Sports and Sport Injuries

What is sport?

Shortly, sport is movement. It is all activities which are done in a certain order, make structures providing movement as muscle and joint of body worked.

Could you give information about the organs mostly used and injured during sport?

Soft tissues like muscle, tendon, joint capsule and cartilage stay under load and injured most. On the other hand; bone and internal organ damages are seen during serious trauma. There are 639 muscles in our body and they constitute approximately 40% of body weight. Bones are 300 in number at birth however 206 at adulthood (Some of them merge in time).

Why sport injuries happen and which are the dangerous sports?

We can divide injury reasons into two: 1) Personal reasons 2) Environmental reasons. In the personal reasons; “weak bone and muscle structure, anatomical disorders, past injuries and operations, existence of chronicle diseases and infections in the body, psychological problems, age and gender which are not compatible with sport type, inadequate information about sports which will be done” can be seen. Environmental reasons are: “inappropriate technique of sport or training, using bad cloths and materials, breaking the rules, nonexistence of proper floor or weather conditions”.

Sports which cause most injuries are team and touch sports like soccer, American football, basketball and wrestling. Not common in our country but we can add, motor race, motorcycle race and high speed ski sports to this list.

What are the points to watch out before and after sport?

First of all, health scan must be done. Afterwards, regular health checks are necessary. Warm-up and stretching exercises must be done for 15-20 minutes before starting sport. It is necessary to have information about sport which will be done and proper clothes and materials must be used. Activity must be ended up if excessive fatigue, palpitation, dryness of mouth emerges. Cooling down exercises should be done for 10-15 minutes after sport activity.

Is it possible to do exercise in any age?

Yes, it is possible to do exercise in any age and it is necessary. Although daily physical activities of people were 92% in 19th century, it is decreased to less than 30% in nowadays developed communities. This condition causes many problems such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and psychological problems. In pre-school age groups (0-6 ages), a healthy child is already active. After age 6, it must be prevented to child spending many hours in front of computer and television. Named as fast-food, hamburger and toast type of food must not be consumed; he should not be drunken coke and fizzy drinks. Drinking milk should be incited. According to studies conducted, up to 80% of over weighted children will be over weighted in adulthood as well.

Is physical activity (sport) in children beneficial and how should it be?

Yes it is beneficial. At first, they will be healthier and fit, their growth and development will be affected positively. They will be able to better control their body movement and they will have a chance to improve their natural talents. They will be able to cope with problems like tension, anxiety, aggression and depression more easily. Self confident children who can create health communication with others will be come out.

Sport should not be harmful and it must be appropriate for child’s age group. Overloading during bone and muscle development may cause injuries, fractures and irregular periods for girls. While between age 5 and 7, individual activities like running, climbing, swimming, dancing-folk dancing become prominent, in later ages they should be changed gradually to activities which requires more energy and power. A point not to forget; child should adopt the sport type and he/she must do it in an unprofessional manner without excess loading.

What kind of changes seen with aging and what kind of sports are more appropriate?

Nowadays; we describe as age 40-65 is middle age, 65-75 is period of retirement, 75-85 is advanced elderly and after 85 year old is very advanced elderly period. With advanced ages; 1) Increased loss of brain and nerve cells causes balance disorders, coordination impairments and slowing of movements. 2) Loss of hearing and eyesight may cause delayed instant reactions. 3) Loss of muscle and bone mass causes decreased flexibility at soft tissues, easy damaging and inability of doing forced movements. 4) Decreased capacity of respiratory and cardiovascular systems bring along weakness and early fatigue. As a consequence of all these, we can say that; middle age group can do tennis, swimming, running, cycling activities, swimming and walking are the best sports for retired and advanced age group.

What can be said about walking and swimming?

Walking is a sport of any age group; an individual walks 200.000 km, about 5 times circumference of the earth, in lifetime. The most important points during walking; appropriate duration, floor, clothing and proper shoes. In the first half of middle age; it is enough to walk 1 hour for 5 days per week (approximately 5 km), in more advanced ages, 30-45 minutes for 3-4 days per week is reasonable. Ground floor should not be hard; it must be flexible and straight if it is possible.
Sport clothing proper for the season must be completed with high quality sport shoes which can absorb the hits from sole. Sport shoes must be changed in every 500-600km. It will be favourable to choose a speed of 7-8 km, mild tempo run, increasing both distance and speed as 10% in every week.

How an emergency approach should be in case of sport emergency and how should be decided to definitive diagnosis?

Sport must be halted immediately and sportsman must be carried out of playing field. Cold (ice) must be applied to injured region, application should not be done on naked skin, 1,5-2 hours of break should be given after every 20-30 minute application. Compression with elastic bandage must be applied to prevent swelling and arm-leg must be elevated to heart level (Video: ice application). Afterwards, a specialist doctor on sport injuries must determine the degree of injury with a careful examination. Definitive diagnosis is made at hospital with help of screening instruments. For the fractures and dislocations at bones and joints, direct radiography (x-ray) and computerized tomography (CT), for the soft tissue injuries; ultrasonography (USG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used.

How is treatment applied?

In mild injuries; rest, bandage and splint applications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), regional cortisone injections and physical therapy applications are prior. Platelet-rich plasma got popularity recently and it is used in the treatment of professional sportsman, is also affective for tissue healing. If injury is heavy and damage is a lot; surgical approach is necessary. Surgical applications consist of open and closed (arthroscopic) interventions. It is possible to screen intra-articular structures clearly on the screen and to intervene in closed (arthroscopic) methods. Harm to patient is less and recovery period is faster.

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