Track and Field Injuries Treatment
Track and field is an athletics sport made up of various running, jumping and throwing events, where athletes gather for meets on stadium fields. Each one of those activities puts strain on different groups of muscles, and the corresponding tendons and joints. As with any athletics sport, track and field is a very high intensity activity, which involves both cardio and strength training.
Taking origins from Ancient Greece, the sport has little changed over the millennia, but in the 19th century, it has started gaining a following. Today, it is not only an Olympic sport, but a popular sport activity many take up starting from their school years.
Each one of those activities puts strain on different groups of muscles, joints and tendons. Any athletics sport of high intensity requires subsequent amounts of training, and track and field involves both cardio and strength training, causing their own related injuries. Long hours of trainings result in repetitive stress injuries, which are caused by a repetitive motions which inflict wear and tear. Repetitive stress injuries include in themselves a number of tendinopathies, such as tendinitis (inflammation of the tendons due to micro tears in the soft tissue), tendinosis (damage to the tendons caused on the cellular level), and bursitis (inflammation of the bursa sac, which is a jelly like substance preventing joints from rubbing together). Additionally, there are also the diffuse RSI, where no concrete origin of the pain can be determined after an evaluation by a specialist. It is generally caused by muscle tension and the subsequent lessened blood circulation to the soft tissue, resulting in the spread out pain felt in the muscles. However, tendinopathies is more of a general understanding of those injuries, and below you will find a more detailed description of the most common track and field injuries.
To see common track and field injuries resulted while running, please view our Running page.
A common track and field injury is that of the knee. Since two of the three events (jumping and running) put excessive strain on the legs, injuries causing knee pain are most frequent, particularly jumper’s knee, ACL and PCL conditions. A jumper’s knee tends to mean either tendinitis or a tear of the patella tendon, which connects the femur (thigh) and the tibia (shin) bones together at the kneecap. This is generally caused by overuse, and in case of a tear, can be When this tendon is injured or irritated, it causes pain in the knee region, as well as weakened knee function. The severity of the injury can be broken down into four distinctive stages. First stage involves pain after a track and field practice, while the second stage involves pain not only after the training session, but before it as well. After this, the next two stages, the condition of the knee gets noticeably worse, where the levels of pain are increasingly worse, which at first prevent the athlete from participating in the practices, to later, in the final stage, being unable to complete even basic daily tasks which require the use of the knee. In any stage of the knee injury, it is best to see a specialist, and start on a rehabilitative treatment in order to avoid having a surgical intervention.
Wrist pain is the symptom attributed to a number of throwing events included in a track and field athletics. During the throwing motion, the wrist has to generate enough force to aim and throw the object. This is a swift, brisk motion, which not only causes additional wear and tear on the wrist joints, but can cause the tendons in the wrist to snap from the excessive force. A torn tendon is a separate issue, which at times requires surgery to fix, although there are alternate methods of treatments.
However, the most common complaint is that of a general pain in the wrist, with a tingling feeling extending to the thumb and the index fingers. Of course, there may be other causes for this, therefore it is essential to see a specialist if the pain is chronic and stops you from enjoying the sport or completing daily tasks, but generally, it is attributed to the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Shoulder pain has been a recurring complaint among track and field athletes. Generally, the culprit lies in the rotator cuff, which is a combination of muscle and tendons which support the shoulder and allow its range of motion. When doing overhead activities for a prolonged period of time, this causes the tendons to wear down and at times get irritated. When an inflammation occurs, this is generally due to the tendinitis condition of the rotator cuff, which causes pain and tingling feeling originating from the shoulder to course all the way through the arm when lifting or rotating the arm.
Make sure you properly warm up before any track and field workout session. Since this sport employs the entire body in completing the events, it also increases the potential areas of injuries. Cooling down after the training is essential too, as well as letting the muscles recuperate before they are put under more strain.
In case of an injury, follow the ‘RICE’ methodic, which revolves around four basic actions – let the body rest first, apply ice packs to the injured area, as well as compression, and finally, elevate the injury.
TREATMENT AT OUR CLINIC
The NYCSPT clinic offers both diagnostic, rehabilitative and performance enhancing treatments through an individualised approach to each patient. By developing a unique program, which utilizes some state of the art technologies, as well as traditional methods of treatment, we have had a successful track record in helping athletes return to sport, prevent them from the injury repeating itself in the future, as well as enhance their performance. In cases, such as a progressed stage of deterioration of the ACL condition, surgery is oftentimes in a way forced upon athletes as the only opportunity to save their careers and continue playing the sport that they love. However, we believe surgery should be the last resort for trying to rehabilitate the injury, and thus offer a unique alternate methods of treating such injuries, using computer assisted rehabilitation environment (CAREN) and extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). Under close supervision, using those two technologies with the more traditional physiotherapy treatments, we have had successes rehabilitating serious injuries, enabling both athletes and weekend warriors return to sport, and prevent them from repeating the injury. At NYCSPT, we have extensive experience dealing with various neuromusculoskeletal conditions, and have cross-discipline knowledge of orthopedics and sports medicine.