The Fall sports season is one of the most anticipated yet one of the most injury-prone seasons of the year. Luckily, with proper preventative education, training, and treatment, many potential injuries can be avoided. Here are some of the most common fall sports injuries, how they happen, and how to prevent them.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in any sport, but they are especially prevalent in fall sports like football, soccer, and volleyball. An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments that support the ankle are stretched or torn. This can happen from a sudden change in direction, landing awkwardly from a jump, or getting tackled.
Prevention: Ankle sprains can be prevented by wearing proper fitting shoes with good support, doing ankle strengthening exercises, and using an ankle brace during activities.
Treatment: Treatment for an ankle sprain may include RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), over-the-counter pain medication, and physical therapy. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the ligaments.
Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which is the large tendon that attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone. This injury is common in sports that require a lot of running and jumping, such as basketball, football, and soccer. Achilles tendonitis can also be caused by overtraining, improper footwear, and a lack of flexibility.
Prevention: Achilles tendonitis can be prevented by stretching the calf muscles before exercise, wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning, and gradually increasing mileage or intensity when starting a new exercise program.
Treatment: Treatment for Achilles tendonitis may include RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), over-the-counter pain medication, physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgery.
An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) sprain is a common knee injury that occurs when the ligament that stabilizes the knee joint is stretched or torn. ACL sprains are common in sports that require sudden changes in direction, such as football, basketball, and soccer.
Prevention: ACL sprains can be prevented by warming up before exercise, doing exercises that improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, and using the proper techniques during activities.
Treatment: RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), over-the-counter pain medication, and physical therapy are all methods of treatment for an ACL sprain. In severe cases, however, surgery may be necessary.
Shin splints are a common injury that occurs when the muscles and tendons around the shin become overloaded and inflamed. This can be caused by overtraining, improper footwear, or a lack of flexibility. Shin splints are especially common in sports that involve a lot of running.
Prevention: Shin splints can be prevented by warming up before exercise, stretching the muscles around the shin, wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning, and consistency in exercise and training programs.
Treatment: Treatment for shin splints may include RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), and over-the-counter pain medication. In some cases, physical therapy may be needed. However, in most cases, shin splints will resolve on their own over time.
While no one wants to get injured, accidents do happen. If you do find yourself with a fall sports injury this season, make sure to see a doctor or healthcare provider get the proper diagnosis and treatment. Here at Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics, sports injury treatments are one of our specialties. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Scott Strasburger. The right care can help get you back to your favorite sports and activities.