Just as much as we would love to prevent injuries to begin with, we are still prone to it happening. Hence, it puts you at an advantage to know and recognize the types of injuries in helping you make well-informed decisions throughout your training.
There are a variety of injuries and they all produce different symptoms and difficulties. Soft tissue injury can be classified as macro or micro traumatic.
- Macro-traumatic injuries are usually due to a strong force – such as a fall, accident, collision or laceration – these are most common in contact sports such as football and rugby. These injuries can be primary (due to direct tissue damage) or secondary (due to transmission of forces or release of inflammatory mediators and other cytokines).
- Micro-traumatic injuries are chronic injuries that result from overuse of a structure such as a muscle, joint, ligament, or tendon. This type of injury is more common in non-contact activities. It can occur gradually over time when a movement or other activity is repeated so often that areas of the body do not have enough time to heal between incidents.
The most common types of injuries we encounter include:
- Sprains: an overstretching or tearing of the ligaments (pieces of tissue that connect two bones to one another in a joint).
- Strains: an overstretching or tearing of muscles or tendons (thick, fibrous cords of tissue that connect bone to muscle).
- Tendinitis is an inflammation of a tendon. It’s a common soft- tissue overuse injury most often caused by an overload or repetitive impact on an affected area.
- Knee injuries: anything that interferes with the movement of the knee joint. There is a wide range of issues that can occur in the muscles or tissues in and around the knee.
- Dislocations: occur when a bone is forced out of its socket. This can be painful and lead to swelling and weakness. Typically go hand in hand with soft tissue damage.
- Rotator cuff injury: primarily four pieces of muscle work together to form the rotator cuff. A tear in any of these muscles can weaken the rotator cuffs capacity to move in all directions.
Minimize the risk of these injuries by training your ability to control your movement at the end range. Increasing your range of motion and movement, increases your risk tolerance. Imagine diving into a pool, having a larger deeper pool would be a lot safer to aim for than a shallow wading pool. By developing strength in your end range, you will strengthen your tendons, ligaments and muscles at the origin and insertion points. This means that the attachments to your joints and to one another will be stronger and will minimize your risk of incidental injuries. With this knowledge in mind, you can make better judgements in recognizing your fitness needs and knowing when you should stop to avoid further injury.
*Disclaimer: For informational purposes only. It is advised to seek professional attention before beginning any exercise or nutritional program.