Top 5 Trampoline Injuries: Prevention

Having a trampoline in your backyard seems like a fun and exciting way to get outside and get to moving. While it could be fun, there are some serious trampoline injuries that can take place if precautions are not taken. These can include everything from broken bones and sprains to something even more serious such as concussions or neck injuries. Learning how to prevent the top four trampoline injuries from happening in your home is critical to keep the fun lasting for years to come. Here are some of the top four injuries that people deal with on a trampoline.

Broken Bones

Children and adults can easily break bones on the trampolines in their friend’s yard or in their own. This can happen by colliding with someone else while jumping, falling off the trampoline during a jump or landing wrong on the trampoline itself.

Sprains or Strains

Again this can happen on the trampoline while you or your child are jumping around. You could land wrong and twist an ankle or even get your arm caught in the sides of the trampoline when landing as well. Many people suffer from twisted limbs when jumping and landing incorrectly.

Head or Neck Injuries

A more serious injury on the trampoline includes injuries to the neck or head.  People have broken their necks or hit their heads and developed a concussion after jumping on the trampoline. Another way these trampoline injuries occur is if there are two people jumping and they collide on landing. They can develop severe head injuries if they hit their heads together or if they fall off the trampoline and land on the ground.

Bruises, Cuts, and Scrapes

These are more minor injuries that happen but they happen nonetheless. It is very important that if you cut yourself on the trampoline that you take the proper methods of caring for it afterwards. Be sure to clean out the cut or scrape and ice down bruised areas to prevent more swelling.

Precautions to Prevent Trampoline Injuries

Some might say to leave the trampoline at the store and walk away. Some would tell you not to even put one in your yard, but if you have one already, here are some ideas to keep in mind. Always have an adult present when jumping on the trampoline. Only allow one person to jump at a time and everyone else should be off the trampoline. Make sure not to do flips on the trampoline and to check all aspects of the unit for damage and needed repairs.

4 Ways on How to Relieve Hip Pain

The hip joint is essentially a ball and socket joint that is designed to provide a near unrestricted range of motion and withstand this cyclic process and the wear and tear it brings along. Due to the frequency of usage, the hip joint can break down easily. The soft tissues located in the hip will be overused and injuries such as fractures and sprains can then happen, leading to hip pain. We will discuss about some ways to relieve hip pain in this article.

Stretching exercises

Stretching exercises help to keep the target group muscles warm and flexible. Exercises will increase blood flow to the area, bringing more nutrients such as oxygen and aiding repair works. Hip exercises such as bridging can help to relief hip pain. You simply have to lie down on your back and raise your butt off the ground while contracting your abs muscle. Hold in this position for 10 seconds and repeat for 3 sets.

Aquatic therapy

The main benefit of aquatic therapy is the reduced stresses acting on the injured joints. As the name suggests, it takes place in the water. Aqua therapy uses the unique buoyancy of water properties to assist in healing, conditioning and strengthening of the joints, allowing patients to perform the therapy in a painless manner yet significantly aiding the recovery plan. The viscosity properties of water allow a gentle resistance to build up the body’s mechanism.

Medication

During sudden onset of hip pain, pain relief medication is able to produce a temporal solution to counter the problem and allow patients to relax. Medication can only be a stop gap measure as it does not solve the root of the problem and that can only be solved by exercises, physical therapy or surgery.

Ice packs

Ice packs help to bring down swelling and calm irritated nerves and tissues in the hip region. Ice also contracts the blood vessels, reducing the amount of blood flow in the region. This will help to produce a temporary pain relief effect similar to medication but the effective duration is shorter.

Discussed above are 4 ways to help reduce hip pain. Hip pain is inevitable at some point in our lives due to the wear and tear of the cartilage lining. Joint supplements may be able to help alleviate the pain to a certain extent and is best taken when you are still young and active.

How Does Yoga Reduce Orthopaedic Injuries?

No one in this world is born perfect. There are imbalances in various parts of our body and this can cause injuries if mishandled. Many sports athletes are now turning to an ancient form of practice – Yoga. Yoga helps to increase the flexibility and physical as well as mental strength of oneself. It helps to prevent injuries associated with overuse and speed up recovery of existing injuries.

