Sports Medicine

Sports injuries occur when playing indoor or outdoor sports or while exercising. Sports injuries can result from accidents, inadequate training, improper use of protective devices, or insufficient stretching or warm-up exercises. The most common sports injuries are sprains and strains, fractures, and dislocations.

The most common treatment recommended for injury is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE).
• Rest: Avoid activities that may cause injury.
• Ice: Ice packs can be applied to the injured area, which will help to diminish swelling and pain. Ice should be applied over a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day for several days. Never place ice directly on the skin.
• Compression: Compression of the injured area helps to reduce swelling. Elastic wraps, air casts and splints can accomplish this.
• Elevation: Elevate the injured part above heart level to reduce swelling and pain.

Some of the measures that are followed to prevent sports-related injuries include:
• Follow an exercise program to strengthen the muscles.
• Gradually increase your exercise level and avoid overdoing the exercise.
• Ensure that you wear properly-fitted protective gear such as elbow guards, eye gear, face masks, mouth guards and pads, comfortable clothes, and athletic shoes before playing any sports activity, which will help to reduce the chances of injury.
• Make sure that you follow warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after sports activity. Exercises will help to stretch the muscles, increase flexibility and reduce soft tissue injuries.
• Avoid exercising immediately after eating a large meal.
• Maintain a healthy diet, which will nourish the muscles.
• Avoid playing when you are injured or tired. Take a break for some time after playing.
• Learn all the rules of the game you are participating in.
• Ensure that you are physically fit to play the sport.

Some of the common sports injuries include:

Foot and ankle injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are common while playing sports such as football, hockey, skating and in athletes. Common sports injuries include sprains and strains, ankle fractures, and Achilles tendinitis. Treatment for some of these conditions may be orthotics, braces, physical therapy, injections or surgery.

Shoulder injuries

Severe pain in the shoulders while playing your favorite sports such as tennis, basketball and gymnastics may be because of a torn ligament in the shoulder or shoulder dislocation. This may be caused by overuse of the shoulder while playing sports. Simple pain or acute injuries may be treated with conservative treatment and chronic injuries may require surgical treatment.

Hip injuries

Fractures of the femur bone, labral tear and hip dislocation are some of the common sports injuries affecting the hip. The hip joint bears more weight and is more susceptible to injuries while playing sports. Hip injuries require immediate medical intervention to avoid further complications. Rehabilitation programs and physical therapy are often recommended following medical intervention, where you need to perform certain exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve movements.

Knee injuries

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a major stabilizing ligament in the knee, which may tear with overuse while playing sports. The ACL has poor ability to heal and may cause instability. Other common sports injuries in the knee include cartilage damage and meniscal tear. Knee injuries during sports may require surgical intervention, which can be performed using open surgical or a minimally invasive technique. Your surgeon will recommend physical therapy to strengthen your muscles, and improve elasticity and movement of the bones and joints.

SHIN SPLINTS

What are Shin Splints?

Shin splints are pain and inflammation of the tendons, muscles and bone tissue along the tibia or shinbone (lower leg). It occurs because of vigorous physical activities such as exercise or sports. The condition is also referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS).

Causes of Shin Splints

The common cause of shin splints is the overuse of muscles and bone tissue of the tibia because of repetitive sports activities and a sudden change in the physical activity level. The other causes of shin splints include:
• Stress fractures (tiny, hairline breaks) of the leg bone, which may cause sharp pain
• Tendonitis caused by a partial tear in the tendon
• Chronic exertional compartment syndrome, which is the swelling of muscles due to exertion caused by increased pressure within the muscle compartment. Pain is severe because of loss of blood supply to the muscle.
Flat feet or a rigid arch and use of improper or worn-out footwear while exercising may increase the risk of developing shin splints. Runners and dancers are at a higher risk of developing shin splints.

Symptoms of Shin Splints

The most commonly occurring symptoms include pain in the front of the lower leg, during or after exercises. Mild swelling may develop in the lower leg because of which you may feel weak or numb.

Diagnosis of Shin Splints

Your doctor will diagnose the shin splits through a physical examination of the lower leg. In some cases, an X-ray or other tests may be required to detect stress fractures of the tibia.

