How To Prevent Injuries

How To Prevent Injuries


As a multicultural country, there are many activities and competitive sports that our population has to choose from. Imbedded into the Australian culture are sports like AFL football, cricket, swimming, and netball. We have also adopted from other nations sports like soccer, baseball, tennis, gridiron, basketball, futsal over the last 5 decades.

When you analyse these sports closely, they all require different components of fitness and as such each will result in associated mechanisms of injury.

What are the most common injuries?

Some of the most common injuries resulting from contact and non-contact sports include joint/ligament sprains, muscle strains, tendon ruptures, cartilage tears, bone breaks, dislocations, contusions, and concussions. These injuries will vary in severity and on occasion surgical repair of soft tissue structures is necessary.

If we break injuries into joint categorise these would be the most common seen in the sport and fitness

  • Shoulder – AC joint sprains, dislocations, subluxations, collar bone breaks.
  • Back – vertebral joint sprains, intervertebral disc injuries, muscle tears.
  • Hip – cartilage tears, adductor tears, femur fractures (horse riding).
  • Knee – hamstring and quadriceps muscle strains and tendon ruptures, ACL /PCL/MCL/LCL injuries, patella dislocations and tendonopathies.
  • Ankle – Ligament sprains, Achilles tendon ruptures, calf strains, fibula and metatarsal breaks.

What are the most common remedies?

The first and foremost treatment and basic first aid for soft tissue injuries is RICER.

  • R – Rest
  • I- Ice
  • C – Compression
  • E – Elevation
  • R – Referral

This is what is taught in the Level 2 Senior First Aid course and is the treatment given in acute stages of injury before professional help can be sought.

Injuries may resolve themselves with limited professional treatment, whereas those considered more severe may require medical imaging and prospective surgical intervention. This is a decision for the medical professional upon diagnosis.

What does VFA Learning teach in the way of reactive and proactive prevention?

VFA Learning delivers the ‘prevention is better than cure’ pattern of teaching. We consider this a proactive prevention model. We look at the root cause of these potential injuries and how they can be limited or non-occurring with proper health, wellbeing and the right physical conditioning.

Unfortunately in team sports and reactive type sports, these injuries may still occur irrespective of conditioning and health status.

This is where VFA Learning then educates students on basic first aid principals in dealing with acute injuries. This becomes the reactive education we provide. Within our courses, students will obtain their Level 2 Senior First Aid qualifications.

On top of these basic first aid principals, VFA Learning educates about the natural healing phases in the body. Further education is then focused around exercise prescription deemed appropriate for injured athletes, who are still motivated to return to physical activity.

Have VFA Learning students gone on to work with pro sports clubs?

Yes, VFA Learning is very proud to have had students move onto elite sporting environments after completing the course. Currently there are 4 of last year’s (2012) Diploma of Fitness students working with the VFL squad at Essendon Football Club. The club was generous in putting these past students through a Level 2 Sports Trainers Certificate over 2 days.

The students attend training once a week and work on match days and performing as part of the employed sports trainers. Their jobs range from sports taping, basic first aid, injury management, massage, to catering for the players basic needs at training and on game day.

What are some of the worst sports injuries the team’s seen?

The club has been quite lucky so far with injuries. Some of the major ones that they have seen his year include:

  • Head Injuries
  • ACL injuries
  • Contusion injuries
  • Hand fractures
  • Soft tissue sprains and strains of the lower limb muscles

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At VFA Learning, we encourage our students to learn how to work with clients so that they always feel comfortable and to make sure injuries are prevented before they happen.