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.


 
 

 
photo-2

USAEPG responds to Army radio test needs

A dismounted tester and a Humvee with the SRW-A radio mounted inside collect evaluation data on the radio is shown with the Huachuca Mountains in the background on Dec. 12. The U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground, USAEPG, recen...
 
 
U.S. Army photo

Army puts Gray Eagle, One System Remote Video Terminal through test

U.S. Army photo The MQ-1C Gray Eagle, the Army’s largest unmanned aircraft system in the inventory, recently underwent follow-on test and evaluation, which culminated June 14 at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Cal...
 
 
Natalie Lakosil

HT-JCOE commanders change during June 19 ceremony

From left, outgoing Commander Col. John Boucher, Human Intelligence Training Joint Center of Excellence; Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca; and incoming C...
 

 

BLM Jackson Hotshots hosted at Fort Huachuca for portion of 2015 fire season

TUCSON, Ariz. — The only Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hotshot firefighting crew east of the Mississippi River will be based in southern Arizona for a portion of the 2015 fire season. The 20-member Jackson Hotshot crew from Jackson, Miss. will be housed in the Sierra Vista community thanks to a partnership between BLM and...
 
 

Fort Huachuca Exchange partners with Sears for savings

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is teaming up with Sears to offer military shoppers special savings on cleaning, home improvement and repair services. Fort Huachuca Exchange shoppers can now receive special offers on cleaning services including: carpets, upholstery, protector and deodorizer for carpet and upholstery, title and grout, air ducts, dryer vents and...
 
 
Mike Williams

Monsoon season is here — use caution when going outdoors

Mike Williams Water races across the road near the Bonnie Blink housing area on post during a monsoon storm last summer. Before crossing, be sure your vehicle has the clearance to make it through a wash if it has water in it. E...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>