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0893 Sports-Related Injuries

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 893: Sports-Related Injuries.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 893. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our website is ESLPod.com. Become a member of ESL Podcast by going to our website. This episode is a dialogue between Grace and Paul, about getting hurt, getting physically injured, while playing sports. Let’s get started.

[start of dialog]

Grace: What happened to you?!

Paul: I had a little accident at the game today.

Grace: Little accident?! You’re limping and obviously in pain!

Paul: I just pulled a muscle in my back and aggravated my runner’s knee, that’s all. It’s nothing to worry about.

Grace: And you’re still recovering from the sprained ankle, concussion, and neck strain from three weeks ago. Don’t you think you should sit out of the game for the next few weeks?

Paul: I might have to, but these aren’t serious injuries. They’re just part of playing sports.

Grace: I hate to bring this up again, but you’re not 20-years-old anymore. Maybe your ligaments, tendons, and joints aren’t what they used to be.

Paul: Don’t start with me. I’m in the prime of my life and in perfect physical condition. Don’t try to tell me I’m over the hill just because I get an injury or two now and then.

Grace: I’m not saying you’re over the hill. I just worry that you can’t sit, stand, or lay down comfortably.

Paul: Who says I can’t...ow!

[end of dialog]

Grace begins our dialogue by saying to Paul, “What happened to you?” That's a question we would ask, especially in that excited or shocked tone of voice, in that surprised way, when you see something that you don't expect, something is wrong with the other person. Grace says, “What happened to you?” And Paul says, “I had a little accident at the game today.” An “accident” is usually something that goes wrong. It could be you did something wrong and you hurt yourself, or it could be someone hit you and you got hurt. Paul had a “little” accident. Grace says, “Little accident? You’re limping and obviously in pain.” Grace says this is no little accident. It's not a small or minor accident because Paul is limping. “To limp” (limp) means to walk with difficulty, not to walk normally. When you hurt your leg, for example, you usually will limp. You will walk in a funny way, in a strange way.

Paul says, “I just pulled a muscle in my back.” “To pull a muscle” means to put too much force on a muscle, to strain it, to stretch it in such a way that you hurt it. Paul says he pulled a muscle in his back and aggravated his “runner’s knee.” “To aggravate” (aggravate) means to make something worse, typically something that is already bad. You do something to make something that's already bad, even worse.

Paul had a bad knee. He had what is called sometimes “runner’s knee.” Your knee is that part of your body in the middle of your leg that connects the top of your leg to the bottom of your leg. “Runner's knee” is an injury that your knee can have, especially if you do a lot of running. You might hurt it by running. That's why I never run. Never run! If you never run, you'll never hurt your knee. That's my philosophy. So I never run.

Anyway, Paul, not as smart as I am, obviously, was a runner and he hurt his knee. By playing in the game yesterday, or I guess it was today, Paul aggravated his runner’s knee. He made it worse. Paul says, “It's nothing to worry about.” You don't have to be concerned. Grace says, “And you're still recovering from the sprained ankle, concussion, and neck strain from three weeks ago.” Grace says, “Wait a minute, you already had all of these other problems that were caused by playing in your sports game three weeks ago.” What are these problems?

The first is a sprained ankle. Your “ankle” (ankle) is the part that connects your leg to your foot. “To sprain” (sprain) means to injure, to hurt. A sprained ankle, then, is when someone hurts their foot or that part of their foot, usually, the muscles or some other part of the body that is around the ankle.

A “concussion” (concussion) is a temporary period, a short time, when you are unconscious, when you are not aware of what is happening to you. Why does this happen? Well, because usually you are hit, hit in the head. If you get hit in the head hard, you might lose consciousness. It's almost like falling asleep. It can however, be a very serious problem. You might have damaged or hurt something when you were hit in the head. That would be to have a concussion. It happens a lot in certain sports where the players get hit in the head. That's why you should never play sports where you get hit in the head. Just a little advice from me to you.

Grace talks about Paul's injuries and includes a “neck strain” in her list. A “neck strain” is when you hurt a muscle in your neck. This can happen if you are sitting at your computer all day and you keep putting your head in a certain position. You could eventually get neck strain. You could hurt your neck. This is why I always advise people, “Never sit in front of a computer!” Grace continues by saying, “Don't you think you should sit out of the game for the next few weeks?” “To sit out” is a two-word phrasal verb meaning not to participate in something, not to be involved in something, usually a game of some sort. “I'm going to sit out this evening of baseball.” I'm not going to play. I'm going to sit it out, I'm not going to participate. Paul says, “I might have to,” meaning I might have to sit out the next game, “but these aren't serious injuries.” An “injury” (injury) is when you hurt part of your body.

