The Athlete

Fitness and Sports Injuries and Preventions

Taking care of your Body - Its all Youv got

This Section has a small portion of Sports Injuries. For more Information on Sports Injuries Please click here.

Head Injuries

One of the scariest scenes in sports is an athlete being taken off in an ambulance after a bad collision or accident. Although many of these accidents cannot be prevented there are safety precautions athletes can take such as wearing helmets or goggles to prevent extreme damage to the head.

Eyes

Protection of the eyes should be of utmost concern to every athlete. Goggles or safety glasses should be worn to ensure that no foreign object could cause retinal damage. Athletes that are exposed to large amounts of sunlight or other bright light should consider using eye protection that not only protects against foreign objects but also prevents damage to the eyes caused by overexposure to light.

Head Trauma

Sports such as racing, boxing, and football all put athletes at greater risk for head trauma than do non-contact sports such as swimming. However, all athletes should be concerned with protecting against head trauma. A proper helmet or protective equipment should be worn by all athletes both during competition and training. Race car drivers should be particularly careful to make sure that proper equipment is worn and that their safety harnesses are secure so that their head will receive as little trauma as possible should a wreck occur.

Concussion

Concussions are caused when the brain swells due to a violent impact. Athletes who suffer multiple concussions throughout their careers put themselves at greater and greater risk of seeing long term negative effects with every concussion they receive. Concussions have caused many athletes careers to be cut short. National Football League star Troy Aikman, formally of the Dallas Cowboys, is an excellent example of how multiple concussions can result in an athlete’s early retirement. There are three grades of concussions with grade one being the mildest and grade three being the most severe. Athletes who suffer a concussion should immediately seek medical help and refrain from future competition until being cleared by a medical professional.

Safety Masks

After experiencing a broken nose or other facial structure damage, some athletes may choose to wear a plastic mask in order to prevent further injury. NBA players are most noted for the use of this plastic device. Basketball stars such as Ron Artest and Richard Hamilton are among those who have seen the benefits of using a protective mask during competition. These masks allow an athlete to get back into competition faster while at the same time helping to prevent a reoccurrence of an injury.

Shoulder Injuries

Tommy John Surgery

Many athletes who use a repetitive motion of the arm develop problems because of overuse. These athletes may even be forced into early retirement should the damage be severe enough. Baseball players, mostly pitchers, are at the highest risk of having such arm problems because of the fact that they use their arms to throw an abnormal amount under very strenuous conditions.

History

Dr. Frank Jobe was the creator of the Tommy John surgery which has helped hundreds of athletes recover from arm injuries and return to their sport to have wonderful careers post surgery. The actual procedure was developed by Dr. Jobe upon the request of Tommy John in 1974. Tommy John had been a top level baseball pitcher, but had suffered a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament and was faced with retirement if he could not find a way to rehabilitate his arm. With necessity being the mother of all invention, Dr. Jobe eventually settled on a technique that he thought had the best chance for success. After surgery, Tommy John returned to the major leagues and won 170 games proving Dr. Jobe’s technique to be a success. Thus, the procedure has become commonly known as Tommy John surgery and has helped to save the careers and dreams of many athletes from certain disaster.

The Procedure

In order to perform Tommy John surgery, holes must be made into the arm that has the injured ligament. In most cases, a ligament from the other, uninjured arm is used as a replacement and is threaded through these holes. However, about 12 percent of all patients that undergo Tommy John surgery have to use a replacement ligament from another body part, such as a leg, for various medical reasons. After the success of the first procedure on Tommy John, Dr. Frank Jobe went on to perform over 200 of these operations on other individuals and taught his technique to the medical community.

Recovery

Recovery from Tommy John surgery involves a lot of physical therapy and patience. It typically takes a full year to recover from the operation and return to competition, but there are those that have been known to return a few months sooner.

Injury Preventions

All athletes put their bodies at risk during training and competition. It is important to take proper safety precautions to ensure that long term injuries do not occur and that accidents are avoided.

A trip to the doctor should be number one on the list of things to do for an athlete who is starting out. A doctor can examine an athlete and make them aware of any injury prone areas of the body that should be paid attention to during training and competition. The doctor can also offer good advice about what diet would be best suited for the individual athlete as well as provide good suggestions about what types of movements and exercises the athlete’s training regimen should consist of.

Personal Trainer

Those athletes who are very serious about proper training should consider getting a personal trainer. A personal trainer can act as a dependable spotter as well as provide good feedback to an athlete during training regarding whether or not proper form is being kept while training. A personal trainer can also be a motivator to an athlete and a good source of information regarding what should be eaten and what exercises and strength training techniques would help an athlete achieve the best results possible.

Good Form

When training, athletes must be well informed about the proper motions needed to keep their body injury free. For example, weightlifters must know the proper lifting form for each individual exercise not only to prevent injury but to see improved benefits from their training.

Proper Training Level

The level of training should match the level at which any particular athlete is currently training. Using too much weight during strength training can result in muscle pulls as well as long term joint injury. An athlete who is engaging in an overly strenuous cardiovascular workout program puts themselves at risk of a heart attack. Athletes should vary their workout schedules to allow their muscles time to recover. One of the best ways to keep training fun and eliminate potential injury problems is to alternate strength training and cardiovascular work so that they fall on an every other day basis.

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