Triathlon Injury Treatment
Triathlons have gained massive popularity over the 25 odd years that they have happened, each year attracting more and more participants. It is a multi-stage type of sporting event which attracts both professional athletes and weekend warriors to compete with one another in three sections – running, followed by swimming and cycling. Last year, the sport had attracted approximately 550 thousand people worldwide, and since year 2000 has been declared an Olympic sport, which surged its popularity. Additionally, this sport is mentally very rewarding, and in a way gives those who have completed such a challenge the bragging rights.
There are varying difficulties to each triathlon, classified by the distances of each track. One of the most popular triathlon events in the United States is the annual IronMan Challenge, which is also considered to be the toughest, taking on average 12 to 15 hours to complete. Yearly participation rate for the IronMan alone is approximately two thousand athletes.
Depending on the difficulty of the triathlon the athlete chooses to complete, subsequent difficulty level of training is used. However, regardless of the length of the triathlon covered, it is a very physically demanding sport, requiring intensive training in all three areas (running, swimming cycling), each utilizing different sets of muscles and tendons, and putting enormous strain on the body.
Below will be listed the most common injuries which athletes experience during training and participation of triathlons. Due to physically demanding and diverse nature of the sport, as well as the diverse nature of the training required to complete a triathlon, there are exceedingly more potential injury areas. Therefore, for more information on specific injuries relating to each individual stage of the triathlon, please view the following pages:
- For Running
- For Swimming
- For Cycling
Common injuries among triathletes occur due to the physically demanding nature of the sporting events and the preceding training required, putting enormous strain on the body. Repetitive strain injuries are caused by overuse and subsequent wear and tear of a specific set of muscles and tendons, resulting in a variety of rather painful conditions. Moreover, due to the surge in participants aged over 30, the repetitive stress injuries are more common, mostly because of the wear and tear the tendons have experienced by that age, particularly for those who were previously sports enthusiasts. Below is a list of the most widespread repetitive stress injuries a triathlete may experience.
Tendinosis – a type of injury occurring on the cellular level, causing degradation of the collagen fibers in the joint. The common symptoms are discomfort in the joint (be it knee, shoulder, or elbow). The danger zone here is a potential development of those micro tears into bigger tears in the tendon, causing a potentially disabling injury. This injury is often confused with tendinitis since they share similar symptoms, therefore diagnostics via x-ray, MRI, or other type of imaging is required to determine whether it is tendinosis, and prescribe treatment.
Tendinitis – is probably one of the most common RSI’s, caused by inflammation of the tendon, triggered by micro tears in the tendon. The symptoms are similar to that of a tendinosis – pain in the joint, cracking and popping noise when moving the affected joint and a tingling feeling in the surrounding area.
Bursitis – a repetitive strain injury caused by inflammation of the bursa (fluid-filled sac) found in between joints. The bursa serves as a barrier between the joints, minimizing friction between the joints during movement. If inflamed, joints begin to grind together and wear down, causing further damage to the affected body region.
Diffuse RSI – a rather trickier repetitive stress injury, due to no concrete indication of what the origin of pain experienced by an athlete is, even after an examination by a physical therapist. This tends to be caused by muscle tension, resulting in decreased blood circulation and the buildup of metabolites in the surrounding tissue, which in turn results in the pain felt by sufferer.This diagnosis may particularly pertain to triathletes due to diversified nature of the sport and the required training.
The best injury prevention method in preparation for a triathlon, is the gradual increase of intensity of trainings, as well as proper stretching. Although this approach sounds very basic, the seasoned triathletes will understand how exhaustive completing a long triathlon is on both the body and the mind. So follow the usual sports injury prevention rules, and listen to how your body responds to the practices.
TREATMENT AT OUR CLINIC
Depending on the diagnosis, a different combination of treatment methods will be appointed to you by our medical staff to help restore and rehabilitate your injury. What differentiates our clinic from all others, is that in one place, we understand neuromusculoskeletal conditions, their pathology , and have cross-discipline knowledge in orthopedics and sports medicine, therefore, you wouldn’t have to be referred to any other doctor outside our clinic for treatment or diagnosis. Our state of the art technology with our expert team offer a number of non-invasive treatments, which focus on both rehabilitation and performance enhancement.
Some of the innovative treatments offered at NYCSPT include: computer assisted rehabilitation environment (CAREN), dynamic neuromuscular rehabilitation (DNR), extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), and others. We believe that surgical intervention should be the last resort option, and the results for the methods listed above, combined with individualised traditional manual and physical therapy, have shown that majority of sporting injuries can be rehabilitated through those methods.