Heat related injuries in sports occur as a result of doing excessive physical exercises in hot or humid conditions resulting in heat cramps, heat stroke or heat exhaustion. This paper is going to look at the symptoms, signs and ways of preventing heat related injuries in sports.
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In human bodies, heat is regulated through sweating. The sweat is evaporated through the surface of skin to cool or rather bring the body temperatures to normalcy. However, the level of moisture in air is high when the wheatear condition is humid thus decreasing the evaporation rate since vapor and air are saturated (Anderson, Parr & Hall, 2009, p. 23).
Therefore, sweat production is decreased leading to a lot of heat in the body. Physical exercise is also one of the reasons for increase in metabolic rate and muscle activity that lead to development of sports related injuries. However, after a person gets used to such humid and hot conditions, he/she is able to regulate the functioning of the body and even the level of sweating, hence helping to balance the level of sodium in the body.
Heat cramps are caused by loss of sodium through sweating and dehydration. Generally, they are momentary and sometimes they are released by themselves. They mostly occur in hamstrings or rear thighs and can be treated through stretching of muscles gently.
Heat exhaustion or exercise associated with collapse is another sports related illness. It is not caused by dehydration, but it is rather caused by postural hypotension (Anderson, Parr, & Hall, 2009, p. 25). It consists in the fact that insufficient blood is pumped to the limbs of an individual due to low blood pressure in the body, but not to the heart as necessary.
However, when someone stops doing exercise at once, the recurring contractions which act as a subsequent pump in pumping blood to the heart causes decreases and inefficiency in blood pumping. On the other hand, heatstroke is a result of dehydration and high humidity. High humidity deters efficiency in evaporation of sweat causing ailments.
Some of the symptoms that these sports related ailments have, include a high body temperature, which is normally above 41 degrees, high pulse rate, high breathing rate, aggression/confusion, unconsciousness/coma and high blood pressure.
Symptoms associated with heat exhaustion include headache, fainting, dizziness, vomiting or nausea, excessive sweating, paleness muscle cramps among many other symptoms and signs (Anderson, Parr, & Hall, 2009, p. 29).
There are various ways that sports related illness can be prevented. One of the effective ways of preventing occurrence of these illnesses includes limiting the duration and the intensity of playing or practice seasons during hot and humid climate. This will help the sports people avoid experiencing such illnesses (Laura, 2009, p.5).
Furthermore, training and any physical exercise should be initiated in piecemeal and without rushing. For instance, an individual who has not been involved in physical exercises should begin exercising in bits to allow the body to adapt to the climate and body changes.
People participating in athletics or any other kind of exercise should be well informed and take precautionary measures when exercising. There is need to put policies in place to ensure that people are well informed on the sports related illness and circumstances in which they may be affected adversely when exercising.
Furthermore, individuals should be able to speak out when they feel that they have ailments relating to sports to help in provision of immediate treatment to avoid escalation of the problem. In addition, there is need for the parents, coaches and individuals themselves to ensure that they have tubs with ice water near them while exercising. Water helps the body regain its normalcy during and after any physical exercises.
Water helps in alleviating the problem of dehydration as well as helps to supply additional oxygen to the body. Therefore, right amounts of drinks or fluids should be used during physical exercises.
There is need to replace the electrolytes that are lost during the physical exercises (Science Daily, 2011, para. 4). When our body sweats, minerals and salt are removed from the body creating a deficiency. The level of sodium in the body needs to be maintained by athletics or sports people through salty foods and sports drinks.
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Clothing is also one way of preventing sports related ailments. Sports people should always wear light colored, light weight and loose clothes, especially during hot sessions. In hot climate, sunglasses and a hat must be obligatory to wear in order to protect oneself from the harmful effects of the sun. Wearing loose clothes helps sweat evaporate easily, hence helping keep the body temperature within recommended levels.
The sports related ailments pose a threat to the life of the people, especially those without information on its causes.
It is, therefore, imperative for various institutions to educate them on the best way to deal with various sports ailments such as avoiding humid climate, putting or wearing light clothes, eating and drinking recommended foods and drinks respectively, seeking quick medical attention when in danger among many other solutions.
Many of the reported cases of sports illness are sustained by children and young adolescents below the age of 19. Therefore, there is need for parents and coaches to guide on the best ways of preventing such illnesses.
This is a health problem that can be handled if appropriate measures are put in place. These ailments constitute threat to one’s health and can cause death to an individual if appropriate actions are not taken in time.
Anderson, M. K., Parr, G. P., & Hall, S. J. (2009). Foundation of athletic training: prevention, assessment, and management (4th ed.), Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Laura, Y. (2009). High schools seek to curb heat-linked sports injuries. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204376604574280761954597096
Science Daily. (2011). Science News. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207102515.htm