenderness, inflammation, swelling and immobility of the affected area. Sprains can usually heal on their own but more serious sprains may require surgery. Always see a doctor if the pain is excruciating or you suffer from numbness in the area which could imply something more serious.

Tears

Muscle tear or commonly known as muscle strain implies that you have torn a muscle or a tissue called tendons. They occur most commonly in places such as the hamstring which is located at the back of you thigh. Muscle tear can cause severe pain and inability to walk or carry out normal functions properly. They are commonly caused by over use of muscles, suddenly pulling of the affected tissues and cyclic cycles of muscles.

Fracture

Fractures are probably the most serious as compared to tears and sprains. A fracture implies that there is a broken or cracked bone involved. Fractures are extremely serious injuries and you must seek a doctor immediately. Common symptoms include difficulty in breathing, loss of mobility at the affected area, fingers or toes turning blue due to lack of blood flow and seeing a bone sticking through the skin. There are two types of fractures namely the acute and stress fractures. Simple acute fractures are caused by a sudden hard blow to the bone resulting in the bone breaking, causing injury only to the bone and not to the surrounding tissues. If you see a bone sticking through your skin, you have a compound acute fracture which will cause infection to the surrounding tissues and are much more serious. Stress fractures are normally from repeated stress on your affected area mainly caused by sports or gymnastics.

Now that you know what sports injury you are suffering from, you can do the necessary R.I.C.E actions and seek a doctor if you need to. There are so many different sports injuries and above are only three of them. Always consult a doctor if you are unsure as wrong self mediation can further aggravate the injury.

Effects on Joints and Skeleton Integrity – Golf

After seeing the wonders of Tiger Woods in the golfing world, many people are suddenly interested in the sport and it has seen a huge growth not only in America but also around the world. People from young to old are starting to learn how to play golf and well to do parents are also forcing their kids to learn golf as it is seen as a game that rich businessmen sign contracts over. However with the increasing in golfers, there is also an increase in injuries related to golf. What are they?

Shoulder injuries

Shoulder injuries especially to the muscles and tendons are extremely common due to overuse. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can cause a slight strain to a complete tear. Golf requires the use of the rotator cuff muscles during the swinging of the club and over prolonged usage of them, inflammation can occur, causing pain and tenderness. Amateur golfers are at a higher risk as they use their rotator cuff muscles much more than professional golfers due to incorrect swinging techniques.

Golfer’s elbow

Golfer’s elbow is similar to tennis elbow just that they are caused by 2 different sports and the location of the pain differs. Golfer’s elbow are caused by overuse and cyclic loading of the tendons and it will result in inflammation, causing immense pain to the player. Pain will be felt at the elbow joint inside of the arm and it will cause a sharp pain even during simple task like squeezing something.

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis affects the tendons that are at your thumb and will cause immense pain whenever you try to move your wrist or clench your fingers together. They are caused by repeated hand movement such as swinging the golf club for a prolonged period of time.

Trigger finger

Trigger finger occurs when an attempt to bend the finger towards the palm, the finger is locked in the position due to the tendon getting stuck. Trigger finger are common in people who frequently uses their hands repeatedly and can cause swelling of the tendons in the fingers, causing it to get locked in the opening of the sheath.

Knee injuries

Knee injuries can occur when the golfer swings the club and it results in a rotation of the knee, causing huge stress on the ligaments and the stress can cause the anterior cruciate ligament to tear. Depending on the power of the turn, it can even cause meniscus tear.

Injuries associated with golf are common and are increasing mainly due to the increase in number of golfers nowadays. As mentioned above, most injuries are caused by repeatedly usage and incorrect usage of various muscle groups. Do take care when you are playing and give your body plenty of rest in-between golfing sessions.

Effects on joints and skeleton integrity – Tennis

Every guy aspires to be like Roger Federer and every woman aspires to be like Serena Williams. Who are those people you may ask Well, they are the world number one for tennis respectively for their gender. Tennis is a popular sport that is extremely high impact and high intensity, and there are numerous start stop throughout the game, making it an excellent sport not only to lose body fats but also to strengthen and work out the entire body. Every part of your body is involved in this sport. You need your leg muscles to run about and jump when you serve, receive and smash. You need your arm and shoulder muscles to serve and return the ball.

