Tag Archives: Sports injuries

Avoid common baseball injuries

10 Ways To Avoid Common Baseball Injuries

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Avoid common baseball injuries

According to an article published by the Journal of Athletic Training, youth baseball players reported throwing-arm pain 74% of the time. They also reported that UCL reconstructions between 2003 and 2014 increased 343%, with 56.6% in those aged 15 to 19 years. With the increase injuries related to the pitching athlete, we wanted to take a minute and focus on what you can do to help prevent common baseball injuries from happening to your athlete.

WHAT ARE COMMON BASEBALL INJURIES?

  • The most common baseball injuries include mild soft tissue injuries, such as muscle pulls (strains), ligament injuries (sprains), cuts, and contusions (bruises).
  • Although baseball is a non-contact sport, most serious injuries are due to contact — either with a ball, bat, or another player.
  • The repetitive nature of the sport can also cause overuse injuries to the shoulder and elbow.

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WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREPARE FOR THE SEASON?

  • Physical exam. A pre-season physical exam is important for both younger and older players. The goal is to prevent injuries and illnesses by identifying any potential medical problems. These may include asthma, allergies, heart, or orthopedic conditions.
    Warm-up and stretch. Always take time to warm up and stretch.
  • Warm-up with some easy calisthenics, such as jumping jacks. Continue with walking or light running, such as running the bases.
  • Gentle stretching, in particular your back, hamstrings, and shoulders, can be helpful. Your team coach or athletic trainer may provide a stretching program.

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10 WAYS TO AVOID COMMON BASEBALL INJURIES

ASMI GUIDELINES TO HELP PROTECT PITCHERS FROM SHOULDER AND ELBOW INJURIES:

Pitching

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1. Don’t throw too much:
Daily, weekly and annual overuse is the greatest risk to a pitcher’s arm health. Numerous studies have shown that pitchers who throw more pitches per game and those who do not adequately rest between appearances are at an elevated risk of injury. While medical research does not identify optimal pitch counts, pitch count programs have been shown to reduce the risk of shoulder and elbow injury in Little League Baseball by as much as 50% (Little League, 2011). The most important thing is to set limits for a pitcher and stick with them throughout the season.

2. Don’t pitch through arm fatigue:
Individuals are 36 times more likely to develop shoulder and elbow injuries when routinely pitching with arm fatigue.

3. Don’t pitch more than 100 innings per year:
If an athlete throws over 100 innings they are 3.5 times more likely to be injured than those who did not exceed 100 innings pitched.

4. Don’t throw more than 8 months per year:
Athletes who throw > 8 months per year are 5 times as likely to suffer an injury requiring surgery of the elbow or shoulder. Pitchers should refrain from throwing for at least 2-3 months per year and avoid competitive pitching for at least 4 months per year.

5. Don’t pitch on consecutive days:
Pitchers who pitch on consecutive days have more than 2.5 times greater risk of experiencing arm pain.

6. Don’t play catcher following pitching:
If the player catches the following pitching they are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a major arm injury.

7. Don’t play on multiple teams at the same time:
There is an increased risk of injury due to the difficulty in monitoring pitch limits and rest time. If the player is on multiple teams, make meticulous efforts to keep track of the number of pitches thrown to allow adequate rest.

8. Don’t forget the shoulder in strength and conditioning programs:
Numerous studies have shown that deficits in upper extremity strength and mobility are strongly correlated to serious arm injuries. Shoulder and forearm strengthening exercises can build strength, endurance and motor control which can prevent injury.

9. Be cautious with throwing curveballs and sliders:
While existing research has not consistently shown a strong connection between the curveball and injuries, Yang et al., found that amateur pitchers who threw curveballs were 1.6 times more likely to experience arm pain while pitching and Lyman et al, found that youth pitchers who throw sliders are 86% more likely to experience elbow pain.

10. Be cautious with the radar gun:
Radar guns do not directly cause harm to a pitcher, however, the gun may cause the pitcher to throw beyond their normal comfort level. This could create an arm strain.

Don’t redshirt this season. Physical therapists can work with athletes to make sure certain muscle groups can accommodate the strain and movements necessary to perform well in your sport. Be proactive and work towards a great season with PT!

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athletic trainer

Who is an Athletic Trainer?

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athletic trainer

Athletic trainers hold at least a four year degree from a BOC (Board of Certification) accredited institution. They are licensed, certified health professionals working with athletes on and off the field. Generally they are the first responders when injuries occur during sporting events.

Athletic trainers work closely with coaches and parents and will refer athletes to other health care professionals such as physicians, physical therapists and surgeons when needed.

Athletic trainers hours are determined by sports schedules. Typically they are available after school and stay until sporting events have concluded.

IN THE TRAINING ROOM ATHLETIC TRAINERS

  • Prepare athletes for competition by taking preventative measures such as equipment fitting, taping and bracing
  • Assess athletes with acute and chronic injuries to determine their participation status
  • Perform sport-specific rehabilitation on injured athletes
  • Provide opportunities for strengthening and conditioning
  • Work with sports staff on proper warm up, game day preparation and on/off season conditioning
  • Educate athletes, coaches and parents on sports medicine strategies, nutrition and sports psychology

running back

DURING THE GAME ATHLETIC TRAINERS

  • Support athletes during sporting events
  • Manage any type of musculoskeletal issues including:
  • Shoulder, hip, knee, elbow, hand and ankle injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries like concussions
  • Triage and wound care
  • Heat-related illnesses
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Catastrophic injuries

This information was written by the Center for Physical Rehabilitation, an outpatient physical therapy group with five locations in Western Michigan. The Center specializes in all inclusive physical therapy services, such as: Sports Medicine, Orthopedic Post-Surgical and McKenzie Therapy. Our state-of-the-art facilities are conveniently located around Grand Rapids with extended hours. Independent and locally owned since 1994, we have the freedom to work with the most qualified healthcare professionals. For more information click here.

shin splints

7 Ways Physical Therapists Treat Shin Splints

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shin splints

Here are 7 ways a physical therapist can help treat pain and symptoms associated with shin splints:

Pain Reduction: The RICE principle is the first step to recovery (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Manual therapy and Kinesiotaping may also be used to speed up recovery and reduce swelling.

Gait and Footwear Analysis: An analysis of how a person walks and runs in an important part of treatment. The wrong mechanism of walking can transmit a great deal of force through the shin to the knee and hip. In such situations, physical therapists will correct gait patterns and recommend footwear with shock absorbing capacity.

Muscle Stretches and Strengthening: The tibial and peroneal muscles are attached to the shin and must be stretched adequately before any form of exercise. Physical therapy includes various stretches of the goot that will help stretch and warm up these muscles. Strengthening damaged muscles can also help.

 Activity Modification:  Physical therapists may suggest alternative activities to minimize stress on the shinbones. These can include swimming and cycling.

Increase Range of Motion (ROM): Exercises for the hip, knee, ankle and foot improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation and relieve pain. A home exercise program may also be implemented.

Arch Support:  The absence or collapse of a normal foot arch can lead to shin splints. Physical therapists will recommend appropriate orthotics that can be custom made for the patient and provide the appropriate amount of arch support.

Return to Sport: If you are an athlete, your therapist may tailor exercises that are specific to strengthening the areas needed to perform your sport. Modified use of your muscles may also be discussed and implemented. Return to your sport may be gradual to prevent re-injury.

To learn more about shin splints please visit our PT & Me injury center on this website by clicking here.

National Athletic Training Month

March is National Athletic Training Month

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March is National Athletic Training Month

Why We ATC?

ATHLETIC TRAINERS are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. They can work in a variety of settings, including high schools, middle schools, universities, professional sports teams, hospitals, clinics, performing arts, club sports teams, and more. Athletics trainers decrease the liability on coaches, ensure a quicker and safer return to play, and reduce the risk of injuries for athletes of all ages. To learn more about the great things our ATC’s do — search for one of our PT & Me athletic training locations by clicking here!

Game & Practice Coverage:

• Early injury detection and intervention
• Quick referral process to local specialists if required
• Concussion safety injury screenings:
• Evaluation of injury
• Recommendation on immediate care
• Quicker return to play

March is National Athletic Training Month

WHAT IS NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINING MONTH?
March is National Athletic Training Month, a time to celebrate the positive impact athletic trainers have on work, life and sport. National Athletic Training Month is sponsored by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), the professional members association for certified athletic trainers and others who support the athletic training profession. NATA represents more than 45,000 members worldwide.

ATC SPORTS STATS
All statistics taken from www.atyourownrisk.org

90% of student athletes report some sort of sports-related injury in their athletic careers.
54% of student athletes report they have played while injured.
12% report they have sustained concussions and head injuries from their time on the field.
163,670 middle or high school athletes were reported being seen in the emergency room for a concussion.
300 sports-related deaths of youth anything to prevent injuries.
37% of public high schools employ a full-time athletic trainer.
54% of athletes said they have played while injured.

