Not only because of blows, impact sports can lead to injuries of various kinds. These are the most common and some ways to reduce their incidence.
It is truism to say that there is a high probability that injuries in impact sports will be severe. By practicing these disciplines, we are constantly endangering various joints, along with all the structures that protect them.
Next, we are going to review some basic notions about the injuries that occur in these sports. Likewise, we will see some measures that can be taken to prevent its appearance.
Impact sports injuries
We understand by impact sports those that force the athlete to generate continuous impacts on the joints . We are talking about disciplines such as basketball, volleyball or athletics mainly, but football or tennis can also be considered as such.
All these sports have the unfortunate characteristic of being able to cause stress injuries, in addition to any pathology caused by a fortuitous blow. These are the most frequent ailments that we are going to see in impact sports:
Among this type of impact sports injuries we can find shin splints and stress fractures . These problems appear because they demand to compress the joints with great force and load weight on the bones.
Think of a basketball center jumping for a rebound. When he falls, all of his weight is going mainly to the ankle, knee and hip complex. The femur and tibia will be constantly absorbing large amounts of stress.
Over time, even if you have good muscle tone, stress injuries may appear. A study published in EMC – Locomotor System confirms that excessive exercise is one of the major causes of this type of injury .
As we see, impact sports are those in which the athlete performs large amounts of explosive force. That is, jumping, sprinting or any type of effort at maximum power.
Therefore, we will also be demanding that the muscles perform their maximum force. Thus, the musculature will be susceptible to suffering mainly partial and total tears .
Soft tissue injuries
First of all, we must talk about tendinitis, the overuse injury par excellence. The tendons attach the muscle to the bone, so whenever we contract the muscle, we are going to tighten the tendon.
This being so, in impact sports we are tensing the tendons all the time to the maximum intensity that the muscles allow us. In the medium or long term, this often causes tendonitis.
Secondly, we are also talking about sprains. In this case, it is the ligaments that are affected for the same reason as the muscles and tendons. When making a maximum effort like jumping, the brain calculates what the fall will be like and prepares itself. If this varies even the slightest, the body will become destabilized and can cause sprains.
We are talking, for example, about the fact that an opponent’s foot is under your own when falling or that they destabilize us in the middle of a sprint . By going with the maximum strength we have, we don’t have time to react and the ligament is stretched too much .
Prevention of injuries in impact sports
The first thing we must do to prevent these injuries in impact sports is to learn to correctly perform the sporting gestures of the discipline in question . That is, we must learn to perform all movements in the way that studies show to be the most biomechanically appropriate.
Secondly, we must have the muscles well prepared. In most cases, a strong muscle tone will prevent the appearance of these lesions . And we must not train only the agonist muscles, but everyone must be well prepared.
Let’s give the example that we are going to kick many balls playing soccer. We cannot train only the quadriceps to shoot harder. We also need strong and flexible hamstrings to be able to withstand that force.
Finally, we must take good care of food . On the one hand, it is important to have an adequate weight. If you are overweight, you will be more prone to injuries in impact sports.
Likewise, it will be necessary to give all the structures of the body the vitamins, minerals and other substances they need. In fact, there are studies that say that diet is more important than the sporting effort itself, as sustained by a study published by the University of the Basque Country.
As we have seen, we can take measures on our part to prevent injuries, but whenever we do impact sports, we are going to be putting a lot of stress on the structures themselves. Therefore, injuries will always be a latent risk.
Given this, what we must do is prepare as well as possible and learn to perform the sporting gesture appropriately . With this, we will have a lot of cattle and significantly reduce the risk of injury.