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After feeling discomfort in my hamstring after the first round last night and then again in the semi-final tonight, I was examined by the Chief Doctor of the National Championships and diagnosed with a grade I tear.

Usain Bolt, posted on Twitter 6 weeks before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Participation in sports and athletic endeavours has well-known health and wellness benefits. Unfortunately, participation is also associated with a risk of injury. Sporting injuries can occur during either competition or training and can affect any type of musculoskeletal connective tissue (Table 3.1). Injury to these tissues may be categorised as being either acute or overuse, based on the mechanism of injury and rapidity of symptom onset. The current chapter discusses acute injuries, whereas overuse injuries are described in the subsequent chapter (Chapter 4).

Table 3.1

Classification of sporting injuries

An acute injury refers to an injury that occurs during a single, identifiable traumatic event. They arise when the force applied to a tissue generates stresses and/or strains that are greater than the tissue can withstand. The net result is tissue failure which generates macroscopic damage and the rapid onset of symptoms, such as pain and loss of function. The severity of the symptoms depends on the tissue injured and the extent of the damage.

Forces applied to a tissue can be derived from either extrinsic (i.e. from outside the body, such as from a direct blow or collision with an external object) or intrinsic (i.e. from inside the body, such as from muscle contractile forces, or joint and tissue biomechanics) sources. Thus, acute injuries are frequently categorised as having extrinsic or intrinsic causes. Knowing the cause of acute injury has implications with regard to injury prevention as extrinsically generated forces may be modified by altering equipment, playing surface or sport rules, while intrinsically generated forces require an individual athlete’s characteristics and capabilities to be considered (such as ...

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