Track and Field Injuries

 

 

 

Track and field events date back to the Ancient Olympic Games of Greece. Although much more evolved, such events are still a large part of the modern Olympic Games and are commonly seen in the sport’s departments of educational institutions all over the world, independent sporting festivals, and military games. While track and field events are extremely popular, participation does hold a risk for injury.

How Do Track And Field Injuries Occur?

Track and field isn’t just one sport, but rather a number of different athletic events centered around competitive throwing, jumping, and running activities. With the exception of relay races, events are individual challenges whereby a winner is declared by the fastest time or greatest height or distance achieved. Most track and field athletes choose to specialize in either track events or field events, but some choose to combine a number of both types of events in heptathlons or decathlons.

The running events, also called the track events, include competitions in sprint, relay, hurdle, steeplechase, and middle and long-distance running. Throwing and jumping events are considered the “field” part of track and field. The throwing events include competitions in discus, shot put, javelin, and hammer. The jumping events include competitions in high jump, long jump, triple jump, and pole vault.

The above events require athletes to have some combination of speed, strength, agility, stamina, and total body conditioning to run, jump, and/or throw for their competition. It’s actually the basic mechanics of the throwing, jumping, and running involved in track and field competitions that cause most injuries.

Track and field injuries can be broadly classified as either traumatic or overuse. In track and field, overuse injuries are more common. These are injuries that frequently occur when an athlete does too much, too soon, or too often and causes too much stress to the body. Traumatic injuries are sudden, acute injuries, such as seen when a jumper lands wrong on their foot or a racer trips and falls.

What Are Some Common Track And Field Injuries?

Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee, also called patellofemoral pain syndrome, chondromalacia of the patella, and anterior knee pain, is essentially a catchall term to describe pain around the front of the knee. Runner’s knee is a common ailment in any sport that requires running, jumping, or frequent bending, and it just so happens that all the track and field events require one or the other of these knee actions. The pain can be caused by a number of different disorders, including a muscular imbalance in the thighs or buttocks; a direct blow to the kneecap, fallen arches or overpronation, patellar tracking disorder, and degenerative changes to the cartilage under the kneecap. Long periods of sitting or knee-bending activities often cause the pain and swelling to intensify. The knee may also catch, pop, grind, or buckle during knee movements.

Stress Fractures

A stress fracture is a tiny crack in a bone. Stress fractures are most often seen in the lower legs and feet because these are the main weight-bearing bones in the body. The tiny crack can occur from a number of different factors, including muscle fatigue that causes the bones to absorb more of the shock from running activities; frequent, high-impact running and jumping activities; uneven running surfaces; sudden increases in the frequency, duration, or intensity of running or jumping activities; poor footwear; the physical stress from over-training; and a preexisting bone insufficiency.

The symptoms of a stress fracture may include:

* pain and discomfort during weight-bearing activities
* pain that subsides with rest
* localized tenderness
* possible localized swelling, bruising, and heat

Strains

A strain, also called a torn muscle or pulled muscle, involves a muscle and/or a muscle’s attached tendons being abnormally stretched or torn. The injury can occur following a sudden, quick, and powerful muscle contraction that’s stronger the muscle/tendon fibers; following a direct blow or stretching of a muscle/tendon during a fall; or from prolonged overuse and weakening of muscle/tendon fibers. Commonly strained muscles in track and field include the hamstrings, groin, and calf muscles in running and jumping events and the biceps, triceps, rotator cuff, and lower back in throwing events.

Strains are graded based on the degree of tearing or stretching the muscle/tendon fibers suffer. A grade one strain is stretching or microscopic tearing that doesn’t interfere with day-to-day activities, but may cause tenderness and mild pain. A grade two strain involves moderate tearing that can cause mild to moderate tenderness, pain, swelling, heat, and range of motion limitations. A grade three strain is significant to complete tearing that causes moderate to severe pain, discomfort, tenderness, swelling, heat, and range of motion limitations.

Of course, these are just a few of the many track and field-related injuries. Other common injuries to the sport may include: plantar fasciitis, sprains, joint dislocations, fractures, heel spurs, shin splints, tendinitis, bursitis, menisci injuries, contusions, abrasions, IT band syndrome, muscle cramps, Achilles tendon injuries, and so forth.

Products

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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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