All posts by contentadmin

common running injuries

Common Running Injuries

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin


Running can be great for your health, but if an injury occurs never be afraid to seek help. The best treatment for injuries for runners is early management and education on self-care specific to the injury. We’ve compiled a list of common running injuries below. If you are experiencing lasting pain that affects your ability to complete your run or activities throughout your day, don’t modify your behavior – talk to your physical therapist.

IT (Iliotibial) Band Syndrome

  • Common Causes: Improper footwear, Increasing mileage and/or intensity too quickly
  • Symptoms: Usually occurs after a short period of running with sharp pain on the outside of the knee

For more information click here

Piriformis Syndrome

  • Common Causes: Increasing mileage and/or intensity too quickly, Poor running mechanics, Usually associated with weak hips and core.
  • Symptoms: Local pain and tightness in the buttock with possible tingling or numbness down the back of the leg. Most noted during prolonged sitting.

Shin Splints

  • Common Causes: Improper footwear, Lack of flexibility in calves, running on hard surfaces
  • Symptoms: Throbbing or aching pain along the front of the shin. Usually occurs during and/or following a prolonged run or walk.

For more information click here

Plantar Fasciitis

  • Common Causes: Improper footwear, Change in running surface, Calf tightness, increasing mileage and/or intensity too quickly
  • Symptoms: Deep ache and/or sharp pain in the bottom of the heel. Most commonly felt in the morning or following prolonged sitting

For more information click here

Runner’s Knee

  • Common Causes: Increasing mileage and/or intensity too quickly, Poor running mechanics
  • Symptoms: Swelling, Aching pain behind and/ or around the kneecap, pain walking up and/or downstairs

Achilles Tendinitis

  • Common Causes: Improper footwear, Increasing mileage and/or intensity too quickly
  • Symptoms: Swelling, painful to the touch, lack of flexibility along the back of the lower leg close to the heel.

For more information click here

 

Avoid Spring Cleaning Injuries

Do’s & Don’ts of Spring Cleaning

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

Avoid Spring Cleaning Injuries

It’s that time of year for cleaning out the cobwebs, de-cluttering, and rearranging our homes. Some of us enjoy the task while others dread it. Did you know that the greatest risk of injury we face in our own homes? From muscle strains to home falls there is no shortage of things that can go wrong but we’ve complied a list of tips to help you minimize injury. Follow these spring cleaning safety tips to have a safe and productive spring cleaning!

    • 1. Do not rush because you are tired or in a hurry.

This is really the most basic spring cleaning safety tip, and all the other ones, at least to a certain degree, stem from this one.Spring cleaning can be tiring work. Do not forget safety even if you have worked hard all day and want to get done.The better thing to do when you are exhausted is to stop and take a break, drink a glass of water, sit under a nice cool fan, and rest instead of being unsafe.

    • 2. Be careful moving large pieces of furniture and appliances.

Use proper lifting technique, keeping you back straight and lifting with your legs. Also, wear shoes when moving heavy items so you don’t hurt your toes. Finally, if you feel it is just too heavy and you can’t find someone else to do it for you, just don’t move it. It won’t be the end of the world to just clean around it. Always have spring cleaning safety in mind.

    • 3. Be safe while on ladders and step stools.

When doing a task, such as washing windows, where you need to be on a ladder use extreme caution. Do not lean too far to either side. A good rule of thumb is that your belly button should not go beyond the sides of the ladder. Also, have someone available to hold the ladder steady for you if possible, and make sure before you step on them that the rungs are not wet, and you are wearing non skid shoes.

    • 4. Be careful when walking on wet surfaces.

This spring cleaning safety tip is really important every time you clean. Everyone knows how easy it is to slip on a wet floor. Make sure you take the proper precautions to keep from falling.
Also, make sure others in your family, including children, are also warned of the wet floor to keep them safe. You may need to block small children’s access to wet floors because they just don’t understand not to run and slide on them.

