Gibraltar Sports Injury Clinic
If you are practising a sport, either competitively or for pleasure, your most valuable tool is your body. To be able to perform well, you need to be in peak condition. The Sports Medicine Specialist Team at SMC understand that even when an injury occurs, time off from training for healing can be frustrating, so they aim to get you back on top form as quickly as possible. Their integrated approach aims to keep you there, allowing you to concentrate on your performance.
How do Sports Injuries occur?
Sports Injuries are those that occur to athletes whilst undertaking a sporting activity. In many cases, these can be due to the overuse of one particular part of the body. For example, runner's knee is a painful condition associated with sports involving running, whilst tennis elbow is a form of repetitive strain injury (which ironically does not often occur in tennis players!). Other injuries can be as a result of direct trauma or forceful contact causing broken bones, and torn/damaged ligaments or tendons.
Whatever the injury, it is important that the medical team help you to achieve full fitness as rapidly as possible.
Diagnosis and Investigation of Injuries
When an injury occurs, the first step is a quick and accurate diagnosis. Our Sports Injury Physician will normally assess injuries in the first instance, either diagnosing the problem, or referring patients on for further tests as necessary.
A clinical examination is carried out during this initial consultation, which may include the patient undergoing an ultrasound scan.
Sports injuries can be broadly classified as either traumatic or overuse injuries.
Traumatic injuries account for most injuries in contact sports such as Football, Rugby, Horse Riding and Martial Arts because of the dynamic and high collision nature of these sports. These injuries can range from bruises (damage to small blood vessels which causes bleeding within the tissues) and muscle strains (small tears to the muscle fibres) where the body's response is inflammation in the area of injury, to fractures and head injuries.
Overuse injuries tend to have subtle pain or vague symptoms that develop slowly. What begins as a small, nagging ache or pain can grow into a debilitating injury if not recognized and treated early. These injuries are the direct result of repetitive use, stress and trauma to the body's tissues (muscles, tendons, bones and joints) without allowing enough time for correct healing.
There are several factors which can lead to sustaining an overuse injury through sport including: doing too much too soon, overtraining without sufficient rest, repeating the same training method, and returning too quickly from an injury.
Treatment of Sports Injuries
Treatment for injuries will primarily depend on the type and severity, and could be conservative, interventional or surgical.
Conservative treatment may include referral to our physiotherapist, the prescription of painkillers and most importantly resting the affected area.
Interventional treatments are often required when an injury has reached a stage at which conservative treatment alone will not repair the damage. Any intervention will depend on the injury sustained but may involve ultrasound guided needling, injection, steroids, or gait analysis with our podiatrist.
Surgical intervention is a more serious treatment but is sometimes required to repair an injury. This surgery could be with one of our orthopaedic specialists or our general surgeon.