Paul says these are not serious injuries. They're just part of playing sports. Grace says, “I hate to bring this up again,” I hate to mention this again, “but you're not a twenty-year-old anymore.” You're not twenty years old and you don't have a body that will be able to do the kinds of physical activities that you have been doing. That's what Grace is saying. She says, “Maybe your ligaments, tendons and joints aren't what they used to be,” meaning these parts of your body are not as strong as they were when you were younger. What parts of the body?

Well, she begins with “ligaments.” “Ligaments” (ligaments) are things in your body that connect bones or bones and other what are called “tissues” – other substances in your body. A “tendon” (tendon) is something in your body that connects a muscle to a bone. So tendons connect muscles to bones. The most famous tendon you have is called your “Achilles tendon.” That's the tendon that connects your lower leg muscle to your foot. The third thing that Grace mentions is “joints.” A “joint” (joint) is when two parts of the body come together, for example, the top of your arm and the bottom of your arm – your upper arm and lower arm are connected together at your elbow. That's an example of a joint. So we have ligaments, tendons, and joints.

Paul says, “Don't start with me.” This is an expression that means you don't want to hear what the other person is saying because they’ve said it to you before over and over again, many times. “Don't start with me,” meaning, “Don't start criticizing me the way you usually do.” It's something that a husband might say to a wife, for example – just an example, not me!

Paul says, “I'm in the prime of my life.” The “prime (prime) of your life” are the best years of your life. Some people consider their younger years to be the prime of their life. Other people consider their middle years to be the prime of their life. Some people consider their older years as the prime of their life. I think of whatever age I am right now as the prime of my life. Paul says, “Don't try to tell me I'm over the hill.” “To be over the hill” means to be old, to be too old, to be more than halfway through your life. So, if you expect to live until you're 80, once you become 40, you are over the hill. I think I'm over the hill right now. I think I'm, I'm beyond the halfway point in my life, maybe.

Paul says, “Don't try to tell me, Grace, I'm over the hill, just because I get an injury or two now and then” – every once in a while. Grace says, “I'm not saying you're over the hill. I just worry that you can't sit, stand, or lie down comfortably.” Paul says, “Who says I can't?” This is an expression you use when you are trying to tell the other person they’re wrong. Paul says, “Who says I can't?” And then he says, “Ow,” meaning he obviously can't sit, stand, or lie down without being in pain.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialog]

Grace: What happened to you?!

Paul: I had a little accident at the game today.

Grace: Little accident?! You’re limping and obviously in pain!

Paul: I just pulled a muscle in my back and aggravated my runner’s knee, that’s all. It’s nothing to worry about.

Grace: And you’re still recovering from the sprained ankle, concussion, and neck strain from three weeks ago. Don’t you think you should sit out of the game for the next few weeks?

Paul: I might have to, but these aren’t serious injuries. They’re just part of playing sports.

Grace: I hate to bring this up again, but you’re not 20-years-old anymore. Maybe your ligaments, tendons, and joints aren’t what they used to be.

Paul: Don’t start with me. I’m in the prime of my life and in perfect physical condition. Don’t try to tell me I’m over the hill just because I get an injury or two now and then.

Grace: I’m not saying you’re over the hill. I just worry that you can’t sit, stand, or lay down comfortably.

Paul: Who says I can’t...ow!

[end of dialog]

She’s in the prime of her scriptwriting life. I speak of our wonderful Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I'm Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2013 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
to limp – to walk with difficulty, leaning heavily on one leg because the other leg or foot is painful

* You’ve been limping for almost a week. Don’t you think you should go see the doctor?

to pull a muscle – to strain (put too much force on) a muscle, stretching it and possibly tearing it

* I think I pulled a muscle when weeding the garden.

to aggravate – to make something worse, or more serious or troublesome

* The flight delays were aggravated by bad weather and engine trouble.

runner’s knee – pain in the knee caused by using it too much, often by running

* Painful runner’s knee forced Hal to stop training for the marathon.

sprained ankle – twisted ankle; rolled ankle; pain caused by having moved one’s ankle (the part that connects the foot to the leg) in an unusual way, tearing the internal pieces

* Tracy got a sprained ankle when her high-heeled shoe became caught in a crack in the sidewalk.

