Dallas Sports Injury Emergency Care
Have You or a Loved One Been Seriously Injured?
Sports injuries are not unusual. Dedicated athletes will probably experience at least one at some point in their lifetime. In some cases, these injuries will be serious enough that they warrant a trip to the emergency room. All injuries should be treated right away, but some patients will be better served in urgent care than the emergency room, so how do you know when to go where?
Signs that an injury requires emergency treatment
- The player received a blow to the head and may have a concussion
- The injury involved the neck area
- The player received a blow to the chest and the pain is getting worse or they are having trouble breathing
- The player is having difficulty speaking or swallowing
- The player is running out of breath more quickly than usual when exercising
- The player has severe pain with moving a limb or joint after an injury
- The injury caused an open wound or a bone to become dislocated
If any of the above have occurred during sports activity or training, contact 911 immediately.
For more minor problems, like aches and pains, bruises, strains, and sprains, an urgent care clinic will be more appropriate. At Advance ER, we provide both emergency and urgent care services to both adult and pediatric patients. You can learn more about our non-emergency care services here. We have state-of-the-art imaging technology on-site to quickly assess a patient’s condition and respond with appropriate treatment. Advance ER has a Specialists Now partnership which allows patients access to a variety of specialists from our Dallas emergency room.
What is a Sports Injury?
Sure, a sports injury refers to any injury that occurs while participating in sports or exercise. These injuries can happen due to various reasons such as accidents, poor training practices, improper equipment, or lack of conditioning.
Common types of sports injuries include:
- Sprains: These occur when the ligaments connecting bones are stretched or torn, usually in the ankles, knees, or wrists.
- Strains: Overstretching or tearing of muscles or tendons, often in the hamstring or groin area.
- Fractures: Breaks in bones, ranging from hairline fractures to complete breaks, which can happen in any bone but are common in arms, legs, and fingers.
- Dislocations: When the ends of bones are forced out of their normal positions, often affecting shoulders, fingers, or knees.
- Tendinitis: Inflammation or irritation of tendons, frequently occurring in the shoulders, elbows, or knees.
- Concussions: Traumatic brain injuries resulting from a blow to the head, commonly seen in contact sports.
- Muscle Cramps: Painful, involuntary muscle contractions, usually caused by dehydration or muscle fatigue.
- Knee Injuries: Including torn ligaments like the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) or meniscus tears, often seen in sports involving sudden changes in direction or pivoting.
- Shin Splints: Pain along the shinbone (tibia), often due to running or jumping activities.
- Achilles Tendon Rupture or Tendinitis: Injuries affecting the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, often seen in sports requiring quick acceleration or deceleration.
Several sports have a higher propensity for serious injuries due to their physical nature, speed, or contact involved. Some of these sports include:
- Football: Both American football and soccer can result in various serious injuries due to their physical contact, including concussions, fractures, sprains, and strains.
- Rugby: Known for its high physicality, rugby often leads to injuries such as fractures, dislocations, and concussions.
- Hockey: Whether it's ice hockey or field hockey, the speed of the game and physical contact can cause injuries like concussions, fractures, and cuts from sticks.
- Basketball: Injuries in basketball often involve sprains, strains, and occasionally more serious injuries like ACL tears due to abrupt stops and changes in direction.
- Skiing and Snowboarding: High-speed sports involving downhill motion, leading to injuries like fractures, ligament tears, and head injuries due to falls.
- Gymnastics: The rigorous training and demanding routines in gymnastics can lead to overuse injuries, fractures, and sprains, especially in the wrists, ankles, and knees.
- Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): Combat sports involve deliberate physical contact and can result in concussions, facial injuries, and various types of fractures.
- Motorsports: Racing sports like Formula 1, NASCAR, or motorcycle racing involve high speeds and the risk of severe crashes leading to fractures, head injuries, and sometimes fatalities.
- Extreme Sports: Activities like skateboarding, BMX biking, or parkour involve high-risk maneuvers and can result in severe fractures, head injuries, and spinal injuries.
In these sports, athletes often undergo rigorous training and conditioning to minimize risks, but due to their nature, injuries can still occur. Protective gear, proper technique, and adherence to safety guidelines are crucial to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries.
10 Steps to Take After Suffering a Sports Injury
Here are the steps to take after suffering a sports injury:
- Stop the Activity: Immediately stop the activity or sport you're engaged in to prevent further injury. Continuing to push through the pain can exacerbate the damage.
- Rest and Protect the Injured Area: Avoid putting weight or strain on the injured area. If necessary, use crutches, slings, or braces to stabilize and protect the injured part.
- Ice the Injury: Apply ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes every few hours during the first 48 hours after injury. This helps reduce swelling and pain. Always wrap the ice pack in a cloth to prevent direct contact with the skin, which can cause frostbite.
- Compression: Use an elastic bandage to compress the injured area gently. This can help reduce swelling and provide support but ensure it's not too tight, which can restrict blood flow.
- Elevate the Injured Area: If possible, elevate the injured limb or area above the level of the heart to reduce swelling. This can be done by propping it up with pillows.
- Seek Medical Attention: If the injury is severe, involves severe pain, deformity, inability to bear weight, or if there's suspected broken bones or head trauma (such as a concussion), seek immediate medical attention. Even seemingly minor injuries might require medical evaluation, especially if the pain or swelling persists.
- Follow R.I.C.E.: Follow the R.I.C.E. protocol - Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation - in the initial stages of injury to minimize swelling and pain.
- Avoid Heat and Alcohol: Avoid applying heat to the injury during the first 48 hours as it can increase swelling. Also, avoid alcohol consumption, as it can interfere with the healing process and might increase bleeding and swelling.
- Follow Medical Advice: If you've sought medical attention, follow the instructions and recommendations provided by the healthcare professional. This might include specific exercises, medications, or a referral to a specialist for further evaluation or treatment.
- Rehabilitation: Once the initial acute phase has passed, consider rehabilitation exercises or physical therapy to regain strength, flexibility, and function in the injured area. Follow the prescribed exercises diligently to aid recovery and prevent future injuries.
If you would like to learn more about treatment for emergency sports injury situations, contact Advance ER in Dallas today. We provide 24-hour care to both adults and children.