    • 5. Keep stairs, landings, and walkways clear of boxes, bags and other clutter.

Spring cleaning is a great time to de-clutter your home, but you need to make sure all the boxes and bags of stuff you are getting rid of don’t cause a safety concern. Make sure you place them outside walkways and especially away from steps and stairs where someone may trip on them.

    • 6. Don’t carry too much stuff at once, especially on stairs.

During spring cleaning you will also probably go up and down your stairs a lot carrying things if you live in a home with stairs. Make sure you keep a hand free to hold onto the stair railing. Also, whether you have stairs or not, always make sure you can see over the load you are carrying so you do not trip.

If you are experiencing pain or injury please reach out to a physical therapist. They can evaluate your pain and provide corrective action to help you feel great!

physical therapy near me

sports medicine physical therapy

The Role of Physical Therapy in Sports Medicine

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

Sports medicine through physical therapy comes in many forms. Many clinics keep licensed athletic trainers on staff that will go on-site to schools and other sporting events to act as an initial caregiver at the time of an injury. If an injury occurs, you may be referred to physical therapy. From there, your physical therapist will have an array of different programs tailored to your specific type of injury, the severity of the injury, and your fitness level. However, you don’t have to wait until you have an injury to get help from a physical therapist. Sometimes the best medicine is prevention.

WHEN YOUR BODY EXPERIENCES PAIN:

  • It’s telling you that something is wrong
  • Your body can accommodate the pain, but eventually, a breakdown will happen
  • While you accommodate to your pain, weakness and stiffness begins
  • Once you have a breakdown, pain will happen and more than likely you will stop training

Some ways physical therapists help athletes from experiencing an injury:

Sports Injury Prevention Programs: Physical Therapists offer classes and/or programs geared to specific injuries. Commonly offered programs are geared towards ACL Injury prevention, Golf Strengthening (TPI), Running Injuries, and more.

Gait Analysis for runners: A three-dimensional video assessment of a runner’s biomechanics using a state-of-the-art motion analysis system. See yourself run at variable speeds from five different camera angles. An athlete can learn how to prevent injuries and improve performance through increase cadence and strengthening/stretching.

Functional Movement Screenings (FMS): One way to determine physical weaknesses is to perform the Functional Movement Screen. FMS is an innovative system used to evaluate movement pattern quality for clients and athletes. The functional movement screen is used to identify and correct weaknesses in the movement and strength of athletes.

ONCE AN ATHLETE DOES EXPERIENCE AN INJURY, PHYSICAL THERAPY MAY INCLUDE:

  • Education on faulty or improper posture or body mechanics with training
  • Education and help with technique on exercises that help your muscles stretch farther
  • Flexibility training helps prevent cramps, stiffness, and injuries, and can give you a wider range of motion
  • Correction of muscle imbalances through flexibility and strength training
  • Endurance training
  • Kinesiotaping
  • Alleviation of pain
  • Correction of improper movement patterns

If you are in need of sports medicine physical therapy, we have licensed professionals throughout the country.

physical therapy near me

snow shoveling safety tips

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

snow shoveling safety tips

Snow Shoveling: A common cause of soft tissue injuries & low back pain

An average of 11,500 people are treated at emergency rooms for injuries and medical emergencies related to snow shoveling each year, according to a report released Jan. 17 by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  Data from between 1990 and 2006 shows the majority of the injuries were soft-tissue injuries, with the lower back being affected 34 percent of the time. Acute musculoskeletal exertion was the cause of injury in 54 percent of the cases, followed by slips and falls (20 percent) and being struck by a snow shovel (15 percent).  Study authors recommended individuals talk to their doctor before shoveling snow, particularly those who do not exercise regularly, have a medical condition or are in a high-risk group. They also recommended alternative snow removal methods.

Clearing snow & Ice

Clearing snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks is hard work. To prevent injuries, follow these safety tips from the National Safety Council, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and other prevention organizations.

