Paintball Injuries

 

 

 

According to data by the National Sporting Goods Association, there are between eight and 15 million recreational, league, tournament, and professional paintball players in the U.S. Of course, paintball technology is also used by the U.S. military in some training activities and by certain law enforcement groups for purposes such as riot control.

As a sport, paintball games can be played between single individuals or two or more teams. There have been paintball events recorded to have more than 500 players at one time. There are many different types of paintball games, but the most common are speedball, woodsball, and scenarioball. Speedball can be played indoors or outdoors and involves an artificially staged course with bunkers. Woodsball is an outdoor style of paintball that can involve a goal of eliminating other players or capturing another team's flag. Scenarioball also usually takes place outdoors and involves players acting out some fictional or historical storyline, such as a battle reenactment. Both woodsball and scenarioball usually involve at least eight to 12 hours of continuous play, which is a much longer length of play than speedball paintball matches. While the various styles of paintball can be a fun competition or recreational activity, they aren’t participated in without a risk of injury.

What Causes Paintball Injuries?

Whatever style of paintball is being played, one of the main objectives is to shoot other players using a paintball gun loaded with round gelatin capsules. Depending on how many players are involved, there could be a few dozen to hundreds of paintballs being shot at one time. Paintballs only weigh a few grams each. However, a compressed gas system in the paintball gun propels these tiny balls at high speeds, up to 300 feet per second in regulated play. These speeding paintballs can cause serious traumatic injuries to players. Due to paintball requiring players to run around in a hide-and-seek and tag manner of play, trips and falls are also frequent causes of traumatic paintball injuries.

Do keep in mind that not all paintball injuries are traumatic. A number of overuse injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons can be caused by paintball players playing too hard, too long, and/or too often. Overuse injuries are especially common in paintball events that involve all day or multi-day play.

What Are Some Common Paintball Injuries?

Contusions

A contusion is the medical terminology used to describe a bruise. Contusions are the result of the body coming into forceful contact with another object, such as from a paintball hitting a paintball player or a paintball player falling and striking the ground. Depending on how much force was behind the contact, a contusion may involve the subcutaneous tissue or the muscle tissue. Extremely forceful impacts, such as falls from great heights or high-speed auto accidents, can even contuse bones and internal organs. However, the vast majority of paintball-related contusions involve either the subcutaneous or muscle tissues.

The tissues underneath the area involved in the injury are compressed by the force of the impact. This damages localized blood vessels and causes them to leak blood into the interstitial tissues around the injury site. The trapped blood pools and causes the swollen, black-and-blue appearance that can be seen on the surface of the skin. The contused area may also be warm, painful, and tender to touch.

Sprained Ankle

The anterior talo-fibular, posterior talo-fibular, and calcaneo-fibular ligaments stabilize the lateral side of the ankle. The medial side of the ankle is stabilized by the deltoid ligament. Just above the ankle at the ends of the fibula and tibia leg bones, is another ankle-stabilizing ligament called the inferior tibio-fibular ligament.

An ankle sprain occurs when the ankle is twisted or rolled past the normal elasticity of the ligaments stabilizing it, thereby stretching or tearing one or more of the ligaments. An inversion ankle sprain involves the lateral ligament being stretched/torn when the foot inverts too far as the ankle rolls toward the outer side of the foot. An eversion ankle sprain involves the medial ligament being stretched/torn as the ankle rolls toward the inner side of the foot. A tibio-fibular ligament ankle sprain, also called a high-ankle sprain, occurs when the lower leg and foot are both twisted outwardly.

All ankle sprains are graded based on the degree the ligament was stretched/torn:

Grade I - abnormal stretching or microscopic tearing of the affected ankle ligament. This grade is usually not associated with range of motion limitations, but can cause the ankle to be sore.

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Acute Sinew Liniment

Acute Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

Quickly relieves pain, reduces swelling and inflammation, and breaks up clotted blood and stagnant fluids in the injured area. Stimulates circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues, providing rapid pain relief and faster healing. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.
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Chronic Sinew Liniment

Chronic Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

Strongly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles, thereby quickly relieving pain, stiffness and weakness. Sinew Injury Poultice, Sinew Relaxing Soak, and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Herbal Ice

Acute Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

This first-aid ice alternative poultice (balm) is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the recovery and healing process. Reduces redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the injured area. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain normal range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Injury Poultice

Chronic Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

This poultice (balm) is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful in cold and damp weather. It significantly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and further promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Relaxing Soak and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $37.95
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Sinew Relaxing Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your injured area. It is used to relax muscles, tendons and ligaments that are in spasm to reduce pain and stiffness and improve range of motion. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Sports Massage Oil

This specially formulated massage oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It penetrates deep into muscle layers to warm and stimulate muscles, increase circulation and relieve tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.
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Our price: $29.95
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Sinew Warming Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. It is used to bring warmth into the injured area to drive coldness out of damaged tissues and increase local circulation, thereby relieving pain and stiffness in cold weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $23.95
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