Injuries Treatment and Prevention

A variety of injuries can occur during physical training. Table 13-1 has a brief description of acute and overuse injuries, as well as their treatment and prevention.

The treatment of any injury should focus on controlling inflammation and allowing full joint range of motion for a rapid return to daily activities.

Table 13-1. Injuries, Treatments, and Prevention

Table 13-1. Injuries, Treatments, and Prevention p




Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness - Muscle pain occurring in deconditioned muscle 12 to 72+ hours after training.

Ice, stretch, warm-up. Do not use NSAIDs.

Resolves as muscle adapts to training. Slowly increase training intensity.

Contusions - Swelling and bleeding (bruising) in the muscle, tendon, or bone due to a direct blow.


Wear protective gear.

Muscle Cramp - Muscle pain caused by prolonged activity, high heat or humidity, dehydration, and poor conditioning.

Rehydrate (Chapter 2), stretch, massage with ice.

Allow time to adjust to training and climate; drink frequently.

True Fractures - Break or chip in the bone.

Seek medical help.

Use protective gear; recondition.

Stress Fractures - Pain and weakening of the bone caused by excessive stress and use.

Seek medical help.

Reduce high-impact activities, cross-train, use proper gear, slowly increase training.

Sprains - Acute or overuse injury to ligaments (connective tissue that joins bone to bone).

Seek medical help.

Follow medical advise; slowly increase training intensity, use proper gear.

Strains, Tendonitis - Acute or overuse injury to muscle or tendons (connective tissue that joins muscle to bone).


Seek medical help.

See "Sprains."

Heat Injuries (cramp, exhaustion, heat stroke) - Painful muscle contractions, nausea, fatigue, fever, or dizziness from dehydration and electrolyte depletion; fevers >104oF can damage vital organs and result in death.

Place person in a cool location and rehydrate. Seek medical help.

Acclimate to climate, avoid exercise in extreme heat, avoid substances that cause dehydration (Chapter 12), stay well hydrated (Chapter 2).

Cold Injuries (hypothermia, frost bite, trench foot) - Body temperature <95°F causing shivers, slurred speech, clumsiness, and freezing of exposed body parts.

Gently place the person in dry blankets with another warm person.

Wear proper gear, stay dry, avoid exercise in extreme cold, stay well hydrated (Chapter 2).

RICE = rest, ice, compression, and elevation; See page 78.

RICE = rest, ice, compression, and elevation; See page 78.

To accelerate healing, you must first decrease the inflammatory process. Treatment steps to achieve this include:

RICE = Rest + Ice + Compression + Elevation

  • Rest - no weight-bearing of the injured limb, using crutches for locomotion.
  • Ice - as soon as possible apply ice, wrapped in a bag or towel, to the injured area. Ice for 20 minutes every two hours on the first day, then 3 times a day until the swelling has decreased. Do not ice for longer than 20 minutes at a time. Never apply ice directly to the skin or to an open wound!
  • Compression - wrap the injury for periods of 2 to 4 hours. Never sleep with a compression wrap unless medically advised.
  • Elevation - place the injury above the level of the heart, allowing gravity to reduce the swelling.

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