Treatment options for Shin Splints

The treatment for shin splints consists of non-surgical and surgical procedures. The non-surgical or conservative procedures include:
• Rest: Ensure that you get adequate rest. Avoid activities that cause pain for at least 2-4 weeks. You can try low-impact exercises such as swimming, bicycling or water running.
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines: NSAIDs are administered to reduce pain and swelling.
• Ice: Apply ice packs wrapped over a cloth on the affected area for 15-20 minutes four times a day for several days. Never place ice directly over the skin.
• Compression: Wrap the leg with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling.
• Flexibility exercises: This involves exercises to stretch the leg muscles to reduce pain and improve muscle strength.
• Supportive shoes: Ensure that your child wears shoes that provide good cushioning and support for the feet as it helps reduce stress on the shinbone.
Surgical treatment is an option that is considered only in very severe cases when conservative methods fail to relieve pain. Surgery may be required when pain becomes severe due to compartment syndrome. Fasciotomy is a surgical procedure where the tough and fibrous tissue is split to relieve the pressure built up within muscle compartments.
Shin splints can be prevented by following these measures:
• Ensure that you always wear proper fitting athletic shoes with good support.
• Make sure to warm up and stretch the leg muscles before starting any vigorous activity.
• Avoid running on hard surfaces like concrete.
• Ensure that you start any new activity slowly and progress gradually by increasing the duration and frequency of the exercise regimen.

SPORTS INJURIES

What are Sports Injuries?

Sports injuries are injuries that most commonly occur during sports and exercises.

Causes of Sports Injuries

These injuries may result from accidents, poor training practices, and use of improper protective gear, lack of conditioning, and insufficient warm up and stretching.

Types of Sports Injuries
Sports injuries may be either
• Acute: sprains, fractures, tears
• Chronic: tendonitis, overuse injury

Symptoms of Sports Injuries

Some of the common symptoms of sports injuries include:
• Pain
• Swelling
• Stiffness
• Bruising
• Bleeding
• Concussion
• Cuts and abrasions
• Dehydration
• Fracture

Diagnosis of Sports Injuries

Sports injuries are diagnosed with a detailed medical review and thorough physical examination. Your doctor may order certain imaging studies such as X-rays, MRI and CT scans to confirm on the diagnosis.

Sports Injury Management

When you suffer an injury during sports events, never try to continue the activity in pain because it may cause further harm. Some injuries may require prompt attention by a doctor, while others can be treated at home with rest, application of ice.
You should seek medical treatment if:
• The injury is causing severe pain, swelling or numbness.
• You are not able to put any weight on the injured area.
• The pain or dull ache of an old injury has increased along with swelling and joint instability.
If you do not have any of the symptoms mentioned above, you can adopt self-care treatment at home. You should follow the RICE method immediately after injury to relieve pain and inflammation. These steps should continue for at least 48 hours.
• Rest: You should take rest from regular exercises or daily activities as needed.
• Ice: Apply an ice pack over the injured area for 20 minutes at a time. This should be done four to eight times a day. A cold pack, ice bag, or plastic bag filled with crushed ice and wrapped in a towel can be used.
• Compression: Compress the injured area with elastic wraps, special boots, air casts, and splints. This helps to reduce swelling.
• Elevation: Keep the injured elbow or wrist elevated on a pillow, above the level of the heart. This is to help decrease swelling.
Your doctor may recommend other treatments to help your injury heal. These include:
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: These drugs reduce swelling and pain.
• Immobilization: Immobilization is minimizing the movement of the injured area to prevent further damage. It also reduces pain, swelling and muscle spasm. Slings are given to immobilize the arms and shoulders.
• Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation involves exercises that get the injured area back to normal condition. Exercises start with gentle range-of-motion exercises followed by stretching and strengthening exercises.
• Other therapies: Other common therapies that help in the healing of sports injuries include mild electrical currents (electrostimulation), cold packs or cryotherapy, heat packs or thermotherapy, high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound), massage and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections.
• Surgery: Surgery is the last resort for management of sports injuries and is indicated only if conservative techniques are not helpful. Surgeries are performed to repair torn tendons and ligaments or to realign the broken bones. Your surgeon may recommend arthroscopic procedure or open techniques to treat your sports injuries.