  • Dress warmly, paying special attention to feet, hands, nose,
    and ears.
  • Avoid shoveling snow if you are out of shape. If you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel snow unless your doctor says it’s okay.
  • Do light warm-up exercises before shoveling and take
    frequent breaks.
  • If possible, push snow in front of you. If you have to lift it, pick up small amounts and lift with your legs, not your back. Do not toss snow over your shoulder or to the side.

Use ergonomic lifting technique

Whenever possible, push the snow to one side rather than lifting it. When lifting the snow shovel is necessary, make sure to use ergonomic lifting techniques.

  • Always face towards the object you intend to lift (ie have your shoulders and hips both squarely facing it)
  • Bend at the hips, not the low back, and push the chest out, pointing forward. Then, bend your knees and lift with your leg muscles, keeping your back straight
  • Keep your loads light and do not lift an object that is too heavy
    for you
  • If you must lift a shovel full, grip the shovel with one hand as close to the blade as comfortably possible and the other hand on the handle (handle and arm length will vary the technique)
  • Avoid twisting the back to move your object to its new location – always pivot your whole body to face the new direction
  • Keep the heaviest part of the object close to your body at your center of gravity – do not extend your arms to throw the snow
  • Walk to the new location to deposit the item rather than reaching or tossing

Video provided by the Center for Physical Rehabilitation with locations throughout Grand Rapids, MI. Check them out online here.

snow shoveling safety tips PTandMe

SENIORS NOTE:

Whenever possible, avoid shoveling snow first thing in the morning. If this is not an option, a proper indoor warm-up will prepare the body for additional activity. Jogging in place, or using a treadmill or stationary bike for 5-10 minutes are options for safely raising the heart rate while in a neutral temperature. As with any exercise, drinking lots of fluids will help maintain electrolyte balance and prevent fluid loss.

 

For more cold weather safety tips to keep you out of harm’s way this winter check the articles below!

Staying Warm in Winter PTandMe  Winter Safety PTandMe  

 

Need help from a physical therapist?

We work with expert teams around the country to make sure you have access to the best care possible.

physical therapy near me

Training Injuries

Improper Exercise Leads to Training Injuries

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

Training Injuries

The amount of physical activity you need depends on your individual fitness goals and your current fitness level.  It’s important to start within your abilities and to listen to your body’s cues in terms of pain and injury. If you experience a training injury and your body starts to ache past the point of normal muscle soreness, your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong.  For a short time, you’ll be able to push through the ache, but eventually, a breakdown will happen, and weakness and lack of flexibility will begin. Once you have a breakdown, the pain will happen and more than likely you will stop training. We want to help you before you get to a breakdown.

Training Injuries

Training injuries can be sustained from weight training, martial arts training, and sport-specific training. Common injuries include:

  • Strain/Sprain (commonly called a pulled muscle)
  • Tendinitis,  Back/Neck Pain, Tennis Elbow (Inflammation of the tendon fibers that attach the forearm extensor muscles to the outside of the elbow).
  • Carpal Tunnel: Numbness, tingling, or a dull sensation of the thumb, index finger, and middle fingers due to compression to the median nerve in your wrist.
  • Muscle Tear/Rupture
  • Separated or Dislocated Joint (shoulder, hip, knee)
  • Bursitis: Tightness in the hip or pain radiating down the lateral thigh contusion

Running Injuries

Overuse musculoskeletal injuries occur frequently in runners. Proper stretching and training principles can reduce your risk of developing a running injury.

  • Shin Splints: An overuse injury of the anterior or posterior tibialis muscles, characterized by pain or soreness down either side of the shin. Technically, this condition is tendinitis or inflammation of the tendons/muscles that attach to the tibia.
  • Achilles Tendinitis: Inflammation of the Achilles Tendon with possible thickening or thinning of the tendon and associated with pain resulting from overuse, overstretch, or poor flexibility. Hills or jumping activity will exacerbate this condition.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the connective tissue supporting the arch of the foot. There may be point tenderness at the heel and arch.  This condition usually occurs with increased mileage or won/unsupported shoes. This condition may lead to heel spurs.

