Common Sports Injuries
There are a number of injuries which can occur while playing sport. Below is a couple of examples of the most common sports injuries and how they can be treated by our therapists.
1. Lateral Ankle Sprains
These are one of the most common injuries seen in basketball, volleyball, netball, football and soccer. The main ligaments affected are the ATFL (anterior talofibular ligament) and the CFL (calcaneofibular ligament).
These types of sprains usually occur from uneven surfaces, awkward landings and quick direction changes. The injury is usually caused by the foot being in plantar flexion (toe pointed) and inversion (foot turned in).
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain on lateral aspect of the ankle
- Swelling around lateral aspect of ankle
- Pain with weight bearing
- Can feel or hear a snap, crack or tear
- Gradual introduction of weight bearing
- Reducing swelling
- Avoid factors that will promote blood flow and swelling such as:
- Hot showers
- Alcohol rubs
- Excessive weight bearing
Restore full range of motion
Ankle and foot mobilisations and active range of motion exercises to help return the ankle to its pre-injury range.
Plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, inversion and eversion exercises should be performed as soon as pain allows.
Proprioception training involves balance exercises (ie. Single leg balancing, wobble boards and mini trampoline) and should be performed as early as possible in the rehabilitation phase to ensure a full recovery.
Once all of the above stages have been achieved and you are pain free, functional exercises such as jumping, hopping and running can begin. Once sufficient functional exercise rehabilitation has been completed you can return to sport.
2. Shin Splints
Shin splint is a commonly used term to describe a variety of shin conditions. The most common types that are seen are the medial tibial stress syndrome or medial tibial periostitis.
- Excessive pronation (flat feet)
- Training errors
- Shoe design
- Surface type
- Muscle dysfunction
- Muscle fatigue
- Decreased flexibility
Signs and Symptoms
- Diffuse pain along the medial border of the tibia
- Decreased pain after warm up
- Increase pain following finish of exercise
- Worse in the morning
- Lower 2/3 of the tibia
- Initial period of rest
- Anti-Inflammatory medications
Correction of foot biomechanics
This can be done through taping, orthotics and muscle retraining.
A full assessment of calf control should be performed. Rehabilitation should involve eccentric training of the calf muscles to improve the quality of their control.
Deep tissue release
Trigger point release, transverse frictions and dry needling are commonly used to reduce muscle tone and the pull on the medial aspect of the tibia.