Yoga is normally conducted in a room that is slightly warm. This increase in temperature will allow muscles to expand and relax, allowing for an increase in stretching capabilities. Enhanced stretching will help to lower the risk of injuries. Yoga will help to build up physical strength and tone muscles, especially vulnerable ones such as the back muscles. It also increases flexibility, reducing injuries that are sustained due to the inability to flex. Since yoga causes perspiration, it will draw out toxins and impurities from the body, burn excess calories and help to build up endurance levels.

Orthopaedic injuries are all about the joints and musculoskeletal system. Having strong joints and muscles will help to significantly lower the risk of injuries. For example, athletes that are involved in high tempo activities such as basketball and soccer are at a high risk of ankle sprains. Due to the constant running and jumping motion, this causes a lot of high stresses to build up at the joints. Without sufficient rest, it can lead to overuse injuries and eventually soft tissue damages. Not only does yoga help to strengthen these joints, it also helps to reduce body weight to reduce the cyclic stresses acting on weak areas of the body.

You may be thinking basic warm up and cool down stretches also help to increase body heat and relax the muscles, increasing flexibility. What is so special about yoga? Well, the main difference is that yoga goes beyond stretching the “common” muscles. Normal stretches simply stretch the muscles in a one direction plane. However, this is rather useless for sports since sports is a 3 dimensional activity whereby the stresses come in the x, y and z plane. Yoga helps to stretch all the muscles in all the directions including the small ones to better prepare for what is to come during the games. Additionally, how yoga differs from ordinary stretching lies in its breathing during the practice. The emphasis of muscles isolation, works on specific muscles and in general stronger muscles would reduce the risk of sustaining orthopaedic injuries. In fact, stronger muscles also reduce the extent of an injury as well as recovery rate. Generally a stronger individual would be able to recover faster than an individual with weak muscles.

Yoga is an ancient activity that helps to warm up your muscles, increase the flexibility and build up your physical and mental strength through various poses and motion. With thousands of years of history, it is tried and tested by many.

4 Most Common Gymnastics Injuries

Gymnastics is a full body and physically demanding sport meant for all gender. Due to its stressful and challenging nature, risk of injuries are extremely high. Although most injuries are minor ones, some can be serious and life threatening! This risk is amplified when risky stunts are attempted. I will discuss some common Gymnastics injuries in this article.

Wrist sprains

The wrist is the most heavily used part of the body in Gymnastics. With the extreme twisting speed and jumps, the force acting on the wrist can be double of that of our body’s weight. Thus, the wrist is the most prone to injuries. Wrist sprains are common and the immediate response would be to terminate all activities and get plenty of rest. The intensity of training in future would need to be toned down as the wrist will be more prone to future sprains. To protect and offer better support, a wrist brace should be worn prior to any strenuous activities.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear

ACL injuries are common and can happen if the gymnast lands in an awkward position. The ACL supports the knee and provides stability. However, it can rupture if it is twisted suddenly under high forces and that exact force is provided by an improper landing position following a stunt. A “pop” sound will be heard and this is followed by knee swelling. To prevent ACL injuries, a supportive knee brace should be worn. In addition, gymnasts should strengthen their leg muscles to better hold and support the ligaments together.

Foot injuries

Foot injuries are another type of common gymnastics injury. The more frequently occurring one is ankle sprain. Minor foot injuries only suffer from slight swelling while more serious cases will lead to severe swelling and a limit in mobility.  Wearing a protective brace is often required after foot injuries but this can hinder the flexibility of the gymnast.

Back injuries

Injuries to the back can be either a muscle strain, ligament sprain or even spinal disc disorder. Back pain will intensify based on the activity engaged and extension motions will cause the pain to increase. Back injuries are often referred to physiotherapists but they can be more serious underlying. Serious back injuries that are not easy to detect is the spinal disc disorder. The spinal discs will cushion our spine from shocks and if it is injured, the protective capabilities will be compromised.

Gymnastics is a physically demanding and challenging sport activity that is filled with lots of injury risks. There are strict requirements for the gymnast and training often starts young. Unlike most sports, injuries in gymnastics are hard to prevent due to the lack of protective equipment that are flexible and concealable.

