We all know that staying active and participating in sports is good for our physical and mental health, but sports injuries are incredibly common amongst both children and adults, and if you have ever experienced a sprain or strain, you will know first-hand just how painful a sports injury can be.
Fortunately, most sports related injuries are short-term, and with rest and pain medicines such as codeine or dihydrocodeine, you’ll be back on your feet in no time, but it is important that your condition is diagnosed correctly by a medical professional to ensure you get the right treatment plan for your particular injury.
Here is a breakdown of the most common sports injuries and the associated pain that goes with them:
Sprains & Strains
The most common sports injuries of all, sprains and strains usually occur when we overexert ourselves or fail to warm up thoroughly before participating in physical activities. A sprain occurs when we overstretch or tear ligaments, and most commonly affects the wrists, ankles and knees. A strain is generally referred to as a ‘pulled muscle’, and occurs when we stretch or tear the fibres within our muscles or tendons.
While these two injuries are very different, the pain associated with both conditions is very similar, and so your treatment plan may involve simple over-the-counter painkillers such as Paracetamol, stronger medicines such as Codeine, or your GP may even prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to treat severe swelling and pain.
Fractures & Dislocations
Ranging from minor to very serious, dislocations and fractures are common sports injuries that can take anything from a few days to several months to heal. Dislocations occur when the normal position of a joint is forced out of alignment. Regularly experienced by those who participate in contact sports, dislocations can be incredibly painful, and often require medical intervention to realign the joint. Once reset, patients are often prescribed painkillers and rest to help the connective tissues heal.
Fractures, or broken bones as they are more commonly referred to, range from tiny stress fractures to severe compound fractures where the bone is broken into two pieces. Surprisingly common sports injuries, especially amongst professional athletes, fractures generally occur in heavy and repetitive impact sports that involve running and jumping. In most instances, surgery is required to repair the bone, and treatment can range from everyday painkillers to prescription only medicines and months of physiotherapy depending on the severity of the fracture.
The knee is the largest and most frequently used joint in sports, and so it is no surprise that sports related knee injuries are common. Tennis players, runners, cyclists, and football players all experience knee pain at some stage or another, with injuries ranging from mild sprains to strains to more severe fractures and meniscus tears.
Knee injuries can happen as a result of an accident or wrong move, or they can build up over time, and so pain management plans vary. Pain relief medicines, rest, hot and cold therapies, compression, and surgery are all options, depending on the type of sports injury you have and how severe your symptoms are.
Most sports injuries can be avoided, and by taking a little extra time to warm up before your activity and cool down afterwards, you could avoid painful injuries that will leave you on the subs bench for weeks.