Injury Prevention Through Musculoskeletal Exercise

Musculoskeletal Injuries may be accidental in many cases but there are many instances where it has been found that even a little over-activity led to an injury simply because the muscles or connective tissues were vulnerable enough due to weakness. In this direction, a little care can go a long way in Prevention Of Musculoskeletal Injury and this can be done by doing Musculoskeletal Exercises regularly.

Whether you are a working professional, student or sportsperson, taking special care of certain parts of your body can go a long way in Preventing Musculoskeletal Injury. Mentioned here are the parts and the associated Musculoskeletal Exercises:

·    Back: Back pain is one of the most common problems affecting people of almost all ages. It is very essential to maintain the normal curve of the spine and proper mobility. To do this, you can simply swing your arms to and fro as well as maintain a proper posture at all times.

·    Neck: Prolonged inactivity can bring about neck pains. An oft-neglected area is that of superior trapezius muscle, which results in the restriction of the range of motion. To improve flexibility & circulation, isometric exercises can be done. Shoulder shrugs, upright rows and neck rolls are quite effective as well.

·    Hip: A serious injury to the hip area can render anyone bedridden. To make the hip muscles and connective tissue stronger, you can brace yourself against a desk or wall and swing your legs out in front and back as well as sideways in the front. Make sure that the motion is generated from the pelvis to improve the mobility and circulation. You can do Knee Exercises in the same way.

·    Shoulder: Both limited range of motion and repeated use can result in shoulder pains. To avoid this or any injury, you need to focus mainly on the rotator cuff – a dynamic stabilizer that is covered by deltoid and pectoral muscles. Sideways external rotation and internal rotations are excellent Musculoskeletal Exercises for the same.

For all Musculoskeletal Exercises, you should gradually increase the intensity and duration to avoid any injury during the activity. In case you want to go for complicated workout sessions then it is better to consult a Trainer or Musculoskeletal Specialist to be on the safe side.

How Are Musculoskeletal Injuries Diagnosed

Musculoskeletal Injuries can have a debilitating effect and must be properly diagnosed followed by proper treatment. Such injuries are rarely life threatening but by affecting the bones, tendons, ligaments or muscles, they can lead to permanent disability at times. Though anyone can get Musculoskeletal Injury but sportspersons are mostly at the risk of getting injured due to the type of vigorous activity they are involved in. Sports Medicine Specialists and Musculoskeletal Specialists usually diagnose the injury by means of physical examination and certain diagnostic testing procedures. MRIs, CT Scans and X-rays are common Musculoskeletal Diagnosis Procedures and are chosen on the basis of the symptoms of the condition.

Some Common Signals of Musculoskeletal Injury Include

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Deformity
  • Skin discoloration (bruising)
  • Loss of sensation in the affected part
  • Inability to normally use the affected part

Signs of Serious Musculoskeletal Injury

  • Significant deformity
  • Moderate or severe swelling and discoloration
  • Inability to move or use the affected part
  • Bone fragments protruding from the wound
  • Grating of Bones or popping/snapping sound audible to the sufferer
  • Loss of circulation

Apart from physical examination, Musculoskeletal Specialists need to properly diagnose on the basis of patient’s history and determine the extent of the problem.

Types of Musculoskeletal Diagnosis Procedures

· X-Ray: Most commonly, a physician orders X-Rays to determine the severity of the injury in case of fractures. But X-Rays are ineffective to find out ligament or tendon injury.

· Computerized Tomography (CT scan): A CT Scan can provide additional data on fractures or soft tissue problems. In this process, several images are taken from various angles to develop a cross-sectional visualization of the injured area.

· Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Any injury to the tendons, ligaments, bursa or muscles can be properly diagnosed with the help of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The powerful imaging capability of MRI Devices can detect hidden problems that cannot be detected by X-Rays or CT Scans.

It is only after proper diagnosis that appropriate treatment can be started to treat any Musculoskeletal Injury. The musculoskeletal system is such that certain injuries can go undetected for many years, causing severe problems later. Therefore, it becomes very necessary to diagnose any injury using the right method or device to take proper course of action.

Sports Injury Prevention Strategies

Out on the field with the adrenaline rushing through their blood, sportspersons are mostly in a state of frenzy while being focused on their ultimate goal of winning. But this is the time when an unexpected Sports Injury can give them a setback for a few minutes, a few hours or even cripple a sportsperson for life. Whether it’s a pro-player or a novice, all are at a danger of getting injured. The causative factors vary in terms of age, body size, fitness level, muscle strength/flexibility, skill level & injury history and can also be in the form of equipment used, environment, a certain type of activity or conditioning errors. But Sports Medicine Practitioners today recommend several ways for Injury Prevention by changing such intrinsic or extrinsic factors. This can be done by either eliminating the risks or increasing the protection to avoid minor or even fatal Sports Injuries.

Some Injury Prevention Strategies Can Be Stated As Follows:

1. Warm Up

The first and foremost step is to raise the body’s core temperature by doing warm up to increase blood flow to muscles, smoothen the muscle contractions, decrease muscle sensitivity and improve neuro-myo conductance, cardiovascular compatibility, muscle efficiency & mental concentration. There are many activities for general as well as sports specific warm ups that must be undertaken to avoid injuries like muscle tear and to increase the range of motion.

2. Stretching

This is one of the most important activities, which is proven to decrease muscle soreness and the occurrence of musculo-skeletal injuries.

3. Correction of Biomechanics

Proper biomechanics not only improve the movement efficiency but can also prevent injuries. For this, sportspersons and even normal people should avoid any anatomical or functional abnormality. A good Sports Injury Prevention Strategy therefore would be to contact a Professional Sports Medicine Specialist regarding correct biomechanics.

4. Taping & Bracing

Sports Medicine Specialists and even Sports Physiotherapists advise that certain body parts that are vulnerable to injury must be kept protected. For this, many sportspersons like basketball players and boxers use ankle tape or knuckle protection gear. But along with this, it is important to consider that any such protective gear must not interfere with the normal movement or sports activity.

5. Proper Training

The importance of proper training for Youth Sports Injury Prevention or for that matter any type of sports-related injury even for professional players can never be denied. Appropriate Strength Training and Conditioning are very necessary for the same to avoid any accidental injury or extra stress and maximize performance. Along with this, proper recovery is also essential.

6. Managing Psychological Arousal

An advice often given by coaches and Sports Medicine Specialists is that players should ‘keep their mind in the game’. Psychologically speaking, this means that they should neither be excessively aroused before or during game-play, nor under aroused. Any imbalance and players can lose their rhythm & mental concentration or alter muscle tension, lose visual cues and become vulnerable to serious injury.

As evident from the above, it is very important to go for these Sports Injury Prevention Strategies while maintaining proper diet to prevent any injury with short-term or long-term complications. The advice of a Sports Medicine Specialist can come in very handy for the same as such a professional can advise regarding the right techniques to adopt and prevent Serious Sports Injuries of any kind.