Home treatments – Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are common orthopaedic injuries involving the ankle and minor ankle sprains will heal on their own. Ankle sprains happen due to the ligaments in the ankle tearing because of sudden shifts into positions that are unusual. Minor ankle sprains take between 2 to 4 weeks to heal and more serious ones will take up to 6 months. Home treatment is often sufficient to relieve pain and speed up the healing process.

RICE

Following an ankle sprain, RICE should be done immediately. RICE is simply Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. Do not add any more stress to your injured ankles. You do not want to aggravate the inflamed tissues and cause further damages. Wear an ankle brace to help immobilise the ankle to prevent any further stresses while moving about. Start to ice the injured ankle for 20 minutes at a time as any duration longer than 20 minutes can cause the surrounding muscles and tissues to suffer from shock. Ice helps to reduce inflammation and reduce pain and swelling. Compress the ankle to prevent accumulation of fluid in the ankle region. Be careful not to compress too tightly until the skin starts to turn purple. Lastly, elevate the ankle to a position higher than the heart. Using gravity, the fluid will not retain at the ankle site and instead, it will flow away from it.

Walking

The first treatment that follows almost immediately after an ankle sprain is walking. It is important to begin the treatment as soon as possible to prevent long term joint problems. If walking is bearable, you should start to walk around with the aid of crutches. Always remember to wear protective footwear to prevent aggravation of your ankle injury. Walking in a correct manner helps to stretch the ankle ligaments and promote healing.

Range of motion

It is important to perform range of motion exercises following any injury at the joint areas to prevent tissue scarring and further complications. Always do the exercises slowly and do not rush them through. Sit down in an upright position and rotate your ankles in a clockwise position followed by anti-clockwise. Do this several times during the day to prevent the tissues from hardening.

Strengthening

After an ankle injury, the muscles surrounding the ankle is no longer as strong as before and you need to perform strengthening exercises to firm and strengthen them to ensure proper support in future. A strong ankle is also able to reduce the chances of future ankle sprains.

Ankle sprains are rather common ankle injuries suffered by many people due to a sudden twisting action commonly during walking on uneven surfaces. For minor ankle sprains, home treatment will often suffice with simple activities that you can perform at home without the need for medication. Remember to rest well and do not rush through the recovery process.

5 Common Injuries Suffered by Dancers

Dancing is a physical activity that is accompanied with a certain level or risk. Dancing is something that needs to be gradually built up from scratch and one cannot simply jump into it expecting to do something they have never tried. Proper warm up and stretching as well as cooling down exercises will need to be performed religiously before and after every session. Injuries can be career threatening to any dancer and it is important to take precautions to prevent them from happening.

Meniscus Knee Tear

Dancing requires a lot of jumping and knee twisting actions accompanied by sudden direction changes. This will place a lot of stresses on the knee, particularly the ligaments and meniscus. A tear in the knee meniscus is one of the most frequent injuries experienced by dancers and it can put you out of action for up to 6 months depending on the severity. It is important to strengthen the leg muscles particularly the knee, thigh and calf to help reduce the burden on the knee.

Ankle sprains

A proper ankle connection is important in dancing. Ankle sprains occur when upon landing from a jump, the outside of the ankle rolls inwards due to a loss of balance. This will cause the ligaments in the ankle to tear. Ankle sprains are painful and will hinder you in many aspects of your daily life. You will be out of action for up to a month.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is tendonitis of the Achilles tendon and it occurs due to muscle overuse after repeatedly acting pressure on the calf muscle. It happens most frequently in dancers who place a lot of their weight on the lower body.

Neck strain

Neck strain is a common injury and it happens so frequently because dancers have to move their head throughout a dance and many of them control it incorrectly. Instead of using the spine when they arch their neck, they use the tendons, overusing them.

Muscle cramps

Dance practices and rehearsals can sometimes take a long time and start from early in the morning till late at night. As a result, they are easy victims to muscle cramps due to fatigue and a lack of required electrolytes to replace the ones they lost throughout the day. Sometimes it can happen due to improper warm up exercises.

Dancing is a very physical demanding activity and the risk of injuries is high. New dancers will need to start slow while experienced dancers cannot be complacent and skip the basic warm up and cooling down exercises. Dancers will also need to ensure that they replace their lost fluid to prevent muscle cramps.

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.