Health & Safety

April 19, 2013

Don’t get sidelined by sports injuries

Injuries are the biggest health problem in the United States Army and are the leading cause of non-battle injuries and medical evacuations. About 60 percent of Soldiers are injured each year, resulting in a little over 1 million medical visits annually due to musculoskeletal injuries. Roughly half of the Soldiers experiencing an injury were injured due to participation in sports, exercise and recreational activities. As an indicator of the impact of these injuries on Soldiers and unit readiness, 72 percent of Soldiers with an injury had two or more days of limited duty, and nearly 40 percent had 15 or more days of limited duty.

Running alone causes about 50 percent of all sports- and activity-related injuries. A review of non-running related sports injuries demonstrates the most common ones result from basketball (15 percent), weight training (13 percent), football (10 percent), martial arts (9 percent), and softball/baseball (3 percent). The body region most frequently injured in sports and recreational activities is the lower extremity, with the knee making up almost a quarter of all injuries. The ankle follows with (18 percent), back (12 percent), foot (10 percent) and shoulder (9 percent). The most common type of sports injury is sprained joint, with ankle sprains being the most frequent. Strained muscles, particularly in the back, are the second most common injury followed by tendonitis or bursitis of the knee, and dislocation of the shoulder. Although fractures and concussions make up only 10 percent and 1 percent of sports injuries, respectively, they tend to require more days of limited duty and longer rehabilitation than other injuries.

Sports medicine literature offers only a few scientifically proven, evidence-based approaches to prevent injuries from sports, exercise and recreation. Some prevention strategies that can be recommended on the basis of scientific evidence include avoidance of overtraining, wearing mouth guards and semi-rigid ankle braces during high-risk activities, wearing synthetic-blend socks to prevent blisters, and wearing helmets for bicycling, skiing, football, lacrosse and Army combatives. The use of breakaway bases for softball and baseball has been shown to reduce the risk of ankle injury by 98 percent. Other suggested strategies, though not yet proven to be effective, include banning of sliding in baseball or softball, balance training, and focusing on dynamic warm-up exercises instead of stationary stretching.

When Soldiers suffer serious injuries such as concussions, fractures or dislocated joints, they should seek medical treatment and inform unit leadership. Other injuries such as sprains, strains, abrasions, or bruises can be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.). You must rest to give the injury time to heal (this could take several days or weeks depending on the severity of the injury). Use ice (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for 4 to 6 hours) to reduce swelling of the affected area and decrease the pain. Compression bandages will help stabilize the joint, and elevating the affected area will help reduce swelling. If pain and swelling persists, seek medical treatment.

Sports- and activity-related injuries are a major contributor to the Army injury problem. Implementing the above recommendations and suggested strategies should reduce your risk of being injured and will allow a quicker recovery. Keep in mind that the best option is to prevent injuries before they occur. Apply what you know and use common sense so you don’t get sidelined by a sports injury.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Civilian Fitness Program coming to Fort Huachuca

The Life is Good monthly workshops held its first workshop of the year Jan. 15 in the Network Enterprise Technology Command auditorium featuring Dr. Doug Briggs, the director of Human Performance at Fort Bliss, Texas. Briggs is an internationally recognized expert in his field with a lifetime of training, coaching and competing internationally. His presentation...
 
 

National Blood Donor Month celebrates donors, local collection scheduled

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — January is National Blood Donor Month, and this year, the Armed Services Blood Program, ASBP, would like to thank you for “giving to the red, white and blue.” “2014 was a great year for the Armed Services Blood Program,” said Navy Capt. Roland Fahie, ASBP director. “We have you — our...
 
 

Obama unveils next steps in cybersecurity plan

WASHINGTON — Continuing an effort to help defend the nation’s computer-connected systems, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday additional steps that call for more information sharing, modernized law enforcement and updated security data breach reporting. “Cyber threats pose an enormous challenge for our country,” the president said. “As long as I’m president, protecting America...
 

 

Retiree Council shares news you can use

Do retired Soldiers maintain healthier weights than Civilian retirees? Approximately half of the retired Soldiers whose height and weight were measured at medical appointments in military treatment facilities last year had a body mass index, BMI, that classified them as obese. Obesity rates for these retired Soldiers are significantly higher than the general population of...
 
 

FHFD shares wildfire safety tips for upcoming fire season

It’s time to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season. Remembering last year’s Brown Fire, there’s a high probability for fire related incidents and events again this year. Evacuations can come with little notice and no time to prepare. Initial wildfire preparedness by having a plan and an evacuation kit is much more important as this...
 
 

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning during colder weather

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because one cannot see it or smell it, it can kill people before they are even aware of its presence. Carbon monoxide is one of the leading causes of accidental poisoning deaths in America. Carbon monoxide is a product of incomplete combustion. Therefore, anything...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin