A strain is a tear that occurs in a muscle, and is commonly referred to as a “pulled” muscle by athletes. This soft tissue injury can be caused by internal force, poor technique, or overuse. For instance, a hamstring strain can occur from an athlete sprinting repetitively in AFL resulting as an overuse injury.
Muscle Strains can cause discomfort, and bleeding may show discolouration surrounding the injury. Other indicators of strains on the muscle can vary from limited range of movement, muscle spasms, tenderness, cramping, and sharp pain from any movement in the form of stretching and any pressure placed on the injury. In order to manage strains effectively, the RICER (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Referral) method should be followed through.
Contusions refer to internal bleeding as a result of blood tissue and cells being damaged, and is commonly referred to as a bruise. Contusions are normally caused by external force upon the soft tissue that results in the capillaries bursting. Contusions are also caused through internal forces being imbalanced resulting in capillaries bursting. For example, a contusion can occur from a football player falling over during a tackle, while another player stomps on their thigh.
Signs and symptoms of contusions include swelling, and bruising at the injury site, muscle tightness, pain with or without movement, and inability to move a joint fully. To manage contusions, the RICER (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Referral) should be implemented to prevent further swelling from occurring to the skin.
Asthma is a medical condition that is caused by the inflammation of the airways. Athletes with this medical condition, should have an Asthma Management Plan developed with their GP. This plan will be essential those supervising the physical activity, such as coaches, and parents, so they are knowledgeable of the appropriate procedures to follow through with. To manage asthma, children and young athletes with this medical condition use a Ventolin puffer to prevent an asthma attack from occurring.
This medical condition is more likely to be triggered in longer durations of exercise, in comparison to short, intense bursts of physical activity. For instance, exercise induced asthma is more likely to occur during a marathon run, than a 100m sprint. Having asthma should not stop a child or young person from participating in sport, but there are actions that should be in place to manage this medical condition. Exercise is beneficial to the health of athletes with asthma, and should be able to participate in sport. In doing so, asthmatics will need to ensure they carry their reliever medication and spacer, take their reliever medication up to 15 minutes before warming up, and be observant of any symptoms occurring.
A condition where the body’s supply of insulin is reduced or completely severed. Their insulin levels need to be balanced by either injection or diet, with plenty of carbohydrates. Exercise requires an increase in utilisation of sugar, therefore diabetics require a pre-game meal to raise blood sugar levels. If the sport goes for a prolonged period of time, then a glucose supplement is needed.
As a child or young athlete participates in sport, their muscle cells are opened for glucose transport without the need for insulin. This results in a decrease in blood glucose, which can become problematic for children and young athletes who have diabetes. Therefore, it is crucial that children and young athletes who have diabetes as a medical condition monitor their blood glucose levels closely.
Diabetics will need to ensure to participate in less strenuous activities, regularly monitor their blood glucose levels, have roughly 250ml of water or a sweetened drink every 15 minutes, have carbohydrates before and during exercise to prevent hypoglycaemia. If these procedures are carried out by the athlete, this reduces the chances of an attack from occurring. Athletes with diabetes are able to participate in physical activity as it is very beneficial to their health, and fitness. However, they will need to ensure to participate in less strenuous activities, and follow through with the appropriate management strategies as highlighted above.
Epilepsy is a medical condition that relates to the disruption of normal brain activity that causes seizures to occur. There are a range of medications that can be used to reduce the occurrence of seizures. The specific type of epilepsy, and possible triggers must be considered in regards to selecting a sport to ensure it is as safe as possible to reduce the likelihood of seizures from occurring.
Epilepsy can be managed through medication, but the supervising adult should be aware of how to manage seizures, in case they occur.
When choosing a sport or leisure activity give some consideration to your type of epilepsy and your degree of seizure control. Other safety considerations to comply with to reduce the occurrence of a seizure can range from, diminishing hazards such as flashing lights, ensure to get adequate sleep, do not overexert yourself, wear a medical alert bracelet or pendant so people are able to identify the condition, and take medication as prescribed. Epileptics are able to participate in physical activity as it is very beneficial to their health, and fitness. However, they will need to ensure to participate in less strenuous activities, and follow through with the appropriate management strategies as highlighted above.
Sports policies effectively promote safe participation in a range of sports such as Rugby League. The aim of sports policies is to promote optimal health and wellbeing for athletes. Sports policies specifically addressing Rugby League do this by highlighting the rules of the game, modified rules for children, promotes fair-play through the matching of opponents such as skill level and size, use of protective equipment, safe grounds, and facilities. Rugby League is a full-contact sport and it is essential that there are set rules, and policies in order to prevent injuries of players, and to promote optimal health and wellbeing. The Sports Policies for Rugby League applies a list of rules applicable to the sport to reduce injuries, as it is classified as a dangerous sport due to the high impact it involves. If players do not comply with these rules, they will be dismissed from the field, and depending on the severity of the circumstance, can be banned from further games.
Rules are designed to protect athletes from injury and are enforced by referee’s, or umpires. In the high impact sport, there is a greater potential for injury. Protective equipment is a mandatory requirement to ensure these needs are met. These range from wearing a mouth-guard, protective headgear to prevent lacerations and abrasions, seeking professional advice on footwear, and consider preventative ankle taping and bracing to reduce injury risks.
In Rugby League, there are a number of illegal tactics, such as high tackles, and chicken winging, which involves using the arm to force the opposing player to the ground, and can lead to injuries in the shoulder. Another illegal form of tackling, is referred to ‘spear tackling’, which involves a player lifting another player into the air and dropping them so they land on their back, head, or neck. Each of these illegal movements have been banned in the sports policy regarding Rugby League as these have caused many severe injuries to players. It will be considered misconduct if the defender is not attempting to tackle, grabs or holds the opposing player using their arms or hands, and makes direct physical contact using the shoulder or the upper arm. Players who use these illegal strategies may be dismissed from the field of play or suspended from several games.
In summary, it is evident that the implementation of sports policies are necessary to athletes who participate in full-contact sports such as Rugby League as it promotes safe participation, and their overall wellbeing.