Injury Prevention

With the return of warm weather, the spring sports season is wrapping up and Summer is beginning.  We all want our children to enjoy this wonderful time of year without the risk of injury and pain.  The common injuries seen during this time of year are:

Baseball and Softball

Shoulder/Elbow Injuries- Most commonly injured due to repetitive stress from throwing.  Injuries to the shoulder and elbow can range from mild tendinitis to more severe injuries such as a dislocation or tear of the musculature.  Strengthening the rotator cuff muscles as well as the decelerators of the arm is essential for prevention of injuries to the shoulder.

Ankle Sprains- Occur from sliding into the bases or changing directions quickly during fielding and base running.  Rest and icing are important for a fast recovery.  Theraband strengthening of the muscles of the lower leg, especially the muscles in the outside of the leg can help prevent these injuries.

Hand & Finger Injuries- Another injury site commonly associated with contact injuries with equipment such as balls, bats, cleats, and bases. Specialized training would be a great benefit in preventing this type of injury.

 Track & Field

Thigh & Hip Pain- Injuries range from acute muscle strains to overuse injuries such as IT Band Friction Syndrome and tendinitis.  A proper warm-up /cool-down as well as stretching before and after activity is important to help lengthen the muscles and help prevent injury.

Shin Splints - An overuse injury that can be very problematic if untreated. Common causes are: improper fitting shoes, muscle weakness of the lower leg, poor condition of the running surface and training too quickly. When conditioning, it is important to gradually increase the intensity and distance. If not treated properly, this injury can progress into a season ending stress fracture.

Runner’s Knee - Can be caused by several factors such as muscle weakness or imbalance, unsupportive or old shoes, hard running surface, and muscle tightness.  Running shoes should be replaced every 200-300 miles depending on the running surface and days per week the athlete runs.

Lacrosse

Ankle Sprains- Due to the large amounts of cutting and changing of direction, ankle sprains are the most common injury in lacrosse.  A large amount of these injuries can be prevented by strengthening the muscles of the lower leg and hip.

Knee Sprains- Another common injury also due to cutting, abrupt changes of direction and uneven surfaces. It is important to strengthen the muscles of the lower leg especially the hip and hamstring muscles to prevent injury.

Concussions- More common in boys’ lacrosse than girls because of the higher incidence of contact.  Proper fitting equipment such as helmets, goggles, and mouth guards help reduce the severity of concussions

 

Hopefully these tips will help prevent injuries but if not, see your doctor for an evaluation or sign-up for a conditioning/training program prior to the beginning of the season.  If you have any questions about conditioning or training, you may contact Wooster Community Hospital’s HealthPoint by calling 330-202-3300.

Exercise Physiologist at HealthPoint