Common Lacrosse Injuries & How to Avoid Them
Lacrosse is a high-energy sport that requires agility and strength and involves contact which can result in injury. The sport incorporates movements throughout the entire body, stressing many body parts including the joints and the spine. The rules for play vary greatly between men and women, creating some variance in injuries dependent on gender. Male players face increased chances of contact-related injuries, while women’s lacrosse is essentially a non-contact sport. In both cases, however, injury is possible and can be prevented.
The most common lacrosse injuries include:
- Collisions between players, stick checks to the head, ball impacts, and falls. Boys wear helmets and girls do not, but the number of concussions is similar for both.
- Shoulder Injuries. Shoulder separation and dislocation, more common among men due to increased contact.
- Hand, wrist, and arm fractures. More common in men’s lacrosse, often a result of being slashed by an opponent’s stick.
- Lower Extremity Injuries. ACL injuries, hamstring strains, and ankle sprains.
Many of the injuries that occur among lacrosse players are due to contact. Contact-related injuries can be prevented by wearing the proper padding, helmets, and gear when playing, and by observing the rules of the game. Avoid unnecessarily rough play, and be a courteous player.
Other common injuries are a result of poor strength, overuse, or bad form. The positive aspect of this reality is that you can help prevent these types of injuries with training and physical therapy. Particularly in the off-season, it’s important to perform conditioning and training to keep the muscles strong and flexible. Exercises that focus on agility, ankle strength, and speed will help you stay competitive and prevent injury.
In some cases, players may have adopted some bad habits and display poor posture or weak form. A physical therapist can help you identify the areas where you may need improvement to help you maximize your potential and avoid injury. Learning to understand the right way to carry the stick, position your body when you run, and use your shoulders when you play can decrease your chances of injury and improve your game.
In the event that you do experience an injury, be sure to see a physician and follow the directions for your recovery. You will want to start slowly and be careful as you return to the sport to prevent further damage. You may want to involve a physical therapist or a doctor in your recovery to ensure that you heal properly and do not lose mobility.
Whether you would like to improve your technique or recover from or prevent an injury, a physical therapist can help you develop a training and conditioning program that will allow you to Move Better!
Give us a call today at (434) 817-0980!