Ligaments

As mentioned above, tennis is a high impact sport that will cause damages to your ligaments after prolonged play. It is inevitable as you will be repeatedly jumping up and down, landing in different directions and load each time. This will place tremendous stress on your knee ligaments and over time, it will degrade. Improper landing techniques or sudden twisting motions can cause the ligaments to tear.

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow like its name suggest is a problem to your elbow caused by tennis. Specifically, it involves the tendons that are outside of your elbow whose function is to cock the wrist back to its original position. Since the wrist is repeatable used throughout the game, micro tears can occur in the tendons which do not have the chance to heal.

Tennis toe

As the saying goes, the ball does not grow any eye and can go in all direction. This is very true for tennis and the ball can go in any direction, resulting in you needing to make sudden direction change which will cause your toes to keep pushing against your shoe, causing immense pressure on your toes. Over time, it can cause toe damage or otherwise commonly known as tennis toe.

Bones

However, there are benefits associated with tennis too! Since tennis is an all rounded sport, every single part of your body is involved throughout the entire game. Tennis utilises lots of the muscle’s phasic fibers and it can increase your stamina and endurance levels. As your body will constantly bear load throughout the game, it will help to build up your bone density, greatly reducing the risk of contracting osteoporosis.

Tennis is a high impact sport with a high risk of injuries due to its nature. However, many people still play it regularly to not only keep fit but to challenge their body to its limits. If you take sufficient precautions, you are able to avoid most injuries. Make sure to give your body sufficient rest between games to allow proper recovery of your muscles and tendons.

3 Back Strengthening Exercises

Are you currently suffering from back pain? Regular exercises can help to relieve back pain, strengthen your back muscles and even lower the chances of you suffering from an injury! Many people in the world suffers from back pain and many uses pain relief medication to keep the pain in a tolerable level. What many people do not know is that by engaging in regular back strengthening exercises, they can not only relief the pain in a drug free condition but also prevent them from reoccurring! Below are some simple yet wonderful back strengthening exercises that can be done by people of all ages.

Hip Bridge

Hip bridge is an exercise that stimulates muscles which contributes to having a good posture. You should be able to feel a stretch in your hip and quads and feel an increase in your flexibility level. Hip bridges when done correctly will strengthen the back muscles, glute muscles and stabilises the spine.

How it is done: Start off the exercise by lying flat on a yoga mat which your back, feet and hip shoulder width apart in a relaxed position. Bend your knees slightly and squeeze and contract your hip muscles as you lift it up. Your knees and shoulders should be in a straight line and hold it there for 5 seconds. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for 15 times.

Superman

The superman exercise as its name suggest is done lying on your chest in a superman position. It can strengthen the back muscles and increase the flexibility of the back. It will help to strengthen the glute muscles as well as the erector spinae muscles.
How it is done: Start off the exercise by lying face down on a yoga mat and stretch both of your hands forward. Slowly raise your torso, arms and legs purely with your abs strength in a “flying” position. Hold this position for 10 seconds and slowly return back to the starting position. Repeat for 10 times.

Bird Dog

Bird dog exercise will help to improve the hands, feet and muscles coordination, something that we need on a daily basis to keep the spine in a straight and stable condition. It will also help to strengthen our glute muscles, back muscles and hamstrings.

How it is done: Start off the exercise by getting in a kneeling position on all fours with the knees slightly apart. Contract your abs and extend your right leg backwards and your left arm forward. Hold in the position for 5 seconds and return back to the starting position and change sides, with your left leg backwards and your right arm forward. Repeat this exercise for 10 times.

Back pain is due to many different reasons but their main contributing factor is due to weak back muscles. Back strengthen exercises will help to firm them up and ensure that they are in a proper alignment.

4 contact sports that you may suffer from a sports injury

Despite all the safety measures taken to prevent injuries during sports, it is difficult to avoid it. There is no truly safe sport out there but some sports do pose a higher risk of injury. There is a group of sports called contact sports and these are at a higher risk of injuries. Examples of contact sports include rugby, wrestling, soccer, American football, ice hockey and boxing. These contact sports not only expose the cervical spine to injury, they are also easy targets for head traumas, neck pain, headache and insomnia.

