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Articles by our Physical Therapists

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4. Athletes and Injuries

Athletes and Injuries

The start of a new school year also signals the start of fall athletics.  I have been seeing soccer players of all ages, football participants, cross country runners, and volleyball players going to and from scheduled events (my three children are some of those players!).  More and more the high school (and even junior high school) athletes have been preparing more with pre-season training and strengthening programs.  This has lead to a reduction in the number of injuries occurring at the start of the season such as sprained ankles and/or shin splints.   However, prolonged training followed by a long season or multiple sports seasons can lead to cumulative trauma injuries such as a tendonitis/bursitis in the shoulder/knee/hip, muscle strains that just don’t seem to fully heal, or that nagging foot pain:  plantar fasciitis.

Then there are the injuries caused by contact:  with another football or soccer player, or with the floor/ground.  Even planting a foot in order to change directions rapidly or stop short can be enough to cause significant injury to knee or ankle ligaments or even result in a fractured bone.  Unfortunately, sometimes it does not matter how long and hard you have trained before the season starts – accidents and injuries will happen.

If an injury does occur or your athlete keeps mentioning a pain that just will not go away, your first thought is most likely:  what do I do now?  It is difficult to determine the seriousness of injuries, aches, and pains that occurred during a practice, game or competition.  As a parent, I want to know what is wrong and how to fix it.  As the person in charge of paying for the doctor visits or ER trips, I want to know if it will get better on it’s own before I make those trips! 

Baker Valley Physical Therapy’s motto is:  “Strengthening our Community.”  To that end we have been offering free injury assessments for Baker County and Powder Valley junior high and high school athletes for the past 5 years.  We will evaluate your athlete’s injury and give our recommendations on plan of care, if a doctor visit is warranted, or if ice and stretching is what is needed.  The times for these assessments are Monday and Thursday mornings from 7 AM to 8 AM.  We ask that you call so we know how many student athletes are coming as we treat them on a first-come first-serve basis.  Please do not hesitate to call with any questions:  523-8888. 

Written by Jodi Flanagan, MPT

Published December 2010

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