sports injuries

For many of us, sporting activity is as much about social contact as it is about physical health and fitness. Spending time on the sidelines due to sporting injuries can have a  big impact on our mental as well as physical health and well-being. Sports injuries have been reported to burden 5.2 million Australians and cost AU$2 billion to the Australian healthcare system (Medibank, 2006).

This cart shows sports-related hospitalisations 2011-2012. Due to the nature of injuries not requiring hospitalisation, there is, unfortunately, no register of information to provide reliablestatistics.

At Maitland Myotherapy & Sports Massage, sports injuries and their correct and effective rehabilitation is our passion. 

Sports injuries are generally caused by direct trauma or overuse

Direct Trauma:

  • Fractures

  • Muscle sprains (tears) - Torn Hamstring, calves, pectoralis, biceps etc.

  • Joint swelling

  • Bruising

  • Ligament damage such as knee ACL tears, ankle sprains and shoulder AC joint tears

  • Concussions

  • Dislocations

  • "Burners"

  • "Corks"

Overuse Injuries

  • Tendinopathies - Tennis / Golfers elbow

  • Carpel tunnel

  • Runners's knee

  • Bursitis

  • ITB syndrome

  • Shin splints

  • Shoulder laxity

  • Plantar fasciosis

and are then sub-divided into 2 groups, acute or chronic.


Acute sports injuries usually have a very fast onset such as a sprained ankle. These injuries regularly are also associated with a high level of pain as the brain attempts to signal that continued activity may lead to increased tissue damage.

Chronic sports injuries such as shin splints are often developed over time and have a slower onset together with a different, often lower level of associated pain.


An initial assessment is critical

Regardless of how insignificant you believe your injury is, it is essential that you have it assessed by a health care professional like us to ensure that you minimise the injury. Experience shows us that many long term injuries may have been avoided if effective treatment and rehab had been applied earlier. At this point, through a thorough assessment, a treatment plan will be proposed to treat the injury all the way through to return to sport. In some cases, where the injury is that may or may not involve consultation with other health care providers such as G.P.'s, Specialists, Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists, etc. In this case, we will draw on our network of contacts in these specialist fields to ensure you get the best care.

Sports injuries are different!

Early in my career, I used to make statements like "a strained (torn) hamstring from tripping over the dog is the same as a strained hamstring from playing football."

While, technically, the injuries to the soft tissue can be exactly the same and we will work with both cases to return function and mobility, the rehab required to have the athlete ready to return to sport and the forces applied to the sporting legs are significantly different.

In Australian football, 34% of the players re-injured their hamstring muscles within a year of returning to play after their initial hamstring strain injuries. Australian football players had the highest risk of 13% of recurrence of hamstring muscle strain injury during the first week of returning to play. These statistics are drawn from elite programs where rehab is a part of life. Unfortunately, the weekend footballer does not get that same level of rehab.

Minimising the likelihood of injuries occurring in the first place

On a daily basis, we encounter so many injuries that could have been avoided or minimised by implementing strategies to reduce the likelihood of injury in a particular sport or activity. We can work with you to identify these strategies and ensure that your rehab program is specifically designed for you, not just a generic exercise program.

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