Prevent Injury While you Train

Injury can happen at any time, but there are steps you can take before during, and after your run to help prevent long-term pain. Prior to your run allow yourself at least a five-minute warm-up.  Suggestions include jumping rope, jumping jacks, light jogging, or a combination. After your warm-up takes the time to gently stretch your muscles.  Remember not to bounce.

While you are training it is important to use the proper equipment. This includes shoes for your foot type (high arch, flat foot, neutral foot), comfortable clothing, and appropriate socks. If the shoe is fitted to your foot, you will need to change running shoes every 400 miles. Even sooner if wear has occurred to the foot platform. Also make sure to change the running path often, aka different locations, terrains, surfaces, and directions.  Cross-training is also important.  We recommend using a Stairmaster or elliptical trainer, biking, swimming, yoga, Pilates. After a run, it is important to cool down with more intense stretching than the warm-up.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

TRAINING ASSESSMENTS

  • Educate on faulty or improper posture or body mechanics with training
  • Educate and help with techniques on exercises that help your muscles stretch farther. Flexibility training helps prevent cramps, stiffness, and injuries and can give a wider range of motion.
  • Correct muscle imbalances through flexibility and strength training
  • Endurance training
  • Alleviate pain
  • Correct improper movement patterns

RUNNING ASSESSMENTS

  • Modify training when you have a minor ache and pain (This does not always mean you need to stop training)
  • Get assessed for weakness and flexibility issues to address biomechanical deficits.  A therapist can videotape your running to look for biomechanical deficits that you may have while running
  • Look at foot mechanics for proper shoe type, stability, motion control, and neutral/cushion shoes

Find a PT

We have talented teams of physical therapists throughout the U.S. that can help you get the care you need.  Whether you need training injury prevention or recovery, our specialists have the skills and know-how to get you back to your workout routine or sport safely.

physical therapy near me

 

cold weather exercise tips

Cold Weather Exercise Tips: Running Safety

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

Cold temperatures and decreasing daylight hours do not mean that your outdoor running routine has to go into hibernation for the winter. Running through the cold weather can ease the winter doldrums, improve your energy level and help you to be in better shape for the spring/summer. However, it is important to follow our PTandMe cold-weather exercise tips to run safely and comfortably through wintry weather.

  • Pay attention to temperature and wind chill: If the temperature drops below zero F or the wind chill is below -20F, you should hit the treadmill.
  • Protect your hands and feet: It is estimated that as much as 30% of your body heat escapes through your hands and feet.
  • Dress in layers: It is important to start with a thin layer of synthetic material such as polypropylene, which wicks sweat away from your body. stay away from cotton as a base layer as it holds moisture and will keep you wet. If it is really cold out, you will need a middle layer, such as polar fleece for added insulation.
  • Avoid overdressing: You should feel a slight chill off your body the first 5 minutes of winter running; after that, you should warm-up.
  • Protect your head:  Wearing a hat that will help prevent heat loss is very important.
  • Do not stay in wet clothes: If you get wet from rain, snow or even from sweat in chilly temperatures, you are at risk for hypothermia. It is important that you change wet clothing immediately and get to warm shelter as quickly as possible.
  • Stay hydrated: Despite the cool weather, you will still heat up and loos fluids through sweat. The cool air also has a drying effect, which can increase the risk of dehydration. Make sure you drink water or sports drinks before, during and after you run.
  • Remember sunscreen: Sunburn is still possible in the winter. It is also important to protect your lips with lip balm.
  • Take it easy when it is frigid: The colder the temperature becomes, the greater your risk for a pulled muscle when running in the cold, so warm up slowly and run easily on very cold days.
  • Run in the wind: If at all possible, head out into the wind, so that on your return run, the wind will be at your back when you are sweaty and could catch a chill.

