Education and Tidbits

Injury Management (Part 1 of 2)

Posted in: Fitness, Injury, Speed Training, Sports Training, Strength Training

Sports injuries, or injuries that occur in athletic activities, can result from acute trauma or from overuse of a particular body part. The key is to be proactive to reduce the chances of injuries. We know that not all injuries can be prevented even with proper training and techniques but we want to reduce the chances for our athletes.

Common injuries include:

  • Sprains – tears to the ligaments that join the ends of bones together. The ankles, knees, and wrists are commonly affected by sprains.
  • Strains – pulls or tears of muscles or tendons (the tissues that attach the muscles to the bones)
  • “Shin splints” – pain along the outside front of the lower leg, commonly seen in runners
  • Achilles tendonitis or rupture of the Achilles tendon – These injuries involve the large band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel
  • Fractures of the bones – This requires a licensed Athletic Trainer and Doctor
  • Dislocation of joints – This requires a licensed Athletic Trainer and Doctor

 Most common injuries occur from:

  • Lack of Flexibility/Mobility – tight muscles will overload joints and cause other muscles to work harder and more {How often do your athletes stretch, foam roll, and do mobility exercises?]
  • Imbalanced Muscles – weak muscles ratio to tight muscles [Are your girls stronger on their right side or maybe their quads are good but their hamstrings are weak?]
  • Poor Warm-up Techniques and Muscle Activations – getting this right covers a multitude of sins [A proper warm-up includes: Mobility and full range of motion exercises/drills, Muscle Activation exercises/drills, Myofascial Release]
  • Lack of Conditioning – a deconditioned athlete is a recipe for disaster [When athletes get tired, form and technique go out the window.]
  • Over Training/Over Using (joints/muscles) – the most common mistake we as coaches apply to our athletes…we often think more is better [An overtrained athlete often looks like an under-conditioned athlete. Be careful not to pour on more if they are already maxed out. Rest is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.]
  • Lack of Knowledge Training Genders – Females athletes need to focus on ACL preventative exercises and drills [Females struggle with weak posteriors that lead to instability in the knee. Spending extra time strengthening the hamstrings is extremely important.]

Injuries can be devastating or simply a minor set back. Either way the player and team are both affected. It is everyone’s job to help mitigate our athlete’s risk of injury. This means practices and training must have built in time to work on specific things to help our athletes have a better chance of staying healthy. Only focusing on skills and conditioning often misses the boat on injury mitigation. It may take you 10-15 minutes of practice, but better that then losing a player for the season!

Stretching, strengthening, foam rolling, and mobility exercises are all important when it comes to reducing an athlete’s risk of injury. Next month we will break down the main joints of the body to identified common muscle/joint imbalances and suggest exercises to correct those imbalances.