Rugby

Rugby is probably the sports with the highest demands. You need to have good stamina and endurance for all the running. With prolonged running comes the increased risks of overuse injuries such as tendinitis, shin splints and bursitis. There is also the traumatic injury risk when collisions occur with other players, causing fracture of the fingers and collarbone, dislocation of thumbs and shoulders and spraining of the ankles. Since there are no face protection gear in place, fractured or broken nose are also common injuries. In more serious cases, concussion can happen when there is an injury to the brain. Players can suffer dizziness, blurred vision and feeling nauseous.

Wrestling

Wrestling is a physically demanding and stressful sport which is packed with injuries. Some common injuries are to the face and head. Sparring can result in bruises and scrapes. One of the most common injury is Prepatella bursitis as wrestlers are required to be in a slightly bent position, placing tremendous stress on their knee caps. During matches, sudden twisting movements to avoid being hit can result in the tearing of ligaments.

Soccer

Soccer is a sport that combines speed with agility and flexibility coupled with strength and endurance, making it a difficult sport that is also at risk of injury. During sudden change in direction, one foot may still be stuck in the turf, causing a twisting motion, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in the process. Soccer players also commonly suffer from shin splints, Achilles tendinitis and patellar tendinitis.

Ice hockey

Ice hockey is a very popular sport that is not only exciting but also dangerous! Players are faced with constant collisions with each other and the walls, hockey sticks, sharp skating blades and a fast travelling puck. Most injuries are caused by direct trauma such as collisions, body checks, accidental hits from hockey sticks and pucks. These can cause laceration to the head and face. Since ice hockey involves hitting the puck with the hockey stick, it can cause fractures to the wrist if the hitting technique is done incorrectly.

Contact sports are at a higher risk of injuries as compared to other sports although no sport is injury free. It is hard to avoid injuries during the game although there are no players out there who aim to injure another on purpose. When you decide to play the game, you would have known the possible risks and it is your ultimate decision to continue in it.

Physiotherapy VS Orthopaedic Surgery

Whenever someone suffers an injury to his musculoskeletal system such as muscle strains, sprains, ligament tears, broken bones or dislocations, he will have to make some difficult decisions on whether to go for physiotherapy or undergo orthopaedic surgery. For example in the case of an Anterior Cruciate tear, the patient will need to ask himself whether he still intends to continue with the sports in future or he will stop playing it forever. Often if he decides not to continue with the sports in future, he will not need to undergo surgery and physiotherapy is sufficient. If he still wishes to get back to his sporting lifestyle, an orthopaedic surgery is definitely required. Most surgeon will recommend patients to go for the fastest option available – surgery. They believe that a quick response will prevent any possible long term complications such as osteoarthritis or damages to the meniscus. Some however will recommend physiotherapy to allow patients to be able to stand on their own and strengthen the surrounding muscles.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy aims to help free patients from any pain that he is currently experiencing and prevents them from coming back again, allowing patients to lead a better quality lifestyle. Through physiotherapy, patients are able to build up their muscle strength and endurance, restore their range of motion and improve their hand and feet coordination, decrease any pain and reduce the swelling and inflammation of joints. Physiotherapy is effective in helping heal any injured joints and muscles. However, they must be conducted under the guide of a professional therapist.

Orthopaedic Surgery

However, when tissues and muscles are injured to an extent where physiotherapy is no longer effective and the injured areas must be stitched back together, orthopaedic surgery is required. In the case of a serious fracture, surgery is also required to allow proper healing. Physiotherapy can help to strengthen the muscles, tendons and tissues surrounding the injury so that they can support and help compensate for the injured part. The chances of someone suffering the same injury is higher if surgery is not performed. As such, most surgeon will tell patients to undergo surgery if they really wish to participate in the sports in future.

Depending on the extent of the injury, certain treatment is more effective as each has its own pros and cons. For example, physiotherapy can help in muscle strains and sprains. Orthopaedic surgery is required for a complete ACL or meniscus tear. Surgery is often the last thing on a doctor’s mind and he will recommend for physiotherapy to see if it helps.

6 ways to avoid getting injured during exercise

If you are someone that is just starting to exercise with the intention to stay healthy and fit, you can be very prone to injuries. Injuries are probably the fastest method to destroy your exercise regime and make all your effort go to waste. Observe some of the tips below to make sure you protect yourself from unnecessary risk and avoid sports injuries.