Looking for help with a nagging injury? Find a physical therapist near you.

physical therapy near me

For more cold-weather exercise tips to keep you safe this winter check out the articles below!

Staying Warm in Winter PTandMe  Winter Safety PTandMe  Snow Shoveling Safety PTandMe

Cancer Fatigue Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy can Help Battle Cancer Related Fatigue

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

Should you Consider a Physical Therapy Cancer Fatigue Program?

Cancer treatments are rigorous and can take a toll on the body. If you are feeling tired all the time you’re not alone. The number one complaint of cancer patients, affecting 78% to 96% of those undergoing treatment, is cancer related fatigue(CRF). The goal in Physical Therapy is to help you become as independent as possible. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms of pain or loss of function would benefit from an individualized physical therapy program.

Physical therapy can help you recover from:

  • Chronic pain
  • Leg pain
  • Shortness of breath after light activity
  • Difficulty walking short distance
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks
  • Extreme weariness and tiredness
  • Difficulty paying attention or concentrating

What to Expect from A Physical Therapy Cancer Fatigue Program

Licensed Physical Therapists provide specialized therapeutic services that address the needs of CRF patients. Therapy sessions last approximately thirty minutes to one hour, depending on the patient’s tolerance. The average number of visits per week is 2-3. The physical therapy program is concurrent with cancer therapy and may last throughout the entire treatment phase. Most programs require a thorough physical therapy evaluation and a team approach with your physician is maintained.

Consider it a stepping stone approach towards your recovery.

  • Address pain—which in turn can alleviate fatigue
  • Use non-drug based treatments such as physical modalities:
    – Soft tissue & joint mobilization
    – TENS
    – Heat/Cold
  • Coach patient on how to exercise
  • Alleviate musculoskeletal dysfunction
  • Improve posture
  • Combat effects of bed rest
  • Help to maintain muscle strength and flexibility, and restore muscle balance
  • Help to decrease depression by increasing endorphins
  • Improve balance
  • Improve endurance
  • Core body strengthening

Lady bandana

The Motivation Behind a Cancer Recovery Program

From a physical therapy perspective, one of the main reasons for helping cancer patients comes from seeing individuals for pain problems who were S/P cancer and chemo/radiation. When asked about their the post-treatment care, they said that either; there was none provided, or that they got a few sessions with a lymphedema nurse. Their fatigue and pain symptoms were not addressed.

In looking at what was offered in the community (with the exception of lymphedema nurses) there appeared to be no one addressing the cancer patients—once medical treatment had been completed.

Previous advice for cancer patients was often to get more rest and avoid activities that are physically challenging. Recent studies have shown that exercise was found to be effective in preventing or reducing CRF. No adverse effects of exercising have been reported. Identified as “remarkably underutilized”, exercise is one of the few interventions suggested to diminish CRF and other psychosocial symptoms. If you are struggling to regain your strength and endurance talk to your physical therapist and see if they offer a cancer-related fatigue program that can help you get back to doing the things you enjoy.

physical therapy near me

Information Provided by PTandMe Physical Therapy Partner, Advance Rehabilitation. Advance Rehabilitation has locations throughout GA and Northern FL. More information about Advance Rehabilitation can be found on their website at www.advancerehab.com.

For more information on cancer-related physical therapy programs click here:

    
benefits of a home exercise program

Why Should I Do My Home Exercise Program?

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

benefits of a home exercise program

When a patient walks in for physical therapy, one of the things they are sent home with is a home exercise program. But why do they do that? Aren’t they supposed to take care of everything while you are in the clinic?  These are questions that may run through your head, but what exactly are the benefits of a home exercise program? If you’re on the fence about whether or not to take your HEP seriously, we’re here to tell you why you should.

