Being a sporty female comes with many advantages. You get to play a sport you are passionate about, empower women in your field, and get a fair amount of exercise during the week. However, this does not shield you from sports-related injuries. Acute sports injuries such as cuts, fractures, sprains, and concussions happen quite often in the sports world. But can these injuries be treated? Here are four common acute sports injuries and how to treat them.
1) Ankle sprain
At least once, or twice, in your sports career, you may have experienced the woes of a sprained ankle. This injury occurs when the foot turns inward, tearing the weak ligaments outside the ankle. Regardless of your age or size, you can experience this injury as you run across a field or a court. Many doctors have advised sportswomen to use the Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) treatment method to ease the swelling when you sprain your ankle. You can also use exercises! The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society recommends incorporating a range of motion stretches and resistance and stability exercises to prevent a loss of flexibility and strength. However, be sure to see your doctor if the sprain causes tenderness around the ankle.
2) Shin splints
Now, while it is understandable and awe-inspiring to go the extra mile in your training, this may cost you quite handsomely. Overtraining may cause pain down the lower legs, known as shin splints. You can use the RICE method to eliminate pain or wear elastic compression bandages. However, if the pain persists, you should see your doctor, as this may indicate a fracture. You can also visit a physiotherapy clinic to assess the condition to receive expert advice on the best solutions available to you.
Yes, you read that, right! Concussions are indeed a common injury. A concussion is a brain injury caused by a mild blow to the head, which is usually the case in contact sports. Surprisingly, statistically, women report more cases of concussions than men in the same sport. Symptoms of a concussion may include nausea, confusion, lack of coordination, headaches, and vomiting. To treat a concussion, you should take a break from strenuous physical exercise and get more rest. Once all the symptoms are gone, you can go back to playing your sport but under your doctor’s orders.
4) ACL tear
An ACL tear is an injury associated with non-contact sports like tennis. The tear occurs when there’s a sudden stop, jump, or change in direction. When this happens, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which connects the leg bone and the knee, tears and sometimes produces a “pop” sound. ACL tears are more common in women than men in the same sports due to the difference in anatomy and biomechanics. An ACL tear can be treated by not straining the injured leg and trying some mobility and strength exercises. However, if you want to get back to your sport in a shorter period, you can choose to be operated on.