Top 5 Common Football Injuries

Football is a contact sport associated with a high frequency of injuries despite extensive protective gear. Injuries may occur while tackling, throwing, kicking, catching, and running with sudden changes in speed and direction. Some injuries occur as a result of a sudden impact, while other injuries result from repeated stresses (overuse injuries). Common football injuries include:

Ligament sprains and tears: A sprain or stretching of the ligaments, especially in the ankle or knee is the most common football injury. An overstretched ligament can tear, causing severe pain and disability.
Concussions: A blow to the head and body can cause a concussion or injury to your brain. This is a serious injury that can lead to changes in the way you think and behave.
Lacerations and contusions: Cuts and bruises are minor injuries that commonly occur on the field.
Fracture: Football is commonly associated with fractures of the bones around the eyes, in the shoulder, wrist and fingers, and stress fractures (tiny fractures caused by excessive stress) in the shin bone.
Dislocation: Dislocation commonly occurs in the shoulder joint, and may be caused by impact, twisting or falling on an outstretched arm, and is associated with severe pain, swelling and bruising.

To minimize the risk of football injuries, it is necessary to:
• Exercise and maintain appropriate fitness levels.
• Have a checkup before deciding to participate in football or any sport.
• Check the field for any potential hazards.
• Perform a stretching or warm-up routine immediately before and after play.
• Keep yourself well hydrated.
• Use appropriate safety gear such as helmets and mouth guards, and ensure they are properly worn.
• Listen to your body for signs of pain and discomfort to prevent overstress injuries.
• Be prepared for first-aid or any emergencies.

Knee Sports Injuries

Trauma is any injury caused during physical activity, motor vehicle accidents, electric shock, or other activities. Sports trauma or sports injuries refer to injuries caused while playing indoor or outdoor sports and exercising. Sports trauma can result from accidents, inadequate training, improper use of protective devices, or insufficient stretching or warm-up exercises. The most common sports injuries are sprains and strains, fractures, and dislocations.
The most common treatment recommended for injury is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE).
• Rest: Avoid activities that may cause injury.
• Ice: Ice packs can be applied to the injured area which will help to diminish swelling and pain. Ice should be applied over a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes four times a day for several days. Never place ice directly over the skin.
• Compression: Compression of the injured area helps to reduce swelling. Elastic wraps, air casts, and splints can accomplish this.
• Elevation: Elevate the injured part above heart level to reduce swelling and pain.
• Some of the measures that are to be followed to prevent sports related injuries include:
• Follow an exercise program to strengthen the muscles.
• Gradually increase your exercise level and avoid overdoing the exercise.
• Ensure that you wear properly-fitted protective gear such as elbow guards, eye gear, facemasks, mouthguards, and pads, comfortable clothes, and athletic shoes before playing any sports activity which will help to reduce the chances of injury.
• Make sure that you follow warm up and cool down exercises before and after sports activity. Exercises will help to stretch the muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce soft tissue injuries.
• Avoid exercising immediately after eating a large meal.
• Maintain a healthy diet which will nourish the muscles.
• Avoid playing when you are injured or tired. Take a break for some time after playing.
• Learn all the rules of the game you are participating in.

Ensure that you are physically fit to play the sport.
Knee injuries: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a major stabilizing ligament in the knee which may tear with over use of the knee while playing sports. The ACL has poor ability to heal and may cause instability. Other common sports injuries in the knee are cartilage damage and meniscal tear. Knee injuries in sports may require surgical intervention that can be performed using open surgical or minimally invasive technique. Your surgeon will recommend physical therapy to strengthen your muscles, improve elasticity and improve the movements of the bones and joints.

Foot and Ankle Sports Injuries

Injuries during sports are common. They can result from accidents, inadequate training, improper use of protective devices or insufficient stretching or warm-up exercises. Injuries to the foot and ankle are common while playing sports such as football, hockey, skating and in weekend athletes. Common sports injuries include sprains and strains, ankle fractures, and Achilles tendinitis.

Foot and ankle injuries are common in athletes while playing sports such as football, hockey and skating. Common sports injuries to the foot and ankle include sprains and strains, ankle fractures and Achilles tendinitis. Treatment for these conditions may include orthotics, braces, physical therapy, injections or surgery.

The most common treatments recommended for injury to the foot and ankle include:
• Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE)
• NSAIDs and pain-relieving medications
• Steroid injections at the location of pain to relieve pain
• Orthotics
• Braces, casts or splints to immobilize the injured part of the foot/ankle and promote healing
• Surgery to excise deformities, release or repair damaged tendons and ligaments, and align and fix fractures with pins, screws and plates
• Physical therapy to stretch and improve range of motion

Some of the measures that are followed to prevent sports-related injuries include:

• Follow an exercise program to strengthen the muscles.
• Gradually increase your exercise level and avoid overdoing the exercise.
• Ensure that you wear properly-fitted protective gear including comfortable, well-fitting athletic shoes before playing any sports activity, which will help to reduce the chances of injury.
• Make sure that you perform warm up and cool down exercises before and after a sports activity. These exercises will help to stretch the muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce soft tissue injuries.
• Maintain a healthy diet that will nourish the muscles.
• Avoid playing when you are injured or tired. Take a break for some time after playing.
• Ensure that you are physically fit to play the sport.

Sports Injuries – Hand and Wrist

Sports injuries are injuries that most commonly occur during sports and exercises. These injuries may result from accidents, poor training practices, and use of improper protective gear, lack of conditioning, and insufficient warm up and stretching. Sports injuries may be either acute (sprains, fractures, tears) or chronic (tendonitis, overuse injury) injuries.

What are the common hand and wrist injuries?

Some of the common sports injuries that may affect the hands and wrists include finger fracture, mallet finger, jammed finger, wrist sprains, tendonitis of the wrist, and Colles wrist fracture.

How are these sports injuries managed?

When you suffer an injury during sports events, never try to continue the activity in pain because it may cause further harm. Some injuries may require prompt attention by a doctor, while others can be treated at home.

You should seek medical treatment:

• If the injury is causing severe pain, swelling, or numbness.
• If you are not able to put any weight on the injured area.
• If the pain or dull ache of an old injury has increased along with swelling and joint instability.
• If you do not have any symptoms mentioned above, you can adopt self –care treatment at home. You should follow the RICE method immediately after injury to relieve pain and inflammation. These steps should continue for at least 48 hours.

Rest: You should take rest from regular exercises or daily activities as needed.

Ice: Apply an ice pack over the injured area for 20 minutes at a time. This should be done four to eight times a day. A cold pack, ice bag, or plastic bag filled with crushed ice and wrapped in a towel can be used.

Compression: Compress the injured area with elastic wraps, special boots, air casts and splints. This helps to reduce swelling.

Elevation: Keep the injured wrist elevated on a pillow, above the level of the heart. This is to help decrease swelling.

Your doctor may recommend other treatments to help your injury heal. These include Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce swelling and pain.

Immobilization

It involves reducing movement of the injured area to prevent further damage. It also reduces pain, swelling and muscle spasm.
Surgery
Surgery may be necessary to repair torn tendons and ligaments or to realign the broken bones.

Rehabilitation

It involves exercises that get the injured area back to normal condition. Exercises start with gentle range-of-motion exercises followed by stretching and strengthening exercises.

Other Therapies

Other common therapies that help in the healing of sports injuries include mild electrical currents (electro-stimulation), cold packs or cryotherapy, heat packs or thermotherapy, high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound), massage and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections.

Athletic Shoes

Shoes not only protect your feet during movement, but are a major performance determining factor in sports. Athletic shoes are designed to withstand the increased pressures that sporting activities place on the feet, ankles and legs. They prevent injuries and improve performance and comfort.

Having a clear idea of the type of foot (especially the arch of your foot) you have and how your foot works during different activities, is important in choosing the best fit.

While walking, your feet roll from your heel to your toe. To facilitate this movement, walking shoes must provide good shock absorption, stability throughout the arch of your feet (underneath the midfoot), and flexible forefoot support.

However, while running, you only have one foot on the ground at a time, bearing an impact of up to five times your body’s weight on each foot. The majority of this impact is felt on the outer aspect of the heel before the weight distributes. Running shoes, therefore, should provide more cushioning at the heel and more mesh material to dissipate the heat produced during running.

Different types of shoes are available for different athletic activities and should be carefully chosen for maximum benefit. For example, cross-trainers are shoes designed for those who move from one sport to another. Other shoes are available for different sports such as cleats or spikes for football and soccer, court shoes for volleyball and basketball, and hiking shoes that keep your feet stable on irregular surfaces. Barefoot running is a growing trend, for which shoes are designed with no cushioning; only protection against sharp and irregular surfaces.

When purchasing athletic shoes, make sure they are designed for your particular sport. Try to buy them in the evening when your feet are expanded to the maximum. They should have a stable heel counter (support behind your heel) and enough room to wiggle your toes, with a gap of about half an inch between your big toe and the tip of the shoe. Always wear the socks that you would normally wear during your sport when trying out a new shoe, fasten the laces as you would normally and walk around the store with both shoes on different surfaces to ensure comfort.