  • Continuation of forwarding progression in rehabilitation: Physical and occupational therapists tailor each program to the abilities and strengths of each patient. A patient that completes their home exercise program is more likely to excel in the one-on-one sessions at the clinic and experience fewer setbacks in rehabilitation.
  • Increases level of mobility and endurance: Exercise in the home is designed to continue the progress of the clinic visit by increasing a patient’s flexibility and stamina. A good home exercise program allows a patient to increase function and improve muscle memory so that progress is gained rather than lost from one visit to another.
  • For some patients, therapy doesn’t end at discharge: A home exercise program can help a patient remain pain-free and functional without having to pay for repeat visits and costly medical bills. For patients experiencing chronic pain – a home exercise program is a ticket to staying out of the doctor’s office.

Despite the benefits of a home exercise program, patients have trouble following through on their home exercise program goals. We’re going to go over some of the more common excuses:

  • I don’t have time, because life at home is too busy: It can be hard, especially for those running a household with multiple schedules to accommodate. However, a physical therapist can offer suggestions on working these into your schedule. Some exercises can be done at work, at home, on the playground. If time is truly a concern then don’t be afraid to let the therapist know.
  • It hurts: Some pain is considered normal – it’s a normal part of the exercise. However, if you are doing an exercise and something feels wrong, let your physical therapist know immediately. Don’t wait until your next appointment and tell yourself you will take care of it then. It could be something as simple as not doing the exercise correctly and they can talk you through it over the phone. Communication is a large part of rehabilitation and your therapist wants to know if something is causing concern.
  • Not motivated: Not seeing the point of the exercises your therapist gave you – ask them why it is so beneficial. Going to see a physical therapist 2-3 times a week alone without doing home exercises will not be enough to maintain muscle strength and flexibility. Healthy habits begin with persistence. If you need motivation talk to your therapist, they are born motivators and want nothing more than to watch you succeed. Enlist the help of family or friends to keep asking about your progress.

Physical therapists may utilize print copies of exercises or they may choose to go utilize a digital version that you can access from a mobile device. No matter the delivery, the goal for each is the same. To help you heal more effectively. If you have questions about your home exercise program and what it contributes to your recovery talk to your physical therapist. Education and understanding are crucial to making sure your experience in recovery is successful. If you need help finding a physical therapist to answer your questions, we have you covered in our “Find a PT” section.

physical therapy near me

fall prevention at home

Fall Prevention: Risks & Tips in your home

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

fall prevention tips at home

While falls can happen anywhere, more than half of them happen in the home. One in every three adults 65 and older fall AT HOME each year in the U.S. One of the easiest ways to help prevent a fall is to make sure that certain tripping hazards are addressed and removed. We’ve compiled a short list below to help you get started.

COMMON WARNING SIGNS FOR FALLING ARE:

  • Feeling pain or stiffness when you walk
  • Needing to walk slower or to hold on to things for support
  • Feeling dizzy or unsteady when you get up from your bed or chair
  • Feeling weak in your legs
  • You take more than one medication
  • You have problems seeing
  • You have had at least one fall in the past year

RISKS TO CONSIDER WHEN FALL PROOFING YOUR HOME:

Lighting

  • Is the lighting adequate, especially at night?
  • Are stairwells well lit?
  • Is there a working flashlight in case of power failure?
  • Can lights easily be turned on even before entering
    a dark room?

Surfaces

  • Are there any wet surfaces that are frequently wet?
  • Are steps and stairs in good repair and the
    appropriate rise?
  • Do steps have handrails in good repair?

Trip Hazards

  • Are there throw rugs in the walking path?
  • Does the family pet often sleep in walking paths?
  • Is the carpet in good repair without tears or fraying?
  • Are there extension cords or raised door sills in the walking paths?
  • Is there a clear path from the bed to the bathroom?

