Our body is made for an eventful life. Around 600 skeletal muscles and over 100 joints ensure that we get moving. This makes it all the more important that missteps and overloads do not unnecessarily slow us down. Fortunately, strains, bruises, muscle cramps or overstretching can be avoided by properly warming up before exercise. And if it does happen, the right first aid and good care will get us back on our feet quickly.
Four rules: immediate help for sports injuries
- Break! The injured part of the body needs rest.
- Ice reduces pain, bleeding and swelling.
- Compression: Light pressure on the veins through an elastic bandage reduces the swelling. Tip: Wrap pressure bandage towards the heart, do not tie up!
- Raising the body part facilitates the reflux of blood and lymph and reduces the swelling.
Muscle strain, bruises and hematomas
Most sports injuries occur in team sports, almost half in football, followed by handball with almost 15 percent. Abrupt changes of direction, fast stops and sudden running away easily push joints, ligaments and muscles to their limits. For example, a quick start - such as a counterattack - can cause a muscle that is not well warmed up or already tired to pull the ripcord without further ado. The result: a painful pulled muscle, which requires a few days break.
If the foot, hand, elbow or knee are excessively twisted after a jump or for other reasons, the outer ligaments, tendons or joint capsule may be injured. Collisions or rough landings can also affect the muscles. A bruise tears the fine blood vessels in the muscles, forming a hematoma - commonly known as a bruise - often accompanied by painful swelling.
When the muscles have a hangover
Sometimes gardening is enough for you not to be able to move the next day. Sore muscles are called such pains, from which even the most thoroughly trained Proﬁsportler is not spared. Where they come from is still not scientifically clarified. Recently, researchers have been targeting tiny injuries in the muscle fibers as a trigger for hangovers after sport: An unaccustomed load causes tiny parts of the muscle fibers to be injured. The resulting swellings are supposed to cause the lead pain. In the long term, the muscles are not damaged. On the contrary: The repair measures in the tissue are even intended to strengthen the newly strained muscles. If this is not a motivation boost for hungover novices!
The overloading of the muscles, however, often only becomes noticeable after the sporting activity - in the famous muscle cramp. The thighs and lower legs are particularly often affected by such involuntary cramps. The trigger for muscle cramps can be a high loss of fluid - for example if you do not fill up with enough fluid and electrolytes during sports. But also infections, low outside temperatures, varicose veins, too tight stockings or shoes or an insufficient training condition can favor cramps.
3 Facts about muscle soreness
- Sore muscles cannot be avoided completely. Sports physicians recommend that the training of new muscle groups be approached as gently as possible and gradually increased.
- A hot bath or a visit to the sauna can help to relieve the pain.
- Experience values show: It is better to continue training with less intensity than to take a break for days. So if your calves and thighs are hungover after running, a quick walk the next day can be helpful so that the sore muscles disappear more quickly.
What to do if it hurts?
Even if television pictures show limping football heroes who still score goals despite their pain distorted faces – a stabbing pain in the muscle or joint signals: Stop! The first rule is to stop the strain immediately, to cool and lift the affected area so that blood and lymph can flow back. First aid: Pause, ice, compression and elevation. Exception: In the case of cramps, heat and gentle stretching help the overloaded muscle - instead of ice - to relax again. Above all, it is important to take time off from stress seriously. Even if the pain subsides, it is advisable to refrain from sports for a few days and only gently start again. Tip for strains: After two to three days, do a gentle heat treatment and light training, such as Cycling, the muscle good.
Finger exercises for the body
Especially when passion is involved in sport, some thoughtless movements cannot always be avoided. Nevertheless, targeted warm-up training can protect the musculoskeletal system from painful missteps. With a good warm-up training, the muscle cells are brought up to operating temperature. Thus it is helpful, if the body controls certain motion sequences quasi in the sleep. This can be achieved by coordination exercises adapted to the sport. Mobility can also be trained. Dynamic mobilization exercises are designed to improve the interaction between joints and joint muscles. One of the best known exercises is the sun salutation from Hatha Yoga.
It is also very important to train balance. The brain and body are trimmed to automatically correct unstable positions that are prone to injury. These so-called sensomotoric abilities can be quite decisive to literally stand firm even in sporting struggles. Such finger exercises for the whole body are best learned from well-trained trainers in a club, especially as it is simply more fun to train together with like-minded people - and to enjoy your eventful life.
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