Taking part in sporting activities and getting regular exercise is good for your health, but sometimes this will inevitably result in injuries.
Most people will only ever experience minor sport-related injuries such as cuts, bruises, blisters and swelling, however professional athletes are likely to sustain more serious injuries at some point during their career because of the intense nature of their training.
Sports injuries can be described in two main categories:
- Sudden injury – the result of a sudden impact or an awkward movement
- Overuse injury – an injury that develops overtime due to overuse of particular body parts or poor technique such as tennis or golfers elbow.
Affected areas of injury usually include:
- Joints (elbow, hips, ankles and knees)
- Tendons (tough, rubbery cords that link the muscles to the bones)
- Cartilage (tough, flexible tissue that surrounds the surface of joints, allowing bones to move over one another)
- Ligaments (thick bands of tissue that connect one bone to another)
Raj specialises in the prevention and treatment of sports related injuries. Since 2008 he has enjoyed working in association with Gloucestershire County Cricket Club as the team’s hand and wrist surgeon.
Raj and the club Physiotherapist, Steve Griffin, have been conducting a study examining hand and wrist injuries sustained in a professional cricket team and their subsequent treatment. Their results were presented at the annual British Society for Surgery of the Hand meeting in Newcastle. Please click here to view the published paper.
Raj was recently interviewed by the Bristol Post regarding this research and the injuries sustained in professional cricket. To read the article, please click here.
Between 2008 and 2013, 64 injuries were treated, which amounted to a total of 1,516 playing days being lost during this period. The majority of the injuries were sustained in the little and ring fingers during fielding. Mr Bhatia says simple interventions such as buddy strapping of the ring and little fingers during fielding can help reduce the incidence of injury in professional and amateur players alike.
Mr Raj Bhatia with rugby broadcaster John Inverdale, presenting 13-year-old Kruz Belcher with the Bristol Post’s 2014 Cricketer of the Year award. Click here to read more about the Awards on the Bristol Post website.
“Being a professional cricket club, wrist and hand injuries are very much part of my job as the lead physiotherapist. We have injuries of all types some from trauma and others overuse. We have used Raj Bhatia of Bristol Hand Surgery for all these injuries in the last few years. He has always provided us with expert advice, accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, both conservative and surgically, allowing our players to be back playing in the shortest possible time.”
Steve Griffin (MSc MCSP)
Lead Physiotherapist, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
Preventing sports injuries
It is not possible to prevent all sports injuries from occurring, however there are steps that you can take to reduce your risk of getting injured, such as:
- Warming up properly
- Not pushing your body beyond its fitness level
- Learning correct techniques
- Using safety equipment such as shin guards, scrum hats and gum shields
There is plenty of useful information on how to avoid sports injuries on the NHS choices website: