Mid-America Orthopedics’ Athletic Training team provides sports medicine coverage to schools across Kansas. Our athletic trainers see a variety of sports injuries throughout the year. They focus on prevention education, diagnosis, and treatment of injury with the goal to return to the optimal level of activity. Read on for our top sports injuries our trainers face and tips on how to prevent them.
SPRAINS & STRAINS
A sprain is the overstretching or tearing of ligaments, while a strain is the overstretching or tearing of muscles or tendons. The most common strains include hip flexor and low back. Some advice that our trainers give athletes to help prevent strains, we advise athletes to make sure they are warming up properly and also working on mobility. For sprains, advice includes focusing on muscle strengthening around that joint involved, and making sure they are wearing proper equipment especially shoes and making sure they are laced up and tied.
This brain injury is extremely common in a majority of sports our athletic trainers are involved in. Strengthening neck muscles (especially deep flexors) is a great preventative measure to help decrease concussions. Athletes who have control over their neck may be able to prevent whiplash.
Our athletic trainers see a lot of shoulder impingement issues at the high school level. Shoulder impingement is the result of the rubbing of the rotator cuff between the humerus and top outer edge of the shoulder. Adolescent athletes do not have the muscle strength to move their shoulder correctly.
A way to prevent this type of injury is teaching athletes proper lifting techniques, as well as strengthening the shoulder stabilizers. This education comes down to teaching the coaches and weights teacher, so they can start implementing it before the issue arises.
DIME INJURY PREVENTION
While this is not an injury, DIME is an injury prevention program. DIME is short for Dynamic Integrated Movement Enhancement. It consists of 9 exercises and focuses on strength, balance, and neuromuscular control. This program helps the athlete maintain body control and makes them aware of bad habits they have developed over time. Athletes can utilize DIME to prevent ACL and lower body injury as well.
ADVICE FROM OUR ATHLETIC TRAINERS
The main piece of advice all of our athletic trainers give to their athletes in regards to preventing injuries is to properly warm up for at least 5-10 minutes. This includes stretching! Proper form and footwear are also essential when playing sports or lifting weights. Lastly and most importantly, listen to your body. If it is telling you to slow down, slow down.
Alongside our team of athletic trainers, Mid-America Orthopedics has 3 board-certified sports medicine physicians: Dr. John Babb, Dr. Justin Strickland, and Dr. Ryan Livermore. For questions about sports injuries or to schedule an appointment, contact us today by calling (316) 630-9300!