Committed involvement in serious sport is on the rise among young people. It is a healthy trend without doubt. Unfortunately, awareness of the potential for injury that inevitably comes with dedicated participation in sports lags behind. While about 3 million young people visit emergency rooms for serious sports injuries each year, a similar number receive no treatment.
Such neglect can place young athletes at a high level of risk for long-term consequences. An injury not attended to promptly can turn far more threatening than it has to be. A great deal of media attention is focused on concussions, making coaches, young athletes and their parents aware of the need for early intervention. Not enough attention, though, is paid to the complications that arise from orthopedic injuries when early treatment is denied.
Sprains usually take far longer to heal when emergency R.I.C.E. treatment is denied or delayed. Anti-inflammatory medicine, physiotherapy and R.I.C.E. treatment can help control pain and swelling, and can also help preserve strength. Sprains that do not receive immediate treatment may never heal completely. Athletes often complain of poor responsiveness in the long term.
There can be actual harm done
Sometimes, when injured athletes do not receive timely advice, they use the wrong kind of treatment. The widespread use of hot compresses is one such example. The application of heat is actually dangerous, and comes with the risk of aggravation of any inflammation or swelling. Icing works far better.
Ruptures of the Achilles tendon tend to be common among athletes, and are an example of how bad things can get when sports injuries are neglected. In many cases, ruptures only cause tolerable pain, and allow athletes to continue with many kinds of activity. Many patients put off seeking treatment for weeks. When this happens, the calf muscles may contract and scar tissue may form, resulting in deformed healing. Permanent loss of mechanical efficiency of various muscles such as the triceps surae usually results.
Athletes in school often train under overzealous coaches who push them to work far more intensively than they are able. The result is often the occurrence of injury related to repetitive motion stress or overuse. Poor technique, ill-fitting equipment, incorrect warm-up technique and poor overall strength make such injury far more likely than they need to be.
Since coaches are often focused on improving performance rather than taking care of their athletes, these injuries tend to go unnoticed. When neglected, these conditions can result in painful situations that quickly turn complicated to treat.
It’s important to be in continuous consultation
Sports injuries can be hard to prevent — young athletes and coaches tend to not be particularly attuned to the risk of injury. The answer is to be in routine consultation with sports medicine specialists. Preventive training and preventive education can help.