Athletic Injuries, Prevention & Management

Injuries to the nose are common in contact sports such as soccer, football and basketball. Nasal injuries can include bleeding, nasal fractures or septal hematomas. A broken nose is an actual break in the cartilage or bone of the nose caused by a direct blow. It is one of the most common fractures of the face, usually caused by the separation of the frontal portion of the facial bones or as the separation of the cartilage within the nose itself. Sometimes the injury can involve both. Signs and Symptoms: • Excessive bleeding • Extreme pain • Swelling • Deformity •...Read more
Often incorrectly described as "shin splints", Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) is an overuse injury usually caused by running. The condition is characterized by pain and tenderness in the lower leg, usually along the front medial edge of the shin. There are many different opinions as to the specific cause of tibial stress, including:  changing training techniques  overuse and increased load or BMI  problematic footwear or flat feet  decreased flexibility  fatigue  the shape and structure of the leg and hip (increased calf girth, abnormal hip angles)  training surface (or...Read more
Athletes are particularly susceptible to heat-related illnesses because of the relative intensity of their activities. Excessive heat buildup can do tremendous damage to the human body and, in extreme cases, can be fatal. During exercise, heat produced by the working muscles can increase up to 15 - 20 times that of resting levels. This translates to a 1 degree Celsius increase in core body temperature every five minutes. Under normal conditions, the body's thermoregulatory system maintains a body temperature and an increase in blood flow to working muscles during exercise. There is a...Read more
Despite best efforts, injuries to soft body tissues like muscles (strains and contusions) and ligaments (sprains) are often unavoidable. Though painful, minor injuries do not always require a trip to the doctor's office, however it is essential to properly manage these injuries at home. The "RICE" (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) principle is the most common method for treatment of minor injuries. The acronym "RICE" is an easy way to remember the four basic methods used to speed minor injury recovery. Rest or Restricted Activity Rest the injured area. This does not...Read more
Not all exercises are created equal. Unfortunately many of the traditional exercises that were learned in high school, discovered at fitness class or seen in a book have the potential to cause injury. While there tends to be controversy among professionals, biomechanical research has definitely identified some specific do's and don'ts. The following exercises are generally considered to have the greatest potential for causing injury. Back Arches There are a variety of exercises, including back arches, that involve hyperextending the low back. These movements tend to place excessive...Read more
Don’t forget the basics! ICE: 10-15 minutes after activity and throughout the day. GOOD FLEXIBILITY AND STRENGTH: specific to your discomfort area. CROSS-TRAINING for mid-week session: deep water pool running or riding a stationary bike. SLOW THE PACE DOWN. If you are trying too hard and forcing the pace it contributes to improper posture and stress on various areas of the body. AVOID UNEVEN GROUND. USE YOUR LOGBOOKS to keep track of all that you are feeling. It helps to track progress and prevent minor discomforts from becoming injuries. BE CONSISTENT with workout times, spread...Read more
Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in soccer. They can side-line any player from training and competing and are difficult to prevent from coming back. Lateral ankle sprains are an injury to your ligaments on the outside of your ankle. A medial ankle sprain is when your ligament on the inside of your ankle is injured. It is often associated with a fracture of your fibula (outside lower leg bone) or other bones in your ankle. This type of sprain occurs much less frequently than a lateral ankle sprain and may take twice as long to heal. Injury to the front and/or back lower...Read more
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) joins the upper leg bone with the lower leg bone to help keep the knee stable. 1 out of every 3000 people will have an ACL injury per year and approximately 100,000 will choose to have reconstruction surgery to repair it. The ACL is injured more than any other ligament in the body and becoming more common among female soccer players. Mechanism of Injury Hyperextension (the leg straightens too far), the knee “gives out”. Direct blows to the knee (i.e. from a side tackle). A stress to the outside of the knee (i.e. from getting your soccer cleat...Read more
A hamstring strain is a tear where the muscle and tendon attach. It is common in soccer players and sprinters. During sprinting, the hamstring muscles work extremely hard to slow down the lower leg. Once the foot is on the ground the hamstrings are used to straighten the hip backwards; this allows the other leg to move forwards. The hamstrings most often become injured during the time right before the foot strikes the ground. At this stage the muscles are maximally activated and are approaching their maximum length. A strain can also occur when pushing off to sprint; this is an explosive...Read more
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is a broad, thick band found on the inside area of the knee. It runs from the upper/inside surface of the shin bone (tibia) to the bottom/inside surface of the thigh bone (femur). This ligament stabilizes the joint on the inside of the knee. The MCL is one of the most common knee injuries in competitive and recreational soccer. It can occur by itself or in combination with other ligaments. Mechanism of Injury Outside stress to the knee (i.e. when your soccer player's foot is caught while preparing to kick the soccer ball with the side of the foot)...Read more