Warm Up

Warming up is probably the easiest and most important part of an exercise. A proper warm up will make sure that your muscles are no longer stiff and hard. When your muscles are loosen up, the tendency for injuries is reduced hugely. Many people tend to neglect warming up as they prefer to use that amount of time to work out instead. However, it is never good to apply too much pressure to your muscles suddenly. A simple 10 minutes warm up of light jogging or walking is sufficient enough.

Know your limits

Your main aim of exercising is to lose weight, gain muscles and stay healthy. As such, you may be tempted to go all out to maximise the workout quality. However, there is just a very thin line between no pain, no gain and a serious injury. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is overworked or wrong. If you start to notice swelling and severe pain with stiffness, stop whatever exercise you are doing immediately. An injury will cause whatever progress you’ve made to be null and you will have to restart everything again.

Using proper equipment

You need to carry out your exercises and work outs in a safe environment and you need quality and effective equipments such as clothes and shoes. Do not be tempted by cheap prices. Instead, invest in quality ones with better technology and comfort. It’s always better to have one set of quality sportswear rather than many inferior ones.

Hydration

Hydration is extremely important especially in a hot and humid place like Singapore. When you are totally hydrated, you are able to avoid injuries such as heat stroke, heat cramps and dehydration.

Rest

We understand that the desire to train is high but bear in mind that overtraining will increase the chances of you getting injured. Your body recovers when you are resting and if you do not give your body the chance to recover, it will break down one day and the consequences will be undesirable. Make sure you take a few well deserved rest breaks each week.

Cool down

Last but not least, cooling down. A proper cool down is as important as the warm up and many people often neglect this part. Your body is still at the maximum intensity and you need to slowly let it regain its normal pace. Take this time to do body stretches in muscle groups that you just concentrated on and it will help prevent any soreness or pain.

Avoiding injuries during exercises can be easily avoided if you observe the above few tips. Know your body’s limits and do not do what is impossible. Instead, slowly build up your body’s ability to increase the weights and endurance level.

Top 5 Sports Injury Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

There are many reasons why athletics get injured while doing their sports activity and One of the most common reasons is neglecting the importance of warm ups, as well as stretching. However there are some injuries that do not happen instantly and such injuries will only get worse when you start to ignore the symptoms that build up from it.

Knee injury symptoms

Knee injury is one of the common injuries that most sportsmen are facing today. Here are the few symptoms which one shouldn’t ignore when you’re facing the knee injury:

  • When your knee is unable to move within your normal range for more than a day, it is an indicative problem that there is an internal swelling. When this happens, there will be a need to consult an orthopedic specialist. This form of injury includes other joint injuries as well.
  • Besides, if you’re unable to exert your full weight on the injured knee, it is a sign whereby you need to rest your leg for a day or two. Should this problem persist, there will be a need for you to consult a doctor.

Pulled Hamstring symptoms

The first symptom when you encounter a pulled hamstring is a sudden sharp pain at the back of your leg. This is usually encountered during high-speed trainings such as sprinting or when heavy pressure exerted while performing the workouts.

There are also other symptoms, such as bruising, swelling, spasm and it will be hard for you contract your hamstring. The symptoms are such as:

  • Bruising occurs when there are small tears that cause bleeding. This will eventually result to bruising at the back of your thighs.
  • Swelling, which usually causes muscle contraction, is a symptom that usually occurs due to the accumulation of blood from an injured hamstring.
  • Spasm, due to the sudden effect (sprint) to the muscle, its control of contraction is generally confused. This might cause the muscle to be stimulated.

Calf Muscle Strained symptoms

The muscle is strained is because it has been stretched too much. Should there be greater pressure exerted, it will result in a muscle pull or even a muscle tear. These symptoms of calf muscle straining vary from 3 different grades:

  • Grade 1, least amount of disability which usually does not have much effect on the activity that the sportsman is participating.
  • Grade 2, bruising and swelling may be involved which might cause a substantial form of discomfort to the sportsman. This may limit him from participating certain vigorous activity.
  • ¬†Grade 3, this strain will restrict sportsman from walking and further worsened the swelling and bruising condition.