Spring is here, and for many people of all ages, from kids to adults, this is a major time of the year for certain sports and related outdoor activities. Some of these may come with certain injury risks, however, including certain specific injuries that tend to be most common around this time of year.
At The Orthopaedic Center, we’re here to help. We offer numerous orthopedic doctor services to patients around Tulsa, including sports medicine and many related areas. Let’s look at some common spring sports and a few injury types that may be somewhat frequent within them, plus some tips for avoiding them and how our specialists can help.
Tennis and Lacrosse
For tennis especially, and also sometimes within the sport of lacrosse due to its repetitive swinging arm motions, injuries in the elbows and shoulder areas can be common. This is due to overuse, so athletes should be sure to remember proper form and take needed breaks throughout play.
With tennis, for instance, tennis elbow is a common injury that can cause pain and soreness. Our orthopedic doctors help treat this through a variety of measures, such as physical therapy, use of braces and more.
Baseball and Softball
Within baseball and softball, shoulder injuries are also relatively common due to the repetitive nature of pitching in particular. Shoulder impingement syndrome and rotator cuff injuries are among the most frequent ones seen in these sports, so athletes should be sure to warm up appropriately and take breaks as needed.
In other cases, especially for older people, hip and low back pain may arise due to the long time spent in a crouched position when playing either sport. At The Orthopaedic Center, we offer various treatment options such as physical therapy and minimally invasive procedures depending on the severity of the injury.
For any kids or teens who are starting spring football and other contact sports, injuries to the head and neck are always a key risk. Thus, athletes should be sure to wear proper protective gear at all times and take any signs of concussion seriously.
There are also risks of fractures and sprains within football, so protective gear is important here too. Our orthopedic doctors can help assess any injuries and provide needed treatment options accordingly.
Soccer and Track
It may seem strange to group together two very different activities, but both these tend to involve lots of running – and with that may come injuries in the hips, knees, and ankles. As such, it’s important to focus on proper form during training and competition, as well as stretching regularly before activity.
Hamstring injuries are also relatively common in track, due to the frequent running and sprinting. Our orthopedic surgeons often provide treatments for these through physical therapy and other means.
While swimming is a year-round sport, and also one that has relatively low injury risks due to its non-weight-bearing nature, there remains a risk of shoulder issues. It’s thus important to ensure proper technique is used, and to allow for rest days when needed – since the same muscles are being used over and over again.
Our specialists can help patients with all types of swimming injuries, from rotator cuff problems to bursitis. We also offer other treatments to help with reducing pain and swelling, as well as improving mobility.
General Injury Prevention Tips
While these will vary between specific injury risks and types, some general tips for preventing these sorts of injuries include:
- Proper and consistent warm-up: This helps prepare the body for activity and can help avoid some types of injuries. You should be doing at least 15 minutes of warm-ups before any activity, including basic stretching and proper form guidance.
- Listen to your body: If you’re feeling any pain or soreness, take a break – this is especially important within contact sports. It’s also key to pay attention to what your body is telling you in terms of how long it can sustain any activity.
- The right equipment: Make sure you’re wearing the right, properly fitting protective gear for any activity that requires it, and check to ensure it’s in good condition. Poor equipment can lead to a greater chance of injury.
- Training and conditioning: Working with a coach or trainer on proper form and increasing conditioning can help strengthen the body to reduce the chance of sports-related injuries.
- Post-activity stretching and cool-down: These are just as important as the warm-up. Make sure to stretch after activity in order to help reduce soreness and any potential injuries.
At The Orthopaedic Center, our team of orthopedic doctors, physical therapists, and specialists can help you get back on the field or court quickly if injury does occur – but of course, prevention should always be the primary goal. Be sure to follow these guidelines and contact us if you need additional help or guidance, whether for sports injuries or any other related need in Tulsa or nearby areas.