PT News

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This Month in PT News. Featuring articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

ski

1. Skiing and Thumb Injury
Written by the Therapy Team at the Jackson Clinics – Northern Virginia

Skiing falls can often cause injury to the inner ligament of your thumb, caused by the force of the pole against this area of the hand during a fall. This area, a band of fibrous tissue connecting the bones at the bottom of the thumb, is known as the ulnar collateral ligament. Read more

crash

2. Amazing People Make A Difference: Megan and Earl’s Story
Written by the Therapy Team, ARC Physical Therapy+ – Topeka, Kansas

Earl Bayless was riding in his work truck on December 21, 2016 when his driver fell asleep, causing a major accident. Their truck flipped several times in the air and skidded a block down the road before coming to a stop and leaving Earl to wonder what just happened. Read more

rowing

3. 6 Benefits of Rowing
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy – San Antonio, Texas

If you are looking for a low-impact workout that targets multiple areas of the body while getting your heart rate up, rowing might be the right exercise for you! Read more

Sports Drinks

Hydration & Supplements: Sports Drinks vs. Energy Drinks

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hydration, energy drinks, sports drinks, chocolate milk, muscle, cramps, electrolytes, nutrients, supplements, nutrition, water, hydrated

It’s important to stay hydrated during physical activity. While water is still the best choice for hydration, other acceptable options are available. Do you know what is most effective for your workout?

Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are ideal for athletes looking to hydrate and replenish after long, intensive exercise (usually greater than 60 minutes). Sports drinks contain a combination of electrolytes, carbs, minerals, and vitamins. This combination of nutrients serve to restore lost fluid and sodium levels. Additionally, the sugary carbs found in sport drinks provide athletes a boost of natural energy to aid in recovery.

hydration, energy drinks, sports drinks, chocolate milk, muscle, cramps, electrolytes, nutrients, supplements, nutrition, water, hydrated

Energy Drinks
Energy drinks are never a good option for athletes. While these beverages do provide an apparent energy boost, the effects are temporary. Energy drinks contain few helpful macronutrients, like carbs, and instead use the stimulant caffeine to create an artificial boost of energy. These high concentrations of caffeine can act as a diuretic thus increasing dehydration risks. Too much caffeine can also cause jitters, dizziness and headaches leading to decreased performance. High doses of caffeine have been linked to cardiac emergencies.

Chocolate Milk?
Effectively recover with chocolate milk. Low-fat chocolate milk makes a simple yet effective post-workout snack. Offering just the right mix of carbs and protein, this tasty drink refuels your body and helps muscles through recovery. Drink up!

Out Smart Muscle Cramps:
Painful muscle cramps can quickly sideline an athlete. While the root cause is still being researched, dehydration, muscle imbalances and improper warm-up are likely factors. Follow these basics to help prevent muscle cramps:

  • Stay hydrated, make sure your athlete does not start the practice/game dehydrated.
  • Pack a refillable water bottle to drink throughout the day.
  • Consume a balanced diet with healthy amounts of sodium.
  • Bolster weak muscle groups with functional, plyometric and strength training.
  • Practice foam rolling and static stretching in tight areas.
  • Incorporate a dynamic warmup.

Written by the Therapy Team at the Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Grand Rapids, Michigan.
To learn more about the Center for Physical Rehabilitation click here.

When Is the Time Right for Physical Therapy?

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Often, we end up in physical therapy based on the referral of our physician after dealing with and injury for a certain period of time. However, physical therapy can be used for many different ailments and can actually help cut down the time off work, off of sports and promote healing much faster.

Physical therapy can be used for many of your minor and major injuries. Following surgeries or traumas (accidents, dislocations, fractures, sprains) it can cause a considerable reduction in swelling and allow things to heal 75-80% faster than if without therapy. It has been shown that following surgery, the quicker someone goes for therapy, the less likely they are to stiffen up or have complications due to loss of range of motion. It also helps to significantly reduce pain and swelling.

Physical therapy is not only used following surgeries or sports injuries, but can be extremely helpful in preventing symptoms from getting worse and developing into more problems. If you’ve been having pain in your shoulder for 3 months or so, your body now has altered the way it moves your shoulder and in turn, you have developed some compensation patterns which could cause things to develop into other areas, such as your neck from your altered movements. This then, can lead to more significant problems which could have been easily avoided if therapy had been started and symptoms had gotten under control.

Remember, the quicker you get into therapy following an injury or persistent pain, the quicker your response time will be to therapy. If you are having some issues, talk to your physician about starting therapy. You don’t have to wait until it has a complete impact on your life or your recreational activities. Stop pain in your life and feel better by visiting one of our PT & Me physical therapists today.

labral tear physical therapy

ATC Tip: The Labrum

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Anatomy of the Shoulder
The shoulder can move in almost every plane of motion, it’s the most mobile joint in the human body; but more mobility = more instability. The shoulder joint is often described as a “ball in socket,” but it’s wide range of motion makes it a highly vulnerable joint. We have a network of soft tissue structures, such as the rotator cuff and ligaments, whose main job is to keep the humeral head in its assigned seat. However, often these muscles alone are not sufficient as they can become weak or tight and thus less efficient. The labrum is a small ring of cartilage that provides additional stability to the shoulder joint.

