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Traumatic Injuries

Acute traumatic injuries are common in athletics and attract the most publicity and research. This is because the cause of the injury can be pinpointed, making it easier to define the injury and search for an appropriate treatment. The frequency of traumatic injuries varies greatly between sports. Contact sports, such as soccer, ice hockey, team handball, wrestling, American football, and rugby, tend to have higher rates of traumatic injuries. The cause and severity of a traumatic injury are usually obvious. The athlete will usually experience rapid onset of pain, and swelling will begin to develop but typically requires several hours to reach its maximum. For this reason, the best time to examine a traumatic injury is immediately after it has occurred, before the swelling makes the athlete unable to tolerate the pain associated with exploration of the injured area. Initial control of swelling can contribute greatly to a quicker return to sport.Once these early interventions have been completed, an assessment is made as to whether further advice is needed from a doctor and appropriate action is taken.

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