DefinitionInjury can be defined as thephysical harm to a person’sbodySports injuries typically resultfrom acute trauma orrepetitive stress andcharacteristically involvesome damage to soft tissueor bones.
Epidemiology8 major sports in Australia that were estimated to accountfor 75% of all injuries sustained.• AFL• Rugby league• Rugby union• Soccer• Basketball• Netball• Hockey• Cricket
EpidemiologyApproximately 95% are minor soft tissue traumas and theremaining 5% result in skeletal injuries, predominantlyoccurring in the upper and lower extremities. While adults were less likely tosustain sporting injuries thanchildren, the ratio ofincidences between malesand females is relatively equal.
Preventative StrategiesPreventative strategies that are commonly used tominimise sports injuries include:• Preseason medical screenings• Warming up and cooling down• Proprioceptive training• Stretching• Taping• Protective equipment• Rehabilitation and education programs
Warm upA correct warm up assists in:• raising the body temperature• increasing blood flow• promoting oxygen supply to the muscles• provide mental preparation.Reduction in soft tissue injuries by enhancing themechanical behaviours of the muscles, ligaments,tendons and other connective tissues.
Cool down An active recovery is on of the most effective forms of recovery and can reduce theincidence of musclesoreness postexercise as well asreduce the overallrecovery time.
StretchingIncorporated into both the warm up and cool downroutineInconclusive evidence however, some researchsuggests:• Dynamic stretching in the warm up• Static stretching as part of a cool down
Equipment managementUsing the right equipment can beimportant in avoiding injuries in sport.appropriate for the activity and properly fitted for theindividual.a decrease in the incidence and severityof injuries sustained.
Physical conditioningAppropriate conditioning programmes can aid in thedecrease risk of injury, decrease the severity of an injuryand can help prevent re-injury.Safe athletic performance requiresadequate:• muscular strength and balance• power• neuromuscular coordination• flexibility• cardiovascular endurance• body composition
Role of the coachThe coach has a responsibility and need to provide a safeand healthy environment in all forms of physical activity Through providing sport specific knowledge with sport safety components, the coach can contribute greatly to thereduction of injury occurrenceand severity
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