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Sports Injuries and the Brain

Sports injuries are injuries resulting from sports activities. More broadly,these are all injuries sustained during a sporting activity,of which there are many. They include a potential TBI,or traumatic brain injury.

In the narrow sense,they represent injuries to the locomotor system,movement systems (muscles,tendons,ligaments,joints,bones). As in professional as well as in recreational sports,dominant injuries of the locomotor system are dominant,with sports injuries we mean locomotor system injuries.

Sports injuries are divided into acute and chronic.

1) Acute sports injuries

Acute injuries occur as a result of the immediate action of a strong force (movement or contact),which exceeds the compensatory capacity of our body and leads to mechanical damage to the tissue. The soft tissues (muscles,ligaments,tendons) of the locomotor system support your joints and prevent injury. They resist the force exerting on your body to a certain extent,after which soft tissue structure is disturbed (stretching,partial or total tearing of the structures). Two characteristics,the elasticity,and strength of these tissues determine their resistance to injury.

A concussion is one of the most serious injuries in sports to diagnose,evaluate,and treat,precisely because there is no diagnostic test to quickly detect this condition. Because of this,even the mere suspicion of concussion is enough to prohibit sports activity until full recovery. Repeated concussions may be a signal for the need of a brain injury attorney.

It is an immediate and short-term post-traumatic disorder of brain function. According to statistics,it mostly occurs in cycling,soccer,baseball,basketball,water sports,and martial arts,among all age categories.

Prevention of acute sports injuries

Strength training leads to hypertrophy and an increase in muscle strength,thereby increasing joint stability and resistance to injury. Dosed training and gradual training protect against muscle and tendon injuries. Stretching exercises provide a full range of motion in the joints,preventing muscle and tendon injuries.

Supplementation and adequate nutrition contribute to a better build-up of soft tissues,increasing the collagen content in them. Collagen handles soft tissue firmness,with vitamin C essential for proper collagen synthesis in our body. In the prevention and recovery of injuries,supplements with collagen,glucosamine,hyaluronic acid preparations have positive effects.

2) Overstimulation syndromes in sports

Chronic injuries are also called overuse injuries. They are the result of repeated,frequent action of force,with repeated stereotypical movements characteristic of a particular sport. The effect of force on local tissue is cumulative,producing repetitive microtrauma until the ability to regenerate local tissue is exceeded. Stress injuries affect tissues that suffer from repeated movements and accumulation of mechanical stress in the sport: tendons,attach tendons for bone,places where mechanical friction and pressure are expressed,and parts of the bone where load forces intersect.

Overstrain syndromes and localization are typical of the type of sport,so there are also characteristic names (tennis elbow,swimming shoulder,jumping knee…).

Causes that lead to chronic injuries can be internal (related to the athlete) and external (related to the training conditions).

a) Internal causes

  • previous injuries — a tissue weakened by a previous injury is a weak spot and a risk of a new injury. Complete rehabilitation involves not only relieving yourself from the pain but restoring the full function of the injured part;
  • poor fitness — poorly prepared athletes are more prone to injury,and injuries generally occur at the beginning of the season;
  • muscle imbalance — occurs between muscle groups that perform different movements in a particular part of the body — muscle antagonists (in the lower thigh area the muscles of the anterior and posterior lodges). The consequence of imbalance is the irregular function of that part of the body,with the appearance of overloading of the active structures;
  • anatomical anomalies — most commonly occurring at the level of the feet and knees,then the knee and spine. Deformities disrupt the usual movement pattern and lead to compensatory overstretching of the surrounding soft tissue structures;
  • nutritional factors — deficiency in nutritional intake impairs the body’s abilities,both in training and in recovery. Proper nutrition and supplementation should ensure that all macro and micronutrients are replenished;
  • growth period — in the period of pronounced growth,as a consequence of faster skeletal growth,there is a tightening of the soft tissues of the locomotor system (muscles,tendons,ligaments). This leads to an increased load on certain parts of the locomotor system.

b) External causes of overuse injuries

  • training errors — the most common training errors are the volume and intensity of training. Results in training cannot be achieved overnight. Exaggerating the dosage load in strength training in the gym is the way to muscle injury,rather than to more muscle mass. Gradually and patience are the best recipe;
  • inadequate equipment — inadequate or absence of equipment exposes the athlete to an increased risk of injury;
  • irregular training structure — the correct scheme of training organization includes warm-up,cardio training,the main part of the training,cooling,stretching. The most important thing for preventing injuries in sports is warming up at the beginning of training and stretching at the end of the training. Warming up at the beginning of a workout involves raising circulation through muscle,local temperatures,and tissue elasticities. Stretching at the end of a workout increases the elasticity of soft tissue structures,leads to muscle relaxation and improves muscle blood flow. Insufficiently elastic tissues are most susceptible to injury.

First is identifying risk factors. Most often two or more factors are present at the same time. Equally,important are the proper and complete rehabilitation of previous injuries,gradual training,eliminating muscle imbalances,detecting anatomical anomalies and training errors. Also,the importance of proper nutrition and supplementation should not be forgotten.

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