First Aid For Some Sports Injuries


First Aid For Some Sports Injuries


The very common sports injuries are the bone, joint and muscle injuries. These injuries or emergencies have been discussed in this site. We taught you the basic principle in immediate care of a sport injury. Seeing that the understanding of these injuries and principle have been established, this paper teaches you specific first aid care for the most common and frequent sport injuries.

By the end of this, you will be able to:

1. Discuss why you should take shock very seriously as a sports injury.

2. Demonstrate how to provide first aid to fractures.

3. Show how to care for wounds.

3. Highlight ways to prevent specific injuries.


1.  Shock

This is an acute, life-threatening sports injury. It occurs when there is a diminished amount of blood available to the circulatory system. In this condition, the body may not be able to maintain adequate circulation to the vital organs. If not handled immediately, it might lead to death. Shock is a possibility with any injury, but it is most common in severe hemorrhage (bleeding), fractures, or internal injuries. Other condition, like, heart failure, (cardiogic), dilated blood vessel, (neurogic), fainting (psychogenic), severe allegergic reactions (anaphylactic), severe illness (metabolic), trauma from blood loss (hypovolenic) or lungs in ability to supply oxygen (respiratory) can cause shock.

Signs and Symptoms

An athlete suffering from shock can manifest a combination of the following:

1. Moist, pale, cool, clammy-feeling skin;

2. Dilated pupils;

3. Elevated pulse and respiration which may be shallow;

4. Decreased blood pressure

5. Fecal incontinence

6. Urine retention will reduce

7. Irritability and restlessness

8. Complains of extreme thirst.

9. Feeling of sickness and vomiting.

10. Feeling of syncope (fainting).

First Aid for Shock Management

1. Have the athlete lie in a supine position with the legs elevated eight to 12 inches approximately

2. Maintain body temperature very close to normal as possible. This can be done by covering the athlete with blanket.

3. Monitor vital signs.

4. If spine injury in involved, do not move the athlete from his position.

5. Do not give fluid to the athlete because doing so can cause vomiting or chocking.

6. Call for medical assistance.

What is the most frequent and popular injury to the bones during sport performance?

2. Bone Injuries

Fractures are the most popular bone injuries in sports. A fracture has been described in previous units as break or crack in a bone. They are usually caused by direct blow, compression or twisting or tension mechanisms

Signs of Fracture:

The signs of fracture include:

1. Pain

2. Numbness where the function affect nerves

3. Grating sensation

4. Extreme pain with any movement of the affected part.

Symptoms of Fracture are:

1. Swelling

2. Loss of function in the affected part

3. Deformity.

First Aid Treatment for Fracture

1. Call for medical assistance

2. Prevent the athlete from moving the affected part

3. Immobilize the affected part;

4. Apply ice as you wait for medical assistance

5. Monitor and treat for shock if needed. Treat any bleeding.

6. Arrange and send the athlete to a physician, if medical assistance is delaying. In this case apply splint.


1. Encourage the athletes to wear protective equipment and shock-absorbing shoes.

2. If any finger or toe has been injured previously, such body part should be taped before practice session and game.

Caution When Treating Fractures

When treating fracture, give attention to the following:

1. Do not put pressure directly on the bone.

2. Do not attempt to put the bone back into place .

3. Do not push the bone through skin.

3. Joint and Muscle Injuries

Sprains, strains and dislocations are common joint and muscle sports injuries.


This is a stretch or tear of the ligament that hold joints together. It is usually caused by compression, tension or twisting of weak muscles.

Symptoms of Sprain

1. In grade I, there is mild pain when moving the joint affected.

2. In grade II to III, there is moderate to severe pain when joint is moved.

3. Feeling of instability or looseness

4. Moderate to severe pain around the joint.

Signs of Sprains

1. In first degree sprain, there is slight point tenderness around the bones.

2. In the second and third degree sprains, there is moderate to severe point tenderness around the bonds.

3. Swelling

4. Deformity

5. Decreased movement

First Aid for Sprain Management

For grade I;

1. Rest the player from painful activities.

2. Apply ice for 15-20 minutes.

3. Apply a compression wrap or bandage.

4. Elevate the injured part.

4. If signs and symptoms persist, refer the athlete to a physician.

For grades II and III;

1. Rest the athlete from all activities that might involve the injured joint.

2. .If ankle or knee is affected the athlete should be prevented from walking on the injured leg.

3. Monitor and treat for shock if needed, then send for medical assistance.

4. As you wait for medical assistance, apply ice.

5. If medical assistance in delaying, transfer the athlete to a physician.

Prevention of Sprain

Encourage athletes to do joint strengthening exercises and stretching before and after game or practice session.


Strains are the stretch or tear of the tendon or junction between tendon and muscle (TMJ). It is caused by forceful contraction of the muscle connected to the tendon, or forced stretch or tension, or weak inflexible muscle or explosive muscle action.


Signs of strain

-In grade one strain, there is mild or slight point tenderness.

-In grades II and III, the following are signs.

1. Moderate to severe tenderness

2. Swelling

3. Lump or fold where muscle in torn.

4. Loss of function

5. Limping where the lower limb in involved.

What will an injured player tell you that will make you suspect that his injury may be strain?


1. Mild pain for first grade strain

2. Moderate to severe pain for grade II and III.

First Aid for Strain

For Grade I Strain;

1. Rest the athlete from any painful activities

2. Apply ice

3. Transport the athlete to a physician if signs persist.

For second and third grades;

1. Rest the athlete from all activities

2. Monitor the athlete and treat for shock if needed; and call for medical assistance

3. Apply ice to the injury

4. If medical assistance is delaying, transport the athlete to a physician


1. Athletes should do good warm up

2. Athletes should avoid risky twists.

3. Dislocations

In a dislocation, the bone moves out of place and does not return on its own, (luxation) or returns in place on its own, (Subluxation). They are usually caused by the mechanisms of compression, twisting or torsion, forceful contraction or severe strain.

Symptoms of Subluxations

1. Sense of looseness on the joint

2. Pain with movement

3. Heard or felt a pop

4. Grating sensation

Signs of Dislocations

1. There is point tenderness along the inside of the joint

2. Lack of sensation

3. Extreme looseness

4. Swelling

5. Loss of function

First Aid for Subluxation

1. Protect the athlete from others.

2. Rest the athlete from all activities.

3. Immobilize the affected body part.

4. Monitor and treat for shock if needed, and call for medical assistance.

Symptoms of Luxation

1. Severe pain

2. Heard or felt a pop

3. Sense of looseness

Signs of luxation

1. Severe point tenderness inside the joint;

2. Deformity very obvious;

3. Loss of function;

4. Swelling

First Aid for Luxation

1. Immediately call for medical assistance;

2. Monitor and treat for shock as needed.

3. Protect the athlete.

4. Do not try to put the bone back into place.

5. Apply ice if tolerated.


A player fractured his upper arm and has a bleeding, complains of dizziness with cool and pale skin. This pulse becomes fast and weak. What potential problem will you suspect and how can you manage it?


4. Muscle cramps

This is a very common type of sports injury that affects muscles. It is related to hard training. It occurs when a muscle contracts suddenly causing a muscle spasm, pain and loss of movement. The most common muscle cramp is called tonic, in which, there is continuous muscle contraction. This involuntary muscle contraction is very painful. They most likely occur in well-developed individuals, and they develop when an already shortened muscle involuntarily contracts. They are most common at rest and at night, and most frequently affected are the leg and hand muscles. They can also occur during activities like in sports. In any situation they occur, they can be relieved by gently massaging the muscle with the head of the hand. Doing this will help stretch the contracted muscles. So, when it occurs, do not panic. You can also apply ice.


5. Wounds and Cuts

These are very common injuries in sports. They should be handled quickly and very carefully. The following are immediate care practices you should observe when you are faced with wounds and/or cuts:

1. Wear latex glove to protect yourself.

2. Remove clothing or equipment covering the wound if any, and protect the athlete.

3. Clean around the wound.

4. Apply dry, sterile dressing to exert direct pressure over the wound.

5. If the dressing becomes soaked, apply more over if. Please, do not remove blood soaked dressing.

6. If bleeding is severe, elevate the injured area with the compression.

7. Call for medical assistance.

8. Monitor circulation and breathing.

9. Store all the materials used to treat the wound for later cleaning or disposal.



Mastering basic first aid care for common sport injuries is a n important step to sustaining development in Human Kinetics. This unit discussed specific first aid care for the common frequent sport injuries. You are now better prepared to apply the principles and skills of first aid. The unit started with the discussion of shock which has been mentioned as one of the life-threatening conditions. This was done to keep it fresh in your memory as you treat other conditions.

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