If you feel that you are at risk for falls, talk to your physical therapy provider. Most physical therapy clinics offer fall risk assessments that can help determine any areas of risk. By participating in a fall prevention program, you can reduce the likelihood of a fall and increase the ability to live independently. Fall prevention programs mainly focus on core strength, flexibility, and patient education.

physical therapy near me

 

FLYR_FallPrevention_HomeFalls

For more information about balance and fall prevention click the links below:


    
high school sports injuries

High School Sports Injuries

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

Every year, millions of teenagers participate in high school sports. An injury to a high school athlete and the pressure to play can lead to decisions that may lead to additional injury with long-term effects. High school sports injuries can cause problems that require surgery as an adult, and may lead to arthritis later in life.

When a sports injury occurs, it is important to quickly seek proper treatment. To ensure the best possible recovery, athletes, coaches, and parents must follow safe guidelines for returning to the game.

Teenage athletes are injured at about the same rate as professional athletes, but because high school athletes are often still growing they are more susceptible to muscle, tendon, and growth plate injuries.

Types of High School Sports Injuries

Injuries among young athletes fall into two basic categories: overuse injuries and acute injuries. Both types include injuries to the soft tissues (muscles and ligaments) and bones.

Acute Injuries
Acute injuries are caused by a sudden trauma. Examples of trauma include collisions with obstacles on the field or between players. Common acute injuries among young athletes include contusions (bruises), sprains (a partial or complete tear of a ligament), strains (a partial or complete tear of a muscle or tendon), and fractures.

Overuse Injuries
Not all injuries are caused by a single, sudden twist, fall, or collision. Overuse injuries occur gradually over time, when an athletic activity is repeated so often, parts of the body do not have enough time to heal between playing.

Overuse injuries can affect muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and growth plates. For example, overhand pitching in baseball can be associated with injuries to the elbow. Swimming is often associated with injuries to the shoulder. Gymnastics and cheerleading are two common activities associated with injuries to the wrist and elbow.

Stress fractures are another common overuse injury in young athletes. Bone is in a constant state of turnover—a process called remodeling. New bone develops and replaces older bone. If an athlete’s activity is too great, the breakdown of older bone occurs rapidly, and the body cannot make new bone fast enough to replace it. As a result, the bone is weakened and stress fractures can occur—most often in the shinbone and bones of the feet.

Concussion
Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries. They are caused by a blow to the head or body that results in the brain moving rapidly back and forth inside the skull.

Although some sports have higher instances of concussion—such as football, ice hockey, and soccer—concussions can happen in any sport or recreational activity.


Growth Plate Injuries

Growth plates are areas of developing cartilage tissue near the ends of long bones. When a child becomes full-grown, the growth plates harden into solid bone.

Because growth plates are the last portion of bones to harden (ossify), they are vulnerable to fracture. Growth plates regulate and help determine the length and shape of adult bone, therefore, injuries to the growth plate can result in disturbances to bone growth and bone deformity.

Growth plate injuries occur most often in contact sports like football or basketball and in high impact sports like gymnastics.

ThinkstockPhotos-90911121

Treatment

Treatment will depend upon the severity of the injury, and may include a combination of physical therapy, strengthening exercises, and bracing. More serious injuries may require surgery.

Return to Play

A player’s injury must be completely healed before he or she returns to sports activity.

In case of a joint problem, the player must have no pain, no swelling, full range of motion, and normal strength.
In case of concussion, the player must have no symptoms at rest or with exercise, and should be cleared by the appropriate medical provider.

Prevention
Many high school sports injuries can be prevented through proper conditioning, training, and equipment.

High school athletes require sport specific training to prevent injury. Many injuries can be prevented with regular conditioning that begins prior to the formal sports season. Injuries often occur when athletes suddenly increase the duration, intensity, or frequency of their activity. Young athletes who are out of shape at the start of the season should gradually increase activity levels and slowly build back up to a higher fitness level.

Using proper technique for the position being played is also key to preventing injury. Proper equipment—from the right shoes to safety gear—is essential. In addition, injuries can be prevented when athletes understand and follow the rules of the game, and display good sportsmanship.

Information provided by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons