Hard Times for James Harden

Hard Times for James HardenJames Harden is expected to miss about a month because of a right foot tendon strain. Harden was injured during the Sixers’ loss at Washington last Wednesday. Harden stumbled on a drive to the basket early in the game and remained on his back in pain before he got up and returned to the game. Harden still scored 24 points. Initially it was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski  that Harden was set to miss a month with the injury, however the injury may not be as bad as originally thought. It is currently not clear whether Harden will return sooner than the reported timetable.

The most common soft tissues injured are of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries often occur during sports and exercise activities, but sometimes simple everyday activities can cause an injury.

A strain is an injury to a muscle and/or tendon. Tendons are fibrous cords of tissue that attach muscles to bone. A strain may be a simple stretch of your muscle or tendon, or it may involve a partial or complete tear of the muscle and tendon.  Symptoms of a strain may include pain, muscle spasm, muscle weakness, swelling, inflammation, and cramping.

When an acute injury occurs, initial treatment with the RICE protocol is usually very effective. 

  • Rest: Take a break from the activity that caused the injury. 
  • Ice: Use cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
  • Compression: To prevent additional swelling and blood loss, wear an elastic compression bandage.
  • Elevation: To reduce swelling, elevate the injury higher than your heart while resting.

This should be followed by simple exercises to relieve pain and restore mobility. Surgery may be required for a more severe tear. Many soft-tissue injuries can be prevented through proper conditioning and training. Prevent these injuries by making sure you are wearing proper athletic shoes while exercising, always warm up, drink water to prevent dehydration, cool down/ stretch after exercise and make sure to allow time in between high activity days for your body to rest and recover. Whether an injury is acute or due to overuse, if your symptoms persist, contact your doctor.

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