Classification according to cause

  • Direct injury

A direct injury is caused by an external blow or force. Direct injuries can be caused by a collision with another person (for example, during a tackle in rugby union)
• being struck with an object (for example, a cricket ball or hockey stick).
Examples of injuries that result from external forces include hematomas (‘corks’) and bruises,
joint and ligament damage, dislocations and bone fractures.

  • Indirect injury

An indirect injury can occur in two ways:
• The actual injury can occur some distance from the impact site. For example, falling on an outstretched
hand can result in a dislocated shoulder.
• The injury does not result from physical contact with an object or person, but from internal forces built
up by the actions of the performer, such as may be caused by over-stretching, poor technique, fatigue
and lack of fitness. Ligament sprains and muscle strains and tears are examples of these injuries.

Overuse injury

Overuse injuries occur when excessive and repetitive force is placed on the bones and other connective tissues of the body. Little or no pain might be experienced in the early stages of these injuries and the athlete might continue to place pressure on the injured site. This prevents the site from being given the necessary time to heal. Eventually, the damage accumulates, and the injured site becomes inflamed, and
therefore painful.
The symptoms of overuse injury often occur when there is a change in training practices (such as increasing training frequency or intensity), and the body is unable to deal with the new stresses that are placed upon it. A large number of overuse injuries results from poorly planned training programs in which the athlete is not given appropriate time to recover between intense sessions.

Other causes of overuse injury are the use of poor technique and poor equipment. Athletes who practice
and compete using poor technique or equipment place extra stress on their body. Examples of this include elbow
injury from poor backhand technique or the use of a heavy racquet in tennis, and ankle or knee pain from an inappropriate running style or from wearing inappropriate footwear. Examples of injuries that result from repetitive forces are stress fractures (small cracks in the bone) and tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon).