Sports Injury Update – (Produced for the Sturt Sabres bi-monthly newsletter “The Blues News”. The Physio Studio is a proud sponsor of the Sturt Basketball Club.)
How can I fix a corky?
“Corked thigh” or “corky” are terms used to describe an injury involving a direct knock or blow to a muscle belly. In basketball these most often occur in the quadriceps muscle (front of thigh) when trying to run past a screener or in a rebounding contest, but can happen in any muscle group including the calf. The technical term for this injury is a contusion.
A contusion can vary from a mild bruise that feels better within days, to a severe bruise with a deep hematoma (blood pool) that may take months to heel. The injury at a tissue level is very similar to a muscle strain, where the muscle fibres are damaged, resulting in bleeding.
In years gone by, people may have tried to “rub the corky out” by performing early deep massage in an attempt to make it get better sooner. Early massage to these injuries may in fact increase the amount of bleeding and bruising and could delay tissue healing.
With this injury you may experience pain and weakness when trying to contract the muscle or when trying to run or jump. You may have some tightness with stretching and feel a swelling or see a bruise in the local area.
For the first 72 hours after injury, you should apply the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation), and have the injury assessed to determine the severity and subsequent rehabilitation strategy. Stretching, massage and heat should be avoided and activities such as running, jumping, lunging, squatting and hopping should be minimized initially to prevent further injury and allow the body to begin to heal. Later stage rehabilitation involves regaining strength and flexibility (where massage and stretching can help) before a graduated return to running, training and games.