Sports Injuries in Young Athletes

Participating in athletics improves coordination skills, physical fitness, self-discipline and teamwork in young people. However, young athletes have a higher risk of injury when compared to adults.

Fortunately, sports injuries in the young can be prevented through appropriate physical conditioning, age-specific coaching and using proper equipment. Some of the common sports injuries in young athletes include:
• Acute injuries: Injuries caused due to sudden trauma, such as a fall, twist or collision. Common acute injuries include cuts or bruises, broken bones and sprains or strains.
• Overuse injuries: Injuries that occur gradually over time. Common overuse injuries include Achilles tendinitis, throwing injuries in the elbow and shin splints. Signs of overuse injuries include pain, swelling, less interest in practice and changes in technique.
Some measures that you can follow to prevent sports-related injuries include:
• Follow an exercise program to strengthen the muscles.
• Gradually increase your exercise level without overdoing it.
• Ensure that you wear properly-fitted protective gear, such as elbow guards, eye gear, face masks, mouth guards and pads, comfortable clothes and athletic shoes before playing any sports activity, which will help reduce the chances of injury.
• Make sure that you perform warm-up exercises before and after the sports activity. Exercises will help stretch muscles, increase flexibility and reduce soft tissue injuries.
• Avoid exercising immediately after a large meal.
• Maintain a healthy diet to nourish the muscles and stay well-hydrated with fluids.
• Avoid playing when you are injured or tired. Take a break for some time after playing.
• Learn all the rules of the game you are participating in.
• Ensure that you are physically fit to play the sport.
• Create a healthy atmosphere of competition.

Prevent Golf Injuries

Golf, although considered a low-risk sport, can be associated with significant injuries. Most injuries are a result of overuse or lack of proper technique. Common golf injuries include injuries to the lower back, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand.

To prevent golf injuries and improve your form, follow these tips:
• Maintain a proper posture. Place your feet at shoulder-width with knees slightly bent. Your spine should be relatively straight and trunk tilted forward. The hips should generate most of the movement.
• Force needs to be transferred smoothly to all the muscle groups, right from your wrist to your ankle. Overemphasizing on a particular part of the body may result in injury.
• Maintain a consistent swing. Swinging too fast or hard can stress your joints.
• Before playing, warm up for at least 10 minutes by taking a brisk walk and stretching your hands, shoulders, spine and elbows. Swinging your golf club also helps. Always start slowly and work up to the level of activity you desire. Straining may do more harm than good.
• Perform strength and flexibility exercises. Stronger muscles are less prone to injury. Stretching improves your range of motion for a better swing.
• Perform aerobic activities regularly, such as swimming, jogging or walking, to build your endurance.
• Dress comfortably and use the recommended footwear such as golf shoes with short cleats.
• Hitting the ground or other rough objects while swinging may cause wrist and elbow injuries.
• If you are carrying your own golf bag, use correct lifting techniques such as using your legs to lift and keeping your back straight.

Prevent Inline Skating Injuries

Inline skating is a recreational sport just like cycling and running. As with other sports, it can be associated with the risk of injuries, ranging from fractures and dislocations to serious head injuries. Inline skating injuries can be prevented by following the rules of the sport. Some of the safety tips include:
• Wearing appropriate safety gear such as elbow and knee pads, helmet and wrist protectors
• Proper warm-up exercises before and after skating
• Mastering the basic skills first, such as balance and speed control, as well as learning how to stop
• Avoiding skating on uneven surfaces, hilly areas and crowded places
• Following traffic rules while skating. Staying on the right side of the road
• Keeping certain things in mind while buying your skate boots
o Comfortable boots that do not put any pressure on the foot are recommended.
o Make it a point to buy your skates towards the end of the day when the foot is normally at its largest.
o Wear your skating socks to help you get the correct size.

Skateboarding Safety

Skateboarding is a popular activity among young people. However, it carries a serious risk of injury. Some of the common skateboarding injuries include injuries to the face, neck, arms, trunk, wrist fractures, and severe injuries such as concussions and head injuries. You can greatly reduce the risk of injury by following these simple safety tips.
• Wear protective equipment including a helmet, wrist guards, knee and elbow pads and appropriate shoes. In addition, empty your pockets of any sharp or hard objects before skating.
• Get a quality skateboard and keep it in proper working condition. Before every ride, examine it thoroughly for any problems such as broken or cracked parts, a slippery top surface, or cracks and nicks in the wheels. Repair these problems before using it.
• Master the basics first. Learn how to turn, slow down and stop appropriately.
• Learn how to fall safely. If losing balance, bend down on the skateboard so that you don’t have as far to fall. Try to relax and roll if you fall.
• Stay in a good physical condition as it helps prevent injuries.
• Practice your tricks and stunts in areas reserved for skating such as a skateboard park. Avoid skateboarding on irregular surfaces and in crowded places, dark areas and wet weather.
• Avoid riding more than one person on a skateboard.

Sports Nutrition

Nutrition is the intake of food to meet the body’s requirements. Good nutrition comprises of an adequate, well-balanced diet and is important for good health. Just like physical training, nutrition plays a major role in keeping you strong and healthy thereby helping you perform your best during sports. The following is a guide to sports nutrition:

A balanced intake of proteins, fats and carbohydrates offers a good proportion of energy and nutrients to the body.

Energy sources: Food may be transformed into units of energy called calories that are burned during activities. Athletic activity requires a high calorie intake which may be obtained from a variety of food sources. Carbohydrates are best at energy production and are important for endurance and power. Fats are an additional source of energy and help when you are exercising at low intensity. Avoid having fats before an activity as you may end up with intestinal cramping since fat takes a longer time to digest. Good fats such as omega-3 fats are found in certain fish, whole milk products, nuts and avocados.
Proteins: These are important for building, repairing and maintaining your tissues. Avoid unhealthy proteins such as fried chicken and cheese burgers, instead go for lean proteins such as beans, fish, tofu and grilled chicken or meat.
Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins and minerals help with metabolism to release energy from foods. Fluoride, calcium, vitamin D and magnesium maintain your bones and are important for sports. A daily multivitamin is usually enough to supplement your needs.
Water: Water flushes out toxins from the body and helps to keep you cool. You need to drink water before your activity, during your activity, and particularly after the activity to replenish your body.

Fueling plan, what to have and when?

Since every person is different there is no fixed fueling plan for all. The following are certain tips that can be helpful:
Breakfast: It is crucial to start the day with breakfast as it helps your body replenish the lost glycogen (an energy store) utilized during sleep. Skipping breakfast can make you tired and lead to over-eating later.
Eating before exercise: You may have a heavy meal four to five hours prior to your workout with a good amount of carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein and fat, but it is usually advised to eat two to three hours before a workout for proper fueling. This should be a snack or light meal with a judicious number of carbohydrates and proteins and no fat, as fat takes time to digest.
Eating during exercise: Drinking water and a sports drink is enough to keep yourself hydrated and replenish the sodium that is lost through sweating. If required, you can even have a small snack which is low in fat and protein.
Eating after exercise: After strenuous activity or exercise, drink a sufficient quantity of water to keep yourself hydrated. In addition, have carbohydrates and proteins to replenish the glycogen that is lost while rebuilding or repairing any tissues.

Throwing Injuries

An athlete uses an overhand throw to achieve greater speed and distance. Repeated throwing in sports such as baseball and basketball can place a lot of stress on the joints of the arm, and lead to weakening and ultimately, injury to the structures in the elbow.
These overuse injuries may include:

• Inflammation or tears of the ulnar collateral ligaments (supportive tissue that support the elbow joint.
• Inflammation of the flexor tendons (tissue connecting muscles of the forearm to the upper arm bone) at the inner side of the elbow.
• Wearing of cartilage (spongy protective tissue lining bones in a joint) over the olecranon (pointed elbow bone) and development of abnormal bony growths (bone spurs).
• Tiny cracks (stress fractures) of the olecranon.
• Irritation of the ulnar nerve.
Throwing injuries can produce pain, numbness, tingling and reduction in the throwing velocity. When you present with symptoms of a throwing injury, your doctor will review your medical history, discuss your athletic activities and perform a thorough physical examination to examine the strength, range of motion, and stability of your elbow. Imaging tests (X-ray, MRI and CT scans) may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.

Your doctor may suggest a conservative approach to treatment such as rest, ice application, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and a modification of activity and throwing technique. If symptoms remain uncontrolled, surgery may be performed to repair the injured tissues either through an open surgery or a less invasive technique (arthroscopy), where a camera and instruments are inserted through a narrow tube. Surgery may be performed to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament and relocate the ulnar nerve to the front of the elbow. Four to six weeks of rehabilitation is recommended following surgery to prevent stiffness, and improve strength and range of motion. Your doctor will discuss when it is safe for you to return to your activities based on the injury and how well you recover.