At the Spine Team we consider Sports Injury to be an activity related problem to the extremities, of course that may occur during sport but also leisure activities such as walking or home based activity such as gardening or DIY. If the injury is to the back or neck it is dealt with as a Back or Neck Pain elsewhere on this site
How to categorise Sports Injury
Sports or activity related injuries are sometimes due to an event that is not part of the activity itself and can be dealt with our of context of the activity, sometimes they come through overuse due to a bad plan, sometimes there is a fault with the technique that makes injury inevitable. Each of these needs to be treated and managed in a particular way and assuming a new pain is simply a random occurrence is a mistake.
At the Spine Team context is the most important part of the evaluation, there is nothing more fruitless than trying to help a sportsman or woman who comes in explaining they have got a pain and they want it to go away so they can go straight back to their sport without any change to the way they do the activity. Just because it was fine before does not mean you can assume that no vulnerability will remain once the symptoms settle and activity resumes.
For the simple random injury treatment and advice about recovery may well be enough, so a sprained ankle during tennis due to a loss of balance reaching for an overhead need to recover, for which a little treatment and good adherence to advice at home with a strapping on a graded return to activity is a good plan.
For the overuse group, who, for example, have increased their training too fast because the date for the sponsored run is getting closer and not enough training has been done, advice and graded return with home therapy to be continued during training and a training plan including another event an appropriate time in the future. This quite often involves a reality conversation whilst we never encourage people to not be active it takes quite a time to toughen the body up to safely undertake and unfamiliar activity.
Sometimes injuries occur due to a fault with technique and the more you do the sport the worse the pain gets. If this is a technical fault such as in jumping or throwing sports then a coaching dimension may be necessary and we are happy to liaise with the appropriate professional, if however the problem is postural, such as knee or foot orientation, then awareness of and exercises to control this fault are crucial.