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Sports Injuries & How to Prevent Them!

It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end of April! It seems like Spring took a little bit longer than usual to find us this year. On the bright side, it looks like the weather here in the PNW is finally starting to warm up which means a few things for us here at Lilly Physical Therapy. For starters, spring sports are back in action! Hooray! That being said, with spring sports also comes spring sports injuries! If you or someone you know has dealt with a sports injury, you know how frustrating it can be.

If you don’t know, what sports injuries are, they are quite simply, injuries that occur while playing sports or while participating in exercise/fitness activities. While the definition may be simple, sports injuries are actually a BIG deal. Within the last year, more than 1.35 million people had sports related injuries that were serious. Serious enough to cut an otherwise promising sports career short, and sideline athletes for games, seasons, and even a lifetime.

My own daughter was sidelined and injured as she suffered an ACL tear and meniscus injury. Her twin sister, along with four other girls from the same school followed with the same injury in the same year. This indicates a strange epidemic caused by poor readiness for sports. Their injuries required surgical repair, grafting and long months of painful recovery and rehabilitation. Taking care of my injured girls made me look closer into sports injury prevention and rehabilitation. I learned a lot about sports injury during that time. I wished I had known sooner since it could have saved my twins from months of debilitating pain.

What is the Common Cause of Sports Injuries?

Even though some sports injuries are complete accidents, most of them are a result of poor alignment, muscle imbalance, deconditioning, poor training practices or improper gear. Most people get injured because their body is not in the proper condition for the activity they are attempting. Even not warming up or stretching enough before you play a sport or exercise can lead to a sports injury.

What are the Most Common Sports Injuries?

  • Ankle Sprains
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Groin Pull
  • Hamstring Strains
  • Shin Splints
  • Knee Injuries (ACL tears, Patellofemoral syndrome)
  • Tennis Elbow

How to Prevent Sports Injuries?

Some simple measures such us incorporating rest periods, wearing proper gear, stretching before and after the game, proper warming, exercise technique and hydration can spare you the pain and healing time that comes along with a sports injury.

In addition to this, I advise to incorporate following:

  • Use arch support to control foot pronation to prevent knee, ankle and back injuries. A flat foot position commonly causes plantar fasciitis, shin splints, anterior knee pain and low back pain.
  • Strengthen to stabilize and make joints stiffer since being super flexible is not necessary a good thing. Knee hyperextension is associated with ACL tears and knee overuse injuries.
  • Improve alignment: Poor alignment is decreasing neuromuscular control and increasing risk for injury; anterior pelvic tilt is associated with hamstring strains, anterior knee pain and low back pain. A forward head position is associated with headaches, thoracic outlet syndrome, shoulder instability, RTC impingement, and biceps tendonitis.

The good news is that sports injuries can easily be preventable and treatable! At Lilly PT, we have a Medical Fitness program designed specifically for athletes and sports injuries in mind. Benefits of our program include eliminating risk of injury, normalizing and improving function, speed, agility and performance. We use cutting edge technology, advanced manual work and evidence based kinetic intervention and our patients love it. To learn more about our Medical Fitness program, click here.

If you or someone you care about is suffering from a sports related injury, I’d like to extend you a $79 discovery exam special so we can get you back to the sport you love! This is a one on one session with a licensed therapist who can identify the root cause of your condition, outline a plan for you, give you 3 things you can do immediately to start feeling better, and a quick initial treatment. Call (425) 224-2476 to claim this limited time offer.

SoftWave Therapy is now available at Lilly Physical Therapy. Get in touch with us to schedule an appointment.