Orthopedic trauma refers to injuries of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, blood vessels, or related soft tissues that most commonly occur during sports, exercise or any other physical activity. Trauma may be a result of accidents, poor training practices or with use of improper gear. Injuries may also be caused when an individual is not medically fit or because of insufficient warm up and stretching exercises. Musculoskeletal injuries are a group of painful disorders that arise due to wear and tear resulting in impairment in the functioning of the musculoskeletal system.
Acute injuries are the sudden injuries that occur during playing or exercising and include sprained ankles, strained backs, and fractured hands.
Chronic injuries happen from overusing one part of the body for playing a sport or exercising, preferably when practiced for a longer duration.
The treatment of musculoskeletal injuries includes both non-surgical and surgical methods. Non-surgical methods are the initial line of management and include:
- Restriction of movement of the injured part
- Heat or cold treatment that may relieve pain and accelerate repair process
- Exercise and physical therapy to help in stretching the injured muscle
- Medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics
In cases where non-surgical methods are not effective, surgical repair of the underlying muscle, tendon, or ligament is recommended.
Regardless of the type of injury, acute or chronic, avoid working through the pain of an injury. On experiencing pain from a particular movement stop playing or exercising. Continuing the activity may worsen the condition. Some injuries may require immediate medical intervention while others can be self-treated.
Consult your doctor if:
- You experience severe pain, swelling, or numbness
- You can’t tolerate any weight on the area
- Pain or dull ache of an old injury
- If pain is accompanied by swelling or if you feel the joint as unstable