concussion – a temporary period of unconsciousness; a short period of time when one is unaware of one’s surroundings, almost as if asleep, usually caused by hitting the head against something

* When the baseball hit Jamie in the head, it caused a concussion.

strain – a muscle that hurts because it has been pulled or stretched too far, or because it has been used too much

* My shoulder hurts, but the doctor says it’s just a mild strain and it will get better in a few days.

to sit out – to not participate in something, especially one of many events

* Lola decided to sit out one dance because she needed to get something to drink.

injury – damage or harm to part of one’s body

* Ricardo was in a car accident, but fortunately, there weren’t any serious injuries.

ligament – a type of tissue that connects bones or cartilage (other tissues) in the body

* Which ligament connects the femur and the tibia in a human leg?

tendon – a type of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone in the body

* When Gracie types too much, the tendons in her wrist start to hurt.

joint – a point where two body parts connect and can move toward and away from each other

* Yesterday we went kayaking, and today my shoulder and elbow joints are really sore and stiff.

don’t start with me – a phrase used to show that one does not want to hear what another person is saying and feels annoyed, nagged, or pressured by it

* Don’t start with me! I had a terrible day at work and I don’t want to hear anybody else telling me what I’m doing wrong.

in the prime of (one’s) life – in the best years of one’s life; at the age when one has great mental and physical health

* You should travel now, while you’re in the prime of your life. Don’t wait until you’re too old to enjoy it.

over the hill – old; too old; more than halfway through one’s life

* Meg wants to have children while she’s young so that she will be able to play with them and even see them graduate from college before she’s over the hill.

Comprehension Questions
1. What happened to Paul’s runner’s knee?
a) It started when he pulled a muscle in his back.
b) It cost him a lot of money in medical bills.
c) It became more painful.

2. What would be the most likely way to get a sprained ankle?
a) By sitting.
b) By standing.
c) By laying down.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
strain

The word “strain,” in this podcast, describes a muscle that hurts because it has been pulled or stretched too far, or because it has been used too much: “Many people experience eye strain if they look at a computer screen all day.” The word “strain” can also mean facing a lot of pressure or stress: “Teruhisa has been under a lot of strain at work lately.” Or, “Having little kids can put a lot of strain on a marriage.” When talking about plants and animals, a “strain” is a type of organism: “Have scientists found an antibiotic for this strain of bacteria?” Finally, a “strained” relationship is a tense, uncomfortable relationship: “Reyad has always had a strained relationship with his mother-in-law.”

joint

In this podcast, the word “joint” means a point where two body parts connect and can move toward and away from each other: “As we get older, we lose a lot of flexibility in our joints.” A “joint” can also refer to the point where two objects meet in a building: “We need to seal the joints around the doors, because a lot of cold air is entering the house there.” The phrase “out of joint” means not working properly or not fitting in: “Ever since we hired that new manager, things have seemed out of joint in his department.” Finally, a “joint” is an informal way of calling a cigarette filled with marijuana: “Did you ever smoke a joint when you were a college student?”

Culture Note
Treating Injuries

Many people have memorized “acronyms” (words made from the first letter of each word in a longer phrase) to help them remember how to “treat” (provide care for) injuries until they can “seek” (obtain) proper medical attention. For example, the main acronym for treating injuries is P.R.I.C.E. This acronym is used to remember the way to reduce bleeding and pain, but it does not focus on fixing the actual problem, which would be the responsibility of a doctor.

P – “Protect” (don’t allow additional injuries to occur)

R – Rest

I – “Ice” (put ice on or against the injured part)

C – “Compress” (put pressure on the injured part)

E – “Elevate” (raise up above the heart)

S – “Stabilize” (put in a position and do not let it move)

People who are studying “Cardiopulmonary resuscitation” (CPR; techniques to help someone who is not breathing) memorize the acronym A.B.C.:

A – Airway

B – Breathing

C – Circulation

The A.B.C. acronym reminds “first aid providers” (people who provide emergency medical care) to first “clear” (remove any objects that might be blocking) the “airway” (the passage in one’s neck or throat that allows air to move from one’s nose to the lungs). They might do this by “tilting” (changing the angle of) the neck to open the airway, or by using the “Heimlich maneuver” to apply force to the individual’s “abdomen” (stomach area) to push out any object or piece of food that might be causing the person to “choke” (not be able to breathe). Then they need to check to see whether the injured individual is breathing. Finally, they check for “circulation” (a heartbeat and the movement of blood throughout the body).

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - b