Invented in Canada, lacrosse is a fast-paced team sport that demands a lot from players’ bodies. Using a stick with a net on the end of it, the ball is passed player to player and thrown at high speeds.
That’s a ball you stay out of the way of and probably a huge reason that lacrosse players are heavily outfitted with safety gear. Let’s find out about the most common lacrosse injuries and how to prevent them.
A familiar contact sports litany.
As with most high speed, high contact sports, concussions are one of lacrosse’s leading injuries. Impact with other players is a leading cause of this injury, but it can also occur because of the ball hitting players in the head. That’s what the helmet’s for.
Shoulders are exceptionally vulnerable in lacrosse, with shoulder separations and dislocations and collarbone fractures all leading the field of injuries to this part of the body.
The hardworking knees can take a beating during a lacrosse match, too. Ligaments and tendons can all be impacted in the heat of this competitive game. Ankles can also be severely sprained while running down the field and by sudden stops and starts.
Finally, muscles can be torn and strained by participating in this fast-paced sport, especially when players don’t give themselves sufficient time to warm up before they hit the field.
Lacrosse players wear protective gear for every game, including helmets. While a concussion can still occur, the trauma to the brain can be minimized in the presence of a helmet.
Even if a concussion is only suspected, the player involved should be immediately removed from play and carefully observed for a period of several hours following the event. A follow-up visit to a medical professional to monitor the player’s condition should occur as soon as possible.
Shoulders should be strengthened with exercises which prepare them for the rigors of the game. One of the most effective exercises for this purpose is a sustained plank. Ensure that you’re performing this exercise correctly to achieve maximum benefit.
Preventing injury to the knee is another strengthening project. Strong, balanced hamstrings and quadriceps are necessary to maintain the knee in a stable, well-supported position. Using a resistance band, extending the leg in a series of repetitions behind you, to the side and in front of you will help to strengthen muscles in the hip which will enhance strength in the legs. The hips are a key sector of the body. Strengthening this area impacts the entire lower body.
For the ankles, simple balancing practice, with the resting knee bent as you balance on one foot, can create greater strength and stability and prevent injury.
Muscle tears can most easily be avoided by performing pre-game stretches and a regular series of strengthening exercises which build up all vulnerable parts of the body. But stretching the hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors is crucial.
North Jersey Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute brings you comprehensive sports medicine that anyone can benefit from. Contact us.