Sports injuries are injuries that occur during sport, athletic activities, or exercising. In the United States, there are approximately 30 million teenagers and children who participate in some form of organized sport. Of those, about three million athletes age 14 years and under experience a sports injury annually. According to a study performed at Stanford University, 21 percent of the injuries observed in elite college athletes caused the athlete to miss at least one day of sport, and approximately 77 percent of these injuries involved the knee, lower leg, ankle, or foot. In addition to those sport injuries, the leading cause of death related to sports injuries is traumatic head or neck occurrences.
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When an athlete complains of pain, injury, or distress, the key to diagnosis is a detailed history and examination. An example of a format used to guide an examination and treatment plan is a S.O.A.P note or, subjective, objective, assessment, plan. Another important aspect of sport injury is prevention, which helps to reduce potential sport injuries. It is important to establish sport-specific dynamic warm-ups, stretching, and exercises that can help prevent injuries common to each individual sport.
An injury prevention program also consists of education on hydration, nutrition, monitoring team members "at risk", monitoring at-risk behaviors, and improving technique. In addition, season analysis reviews, preseason screenings, and pre-participation examinations are essential in recognizing pre-existing conditions or previous injuries that could cause further illness or injury. One technique that can be used in the process of preseason screening is the functional movement screen. The functional movement screen can assess movement patterns in athletes in order to find players who are at risk of certain injuries. In addition, prevention for adolescent athletes should be considered and may need to be applied differently than adult athletes. Lastly, following various research about sport injury, it is shown that levels of anxiety, stress, and depression are elevated when an athlete experiences an injury depending on the type and severity of the injury.