The different kinds of sports injuries and how to treat them

By: Calla Jacobs

With the start of the school year, it also means the beginning of fall sports for many high schools and middle schools in the area. This also tends to lead to an increase of sports injuries, especially in the beginning.

The most common sports injuries include muscle sprains and strains, tears of the ligaments that hold joints together, tears of the tendons that support joints, dislocated joints, and fractured bones.

While sprains and strains are the most common there is a distinct difference between the two. A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament, which is the connective tissue that connects the end of one bone to another. While a strain is a twist, pull or tear or a muscle or tendon, which is a cord of tissue connecting the muscle to the bone.

Some of these injuries can be treated at home, it is important to know when to consult a doctor. You should see a doctor if the injury causes severe pain, swelling or numbness, you can’t bear weight on the area, or the injury is accompanied by increased swelling, joint abnormality, or instability.

Mild injuries can be treated at home using the RICE method:
• Rest: Decrease your amount of physical activity as needed to avoid exacerbating the injury. Don’t try to ‘work through’ the pain as it may cause further harm.
• Ice: Apply an ice pack to the injury for 20 minutes, 4-8 times a day. Do not use heat immediately after an injury; heat will increase internal bleeding and swelling.
• Compression: Compressing the injured area can reduced swelling. You can use elastic wraps, special boots, air casts, and splints.
• Elevation: Elevating the injured area on a pillow above the level of the heart can also help to decrease swelling.

To control the pain, over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin are recommended. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is another medication that may be used to help with pain, however it will not help with inflammation as it is not an NSAID.

If you have any questions about pain medications, you can call us at Four Corners Pharmacy (518-439-8200) or consult with your doctor.

Another common treatment for sports injuries is immobilization. Slings, splints, casts, and leg immobilizers may be used to reduce the movement of the injured site to prevent further injury, reduce pain, swelling and muscle spasm, and enable blood to flow more directly to the site to help begin the healing process.We have a number splints and slings, as well as crutches, in our store and our staff would be happy to help determine which is best.

More severe injuries may require surgery to repair connective tissues or realign bones with compound fractures.

It is best to prevent injuries before they happen by properly warming up and stretching before exercising and not over-doing exercise. We wish everybody luck on their upcoming seasons.

References:
1. Handout on Health: Sports Injuries [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2017 Aug 27]. Available from: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/sports_injuries/default.asp

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Medication Take Back Day

17426365_1512412502142114_5712868167775875152_nNational Prescription Drug Take Back Day is on Saturday, April 29, 2017, and is a day on which prescription medications may be taken to local collection sites, including the Bethlehem Town Park, so that they may be properly disposed of. The major purpose of drug take back day is to provide a safe and responsible way of disposing of prescription medications, as well as providing education and awareness about drug abuse and misuse.

National drug take back day began back in 2010, created by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a way to allow patients an appropriate and safe opportunity to get rid of their unused medications. In 2016, a record high 893,498 pounds (or 447 tons) of unwanted medications were collected, shattering the old record of 390 tons collected in 2014.1

It is vastly important for everyone to understand the vital role they each play in making their homes and communities safer, especially with the opioid abuse epidemic ravaging the country. It is known that the majority of prescription drug abusers get their drugs from friends and family, and that 8 out of 10 new heroin users began by abusing prescription painkillers.1 This opportunity to clean out drawers, tables, medicine cabinets only helps decrease the chances of someone close misusing and/or abusing those medications!

On Saturday, April 29, 2017 you can stop by the Bethlehem Town Park to dispose of any unwanted or unused medications. Both controlled and non-controlled substances are being accepted, however intravenous solutions, injectables and needles will NOT be! For more information visit the town’s website!

  1. DEA collects record-setting amount of meds at latest national Rx take-back day [internet]. 2016 [cited April 15, 2017]. Available from: https://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2016/hq050616.shtml