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The Anatomy of Sports Injuries

by by Brad Walker

listed in sports injuries

[Image: The Anatomy of Sports Injuries]

As the title indicates, this book aims to present the anatomy of common injuries which occur primarily in sports. It actually goes even further and includes other factors such as the physiology of the injuries, rehabilitation involved and the prognosis.

The text starts with an outline of what constitutes a sports injury and explains which tissues are involved (bone, ligaments, muscle tendons). It also gives the various terms that describe the injuries such as acute, chronic, mild, moderate and severe. Following on, the text moves on to the prevention of injuries and shows how this can be achieved with proper warm-ups and stretching.

Fitness is a key factor of injury prevention, and all the essential aspects of good conditioning such as strength, stamina and flexibility are discussed in good detail. A basic outline of the treatment procedures and rehabilitation is given in Chapter 4, and covers first aid treatment which can be administered immediately after the injury. It progresses through to the recovery period which in most cases incorporates the standard protocol of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). The author very wisely adds an ‘R’ here (changing the term to RICER) which stands for ‘Referral for appropriate medical treatment’. This is to place an emphasis on the fact that in many cases an injury needs to be assessed by a medical or qualified practitioner in order to avoid serious or long term tissue damage.

The rest of the chapters (4-17) make up the core substance of the book; they provide a detailed overview of 119 sports injuries in an easy-to-locate format. The injuries are divided into ‘key areas of the body’ such as the wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck. Each injury review outlines: the anatomy, the physiology involved, any possible causes, the signs and symptoms of the injury, any complications that may arise from the injury, the immediate treatment that is needed, and then onto to the rehabilitation procedures and long-term prognosis.

Most of the injuries are covered for each of the body regions. For example, in the Shoulder and Upper Arm section, there are 14 injuries mentioned, ranging from the acute ones including fractures, acromioclavicular separation and muscle strain, to the more chronic ones such as rotator cuff tendonitis and frozen shoulder. Following this format, the author presents quite a number of injuries for each body region. However, the descriptions are short, and we are offered one brief paragraph for each of the associated factors of the injury i.e. the physiology, possible causes, signs and symptoms and so forth. Even so, the content does provide a very good introduction and fundamental information of the anatomy and injuries related to sports.

The book scores very high points in the colourful and clear illustrations depicting the anatomy of each of the regions of the body (these illustrations have been used in other books by the same publishers but are just as fresh and interesting). They facilitate the reader, particularly the amateur sports enthusiast or student, to comprehend the musculoskeletal structures involved in body mechanics. Somewhat disappointingly however, images of the actual injuries are few and show very little detail. On the plus side, the exercises suggested for the rehabilitation of the injuries are well presented with diagrams that accompany the text throughout each chapter. The last few pages of the book provide a useful glossary of terms.

Whilst the overall standard is rather elementary, this book serves as a good reference guide. The clear chapter layouts, colourful illustrations and easy-to-understand terminology makes this book ideally suited for the amateur sports enthusiast, personal trainer or sports therapist student. Well recommended.

Mario-Paul Cassar
Lotus Publishing

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