Last month we learned about the injuries that most often plague high school athletes. This month, our Sports Medicine experts share what high school athletes can to do to prevent these injuries. Please continue reading to learn more:
|The Top Six Ways to Prevent Injuries in High School Athletes |
In the life of a high school athlete, there is almost nothing worse than not being able to play the sport you love because of an injury. The best way to prevent this from happening is doing what you can to prevent injuries from happening in the first place. The tips below from our Sports Medicine experts can help keep you injury-free:
- Warm Up. Warming up your muscles and preparing your body gradually for intense physical activity is vital to preventing sports injuries. Warm-up exercises should gradually progress in intensity until you have warmed up to play at full capacity.
- Wear the right equipment. Make sure you wear the suggested athletic gear and that it fits properly. If your sport requires wearing pads, be sure to wear them. Shoes and insoles that fit properly can also prevent injuries. Depending on your sport, you may need to choose shoes with lots of cushioning, some with more support, or some with the most flexibility. Talk with an expert at a local athletic shoe store to find the best option.
- Stretch. Taking a few minutes to stretch can help prevent injuries that can take weeks to recover from. Focus on stretching the muscles that are primarily used in your sport. For example, runners can focus on stretching legs and hamstrings while baseball or softball players need to focus on shoulders. Stretch both before and after activity to reduce muscle soreness and increase range of motion.
- Ice. If you find yourself with a sore area, apply ice to reduce inflammation and prevent further injury.
- Pace yourself. A gradual increase in playing time and intensity will limit injury risk. It is important not to over exert yourself early into the season.
- Protect your head. For football players, wearing the correct helmet size and wearing it properly can prevent concussions. Never use your helmet or your head as a weapon or defense in sports.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we end up with sports injuries. St. Francis is ready to get you back in action with experienced and specially-trained orthopedic physicians and surgeons. If you or your high school athlete ends up with an injury, call 864-675-HURT or make an appointment with one of our Sports Medicine physicians. No physician referral is necessary.
Dr. Shay Koch Joins Sports Medicine Physician Network
Shay Koch, MD, joins our Sports Medicine Physician Network this month. A Greenville native, Dr. Koch graduated from Greenville High School and Wofford College before earning his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He completed his Orthopaedic Surgery residency at Greenville Hospital System, followed by a fellowship year specializing in Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He is now welcoming new patients at Piedmont Orthopaedic Associates at both the Grove Road and International Drive locations.