How Does a Labrum Become Damaged?
Direct trauma, shearing forces, or repetitive stress can cause damage to the labrum. Often, this damage will present as a tear in the labrum, which can restrict motion, decrease strength, and cause pain in the shoulder. Picturing that ring of cartilage, imagine a roughening of the edges of the bowl-like golf tee, or even a rip that flaps when the ball is spun around. It is not uncommon for a shoulder dislocation or subluxation to be accompanied by a labral tear; chronic shoulder instability can also lead to labrum injury.

What Does a Labrum Do?
Because the “ball and socket” is so shallow, the shoulder joint is often described, quite accurately, like a “golf ball sitting on a tee.” To picture the shoulder labrum, imagine a ring around the outer edge of a golf tee, effectively deepening the overall bowl shape, almost suctioning the humerus into the space. The labrum helps stabilize the shoulder by making the “ball” more difficult to remove from the “tee.”

How Can I Prevent a Labrum Injury?
The best way to prevent a labral tear is to strengthen the musculature surrounding the shoulder joint. The best case scenario is all of the muscles are working together to keep the shoulder joint moving fluidly through its full range of motion. Important within this group of muscles are the muscle that control the shoulder blades. By strengthening the stabilizing muscles individually and functionally, it helps them stay balanced and strong with the other, stronger muscles (like the RTC). The other way to prevent a labrum tear is to avoid excessive contact, repetitive overhead motions, and falls.

This article about athletic injuries was provided by PT & Me physical therapy partner: The Center for Physical Rehabilitation. More information about the center and their locations throughout Grand Rapids, MI can be found on their website at www.pt-cpr.com

To see a shoulder strengthening program visit our Sports Medicine Tip Page by clicking here.

knee injuries physical therapy

Common Causes of Knee Injuries

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While most of us take our knees for granted, injuries can occur quite easily and for a variety of reasons. Only when you suffer a knee injury, do you realize how much we rely on these joints on a day to day basis. Knee injuries cause discomfort and pain, but that’s not all. They can also be extremely debilitating and in serious cases, result in dramatically reduced mobility. So let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of knee injuries, and what to do in case you experience one.

What Are the Most Common Knee Injury Causes?

Well, there are a number of them – some more serious than others. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones!

  • Fractures: Fractures are very common knee injuries and can affect the patella, which is the most commonly fractured bone around the knee. Fractures can also affect the ends of the tibia and femur in the area where they come together to form the knee joint. Incidents such as serious falls and road traffic accidents are common causes of fractures. And sometimes even the best knee brace for running or other sports won’t be able to prevent a fracture.
  • Dislocated knee: Knee dislocation is another common knee issue and it occurs when the knee bone is either partially or totally out of place. This could include the patella slipping or the femur and tibia sustaining injury that forces them out of alignment. Various different sports activities as well as falls and other high impact trauma can cause this injury.
  • Torn ligament: Tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament is also a common type of knee injury. This is more common among those that take part in athletics and sporting activities. Some of the common causes of this injury include a rapid change in direction when running or incorrectly landing from a jump. In many cases, this sort of injury also comes with additional injuries to the cartilage.
  • Torn tendons: This type of injury is more common among older people, particularly those who are active runners or do any sports that require a lot of running. The tendons of the patella can become stretched and then torn during this type of activity. Direct force to the front of the knees, falls, and incorrect landing following a jump are all common causes of a torn tendons.

There are many different causes of knee injuries, but usually they involve some sort of high impact trauma. This is why these types of injuries are often sustained by athletes as well as people who are keen on physical activities. Falls, incorrect landings following a jump, and the twisting of the knee can all cause various different knee injuries.

The knees are among the most easily injured joints in the human body, and also one of the most common reasons for people seeing their doctor. So in the event of a knee injury, no matter what the cause, it is important to seek medical advice because a knee injury can escalate from simple twisting of the knee to a dislocation or worse pretty quickly. Because the treatment for a knee injury varies based on the severity as well as the type and cause of the problem, ranging from medication and physical therapy to even surgery, consulting a medical professional is the first step to treating your knee successfully.

More information about common knee injuries can be found in the PTandMe injury center.

hockey upper body images

Most Common Hockey Upper Body Injuries

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Hockey season is getting ready to start and the sport of hockey can be quite dangerous. It is important for players to know how to prevent and treat injuries that occur during games. Unfortunately, these injuries leave us with some questions with descriptions such as “lower-body” and “upper-body” injuries. These injuries are purposely vague to leave some question as to the exact nature of the injury.

The accompanying infographic gives players an assist by listing off some common “upper body injuries.” It features tips and tricks to remain healthy both on and off the ice. The following should ease the minds of players who want to play the game as safely as they possibly can.

Click arrows in the bottom right corner to expand full screen

Upper Body Injuries by Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for authentic pro stock hockey equipment (https://www.prostockhockey.com/)