For many students, back in the classroom also means back to the playing field. With fall sports comes an uptick in injuries in younger patients.
Among the most common sports injuries for teenaged athletes is damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a major ligament in the knee that connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone). Every year, more than 400,000 athletes deal with ACL-related injuries. Further, suffering such an injury when you’re young can dramatically increase your chances of developing arthritis later in life.
The good news: Injuries aren’t inevitable.
Research has shown that proper strength training can reduce the risk of injury by up to 72 percent.
Here are some ways to get ahead of the game:
Warm up (and cool down) before every workout.
Stretching before and after a workout can greatly reduce your chance of injury. Keeping your body flexible while increasing blood flow will help prepare you for more strenuous physical activities. Physicians recommend a 15-minute warm-up before practice or games, and a five- to ten-minute cool down after.
Power up: Strengthen the muscles around the knee.
After a proper warm-up, strengthen the muscles around the knee through a variety of plyometric and agility exercises. Try a combination of lunges, hops, acceleration and deceleration movements.
Rest up & get good nutrition.
Good nutrition and adequate sleep make a huge impact on overall health, as well as sports performance. Additionally, many experts recommend giving your body a chance to recover during the off-season. Playing multiple sports can utilize different muscle groups, helping to avoid injuries from overuse.
EmergeOrtho’s highly trained orthopedic team includes board-certified, fellowship-trained sports medicine and knee specialists. Should you suffer a knee or other type of sports injury, trust the experts to help you emerge stronger, healthier and better.