Athletes often get used to feeling little aches and pains on occasion, but some minor discomfort may actually be a more serious injury. Here are some of the most common sports injuries, broken down by sport, along with treatment and prevention types.

Common Golf Injury

The most common golf injuries occur in the lower back, elbows, shoulders, hands and wrists, and are generally defined as either cumulative (overuse) or acute (traumatic) injuries. The impact and stress of the repetitive motion of the swing is sometimes hard on the muscles and joints, especially if you ignore the early warning signs of an injury.

The best way to avoid an injury is to prevent them with proper conditioning and swing mechanics.

Lower Back Pain

The muscles of the low back provide power and strength for activities such as standing, walking and lifting. The ligaments of the low back act to interconnect the five vertebral bones and provide support or stability for the low back. A sprain of the low back can occur when a sudden, forceful movement injures a ligament which has become stiff or weak through poor conditioning or overuse. Sprains and strains are the most common causes of low back pain.

Treatments for Lower Back Pain

Most low back pain can be safely and effectively treated following an examination by your orthopaedic surgeon and a prescribed period of activity modification and some medication to relieve the pain and diminish the inflammation. Although a brief period of rest may be helpful, most studies show that light activity speeds healing and recovery. It may not be necessary for you to discontinue all activities, including work. Instead, you may adjust your activity under your orthopaedist’s guidance.

Once the initial pain has eased, a rehabilitation program may be suggested to increase your muscle strength in your low back and abdominal muscles as well as some stretching exercises to increase your flexibility. Weight loss if you are overweight, and quitting smoking if you are a smoker, also will decrease the chances of a recurrence of your low back pain. The best long-term treatment is an active prevention program of maintaining your physical condition and observing proper lifting and postural activities to prevent further injuries.

Most low back pain, whether acute or chronic, almost always can be treated without surgery. The most common reason for surgery on the lower back is to remove the pressure from a “slipped disk” when it causes nerve and leg pain and has not responded to other treatments. Some arthritic conditions of the spine, when severe, also can cause pressure and nerve irritation, and often can be improved with surgical treatment.

Prevention for Lower Back Pain

The normal effects of aging that result in decreased bone mass, and decreased strength and elasticity of muscles and ligaments, can’t be avoided. However, the effects can be slowed by:

  • exercising regularly to keep the muscles that support your back strong and flexible
  • using the correct lifting and moving techniques; get help if an object is too heavy or an awkward size
  • maintaining your proper body weight; being overweight puts a strain on your back muscles
  • avoid smoking
  • maintaining a proper posture when standing and sitting; don’t slouch

 

Dr Kevin M H Yip, MBBS (UK), FRCS (EDIN), FAM (SING), FHKCOS (ORTHO)

Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic

Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Tel: (65) 64762106

Email: service@SingaporeSportsClinic.com

URL: www.SingaporeSportsClinic.com

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