Symmetry Blog

Injury of the week - The Corky

Symmetry Physio - Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How often do we see this injury? So common.

Injury of the week - The Corky

A corky, or muscle contusion, despite its frequency, is often overlooked as a significant injury and treated as just a bump or knock. Without fail, every AFL season we will see a handful of players across the league missing weeks of training or games due to the injury. This week we are taking the opportunity to look at the ever so common Corky injury.

The Corky or Muscle Contusion

A corky or muscles contusion is a common injury in contact sports, usually resulting from a direct blow to the muscle, such as from an opponent's knee. It can happen on any muscle in the body but the most common location in AFL is the quadriceps. The direct impact causes the muscle to be crushed against the underlying bone resulting in damage to the muscle tissue and bleeding or haemorrhage often both within the muscle and between muscles, leading to the formation of a hematoma (collection of blood within or between tissues).

With a mild contusion generally, a player can continue but in severe cases, this will be impossible due to pain and the affected muscle will fail to function normally due to the damage. In these cases players can be out for a number of weeks and getting the early management right can have a significant impact on recovery times. Immediate RICE ( Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) helps to limit bleeding and excessive inflammation. And No Harm (Heat, Alcohol, Running, Massage). Remember the muscle is bleeding and like anything that's bleeding or bleed we don't want to mess with it too much and cause further bleeding. If you want to try and play out the game you are significantly increasing the risk of not being right for the next few weeks. Probably the biggest mistake we see made is having someone try to  'rub or work it out". This will make it significantly worse and should be avoided for many days depending on severity.

These injuries are not always treated with the respect they deserve and inadequate or inappropriate management can lead to complications and delayed recovery. We recommend that you have any Corky thoroughly assessed and be guided through a rehab program after the acute phase by your physio.

The team at Symmetry Physiotherapy

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