58_Yuval Naimi of Hapo Jlem.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
This week, I’d like to address the four most common types of sports injuries:
Sprains, strains, tears and fractures.
The most frequent sports injuries
are sprains and strains, which occur when an abnormal amount of stress is placed
on ligaments and muscles.
Only about five percent of sports injuries
involve fractures, or broken bones.
Let’s delve into each of these in
slightly more detail: • Sprains: Sprains are injuries to ligaments, which are
fibrous structures that connect bones to other bones. They serve as passive
stabilizers of the joints.
There are five grades of sprains. Grade I
sprains cause stretching of the ligament. The symptoms tend to be limited to
pain and swelling. In lower limb sprains, patients can walk without crutches,
but may not be able to jog or jump.
Grade II sprains involve a more
severe partial tear of the ligament. There is usually swelling and bruising
caused by bleeding under the skin.
Patients have pain while walking, but
can take a few steps.
Grade III sprains occur when the ligament is
completely torn. The joint is usually quite painful, and walking can be
difficult. Patients may complain of instability, or a giving-way sensation in
the joint. Depending on the anatomical area concerned, surgery may be a
The most common ligaments that are injured are those
around the ankle.
In general, the degree of symptoms tends to correlate
well with the extent of the damage to these ligaments.
• Strains: Strains
are injuries that occur regarding muscles.
Muscles are fibrous tissue
that connect tendons to bones and produce force that causes voluntary motion in
all the joints in the body. There are about 650 muscles in the human
Muscle injury is graded in a similar way that ligament injury is.
The most common muscle group that is injured is the hamstring. These three
muscles connect the pelvis to the knee, behind the upper leg.
These are injuries that occur relating to tendons.
A tendon is a tough
band of fibrous connective tissue that connects muscle to bone and is capable of
The primary function of a tendon is to transmit the
contraction force of its associated muscle to the bone. Consequently, the tendon
needs to have sufficient tensile strength.
They are constructed with
parallel collagen fibers running the length of the tendon. The longitudinal
arrangement of the collagen fibers gives the tendon its tensile
Tendon injuries are usually graded as partial or
Tendons usually take six to eight weeks to heal.
most common tendons that are injured in the body are those around the ankle,
shoulder and knee.
• Fractures: These are injuries that occur relating to
Bones are calcified connective tissues that help human beings move
and provide protection to the inner organs. They further provide support to the
body against constant gravitational pull.
A fracture is caused due to the
inability of a bone to withstand the force exerted on it.
Most people get
at least one fracture during their lifetime.
The elderly are more prone
to fractures, as their bones get more brittle with age. Children suffer less
from fractures as their bones are more flexible.
Fractures usually take
between six to eight weeks to heal in adults and three to four weeks in
The most common bones that are injured are those around the
Yonatan Kaplan, PT PhD (Candidate), is the director of the
Jerusalem Sports Medicine Institute at the Hebrew University’s Lerner Sports
Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (054) 463-9463.
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