Taking Care of Injuries
by David Segal
CPFT., ACE., AFAA., PFIT
Getting injured is the last thing anyone wants, it can be a real pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, leg, or back. The list goes on and on. Motocross is a sport where you are likely at some point to get hurt. One way or another we are all likely to get hurt as we ride and workout. It could be something as simple as blisters on the hands or as complex as a knee injury. Whatever the case, it is important to recognize the injury and take some sort of appropriate action for early treatment.
In this discourse I am only giving general guidelines on taking care of injuries and will leave the specific treatments to persons better qualified. The most important thing is to put your machismo aside when you hit the ground or pull a muscle or cut yourself.
Right at the top of the list is that you get a tetanus immunization and a booster every ten years. Tetanus, also known as ‘lockjaw’, is a disease caused by a bacterial infection and can be very dangerous. It’s called lockjaw because muscle spasms in your jaw make it hard to open your mouth. It can result from something as simple as a scratch from a rusty nail or getting dirt from a motocross track in an open wound you have. A worst case scenario could be a resulting condition of lockjaw. Tetanus also causes seizures and makes it hard for you to swallow or breathe. People who inject drugs often do it in unsanitary conditions and can find themselves, if they have not been properly immunized, at a greater risk for getting tetanus.
If you injure yourself it is important that you recognize the injury either through the symptoms or the signs of the injury.
There are subjective and objective signs to an injury. Subjective or symptoms are: pain, swelling, stiffness and numbness. Objective or signs of an injury are: broken bones, dislocations, extensive bleeding.
Depending on the severity of the injury you should not delay in taking action by going to an emergency center at a local hospital. Going over the handle bars could cause no external signs of injury. However, a pain in the side could be the sign of a fractured rib, and a possible internal organ puncture. Swelling of a broken limb could potentially turn into gangrene. It happens! A fall that includes bouncing your head off the ground will usually show subjective signs of dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, and or intense headache with a desire to go to sleep. These are all signs of potential concussion, a condition that occurs when your brain actually impacts the inside of your skull causing brain bruising and swelling. This is very dangerous and should be a certain trip to the emergency room.
To repeat: Immediate management of ‘athletic’ injuries is most important. Care administered within the first 72 hours is critical to the outcome. Many injuries will respond better and heal more quickly if early first-aid measures are carried out.
These words are not meant to scare you. They are offered to give you some direction and a course to follow to get you back on your feet quickly so you can get back on that bike of yours.