Reducing The Risk Of A Sports Injury
Introduction to the risks...
There are two types of factors that are related to sports injuries..
There are two types of factors that are related to sports injuries, these are extrinsic factors and intrinsic factors.
Extrinsic Factors - These factors happen from a force on the outside of the body.
- Incorrect Technique - This is an extrinsic factor because you can gain both an acute and chronic injury. An acute injury is something that happens suddenly to the body such as colliding with another player. A chronic injury can happen from overusing a particular part of the body. An example of how acute injuries can be formed is when a footballer may challenge for the ball, if they challenge with the wrong technique such as challenging two footed, then they may cause not only themselves and acute injury but the oppositions player too. An example of a chronic injury is when passing a ball in futsal you are doing a repetitive movement within your leg and if you are passing the ball with the wrong technique like not using the inside of your foot you may cause your self an injury such as tissue damage. If it is not realised when pain is offlicted on the individual, but they keep on playing then they may cause themselves a serious injury and be out of physical activity for a long period of time.
- Environmental - This is an extrinsic factor because the environment where athletes will be playing can sometimes help but sometimes worsen the playing surface. If playing futsal, athletes will be ok to play every week, however as futsal is indoor the playing surface is hard so sliding and diving on this surface can cause injurys such as burns or even bruising. This is why shin pads and other protective clothing should be worn. If playing outdoor sports, the weather can affect the surface, for example if it was to rain on the day you play, the pitch could get really slippery and muddy and cause people to slip and possibly cause injuries.
- Coaching - In futsal, football or any other sport, you must have a coach who is qualified to show and teach you as a learning athlete the correct techniques. If you have a coach with no qualifications, or expierience in the sport, they are more likely to be coaching you the wrong techniques to use in your game and in training and by having the wrong technique at an early age will make it harder for you to adjust to later on in life. For example in football, a coach must have at least an FA level 1 badge to be able to coach because on this course they are trained to deliver sessions for teams and help them medically if needs be. Coaches must have top ups on their knowledge of the level 1 every 3 years to make sure they are not coaching the wrong techniques.
- Clothing, equipment and footwear - Wearing incorrect clothing or footwear when participating in your chosen sport can lead to an injury. When playing a specific sport you tend to usually be given kit that you must wear to reduce the risk of you getting injured. For example in american football, you are given loads of protective clothing such as helmet, gum shields (optional), shoulder pads, shin guards and a codpiece. This must be worn so that the american footballers can not get injured by the physical game. An example of not wearing the correct clothing would be a footballer not wearing any football boots and probably wearing trainers, by doing this the footballer could slip on most surfaces and cause an injury. Equipment must be checked at the start of the games too as there could be faults with them that could cause a distruption to play or cause someone an injury such as a net not being pinned down and someone falling over it. In every sport clothing, jewellery, equipment, protective equipment and footwear is usually checked at the start of a game by match officials so that no injury can occur.
- Safety Hazards - At the start of every game, the match officials should always take a risk assessment of the facility at where the sport is being played so that if there is any risks or hazards, the officals could put solutions to solves the problems of the risk in place before it starts and if it did happen in a game they know what to do to help. For example if in a football game, an athlete has slid for a tackle against the opposition but deeply cut his/her leg open. The match officials in this game should have done a risk assessment to know what to do and then they can assess how they did not clearly check the surface and how it can be improved for next time so that there is no injurys in the future.
Intrinsic Factors - These factors happen because of muscles and bones inside of the body
- Physical preparation - This includes the warm ups athletes perform at the begginning of any game so they can both physically and mentally prepare themselves for a game. Getting warmed up for a game can reduce the risk of any muscles being pulled or possibly breaks of any of the bones. for example if a footballer was to not warm up, they would probably end up causing themselves a chronic injury, which is an injury that occurs from repetition of the same movement and this could start off as a small muscle pull to then lead on to them being out of physical activity for the rest of the season. Warm ups include, raising the heart rate, strteching; to help flexibility and not pull any muscles and getting yuorself mentally prepared for the game.
- Nutrition - Having a bad nutrition can affect an athletes performance and possibly cause them an injury. For example if the athlete consistently eats fatty foods such as chocolate, cakes and crisps, this could cause them to have low cholestrol levels which will massively affect their energy levels in a game and if they have no energy, it could cause them to make mistakes which could cause him/her an injury.
- Age - An athlete can gain more injuries as they get older. The older the athlete gets, the strength of the bones become weaker. When the athletes are at a young age, they are also not as strong as a middle aged athlete because their bones are still growing. For example you would not put a 70 year old man in a rugby match against 30 year old men because it is most likely that the 30 year olds are going to win because they are stronger and quicker and could hurt the older man because his bones are weaker and from strong impact could cause him an acute injury and he may not be able to perform physical activity ever again.
- Fitness levels - By having poor fitness levels this could cause athletes to fatigue much easier which would mean that they are tired and would cause more mistakes in a game and cause people to get injured. For example a footballer may have not trained for 6 weeks meaning his fitness levels are low and when he played in a game he got tired very easily and was loosing the ball and because of reacting shockingly to the ball being intercepted off him, he swung his arm around and hit a player in the face causing them an injury.
- Postural Defects - Some athletes could suffer with postural defects that affects them when playing in game. Postural defects include: Lordosis, Kyphosis, Scoliosis and overuse tissue damage. Lordosis means that an individual has a curved vertabrae in the lower back. Kyphosis means that the athlete has a spinal disorder which affects both adults and children. It is a deformity which gives the individual a 'hunch or hump back'. Scoliosis is a disorder which causes the vertebrae to abnormally curve and overuse is a cumulative disorder means that it is an injury that happens again and again due to a big impact and because of repetition the injury gets worse. All athletes who suffer with these types of postural dfects are limited to there activity because they could possibly damage their vertabraes and possibly be paralysed for life if damaged.