Keeping Athletes Safe on and off the Field


Story Updated: Nov 7, 2012

(NewsUSA) - Basketball and bicycling rank highest for injuries among recreational sports, causing 1.5 million accidents per year. Baseball, soccer and softball follow, each with almost half a million injuries yearly, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Whether you're upping your own practice schedule or you're a parent of a student athlete headed back to school, heeding a few precautions goes a long way.

Here are some tips from osteopathic physician Marcel Fraix, member of the Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (FAAPMR) and assistant professor at Western University of Health Sciences. Fraix is also a staff physician at Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation in California, where he specializes in sports-related disorders.

* Start with a check-up when possible. Physical stress on a young body can be harmful when coupled with an underlying medical condition or heart problem. Likewise, get an exam before stressing the heart if you're middle-aged and mostly sedentary.

Pre-conditioning programs for specific sports help. Injuries usually occur at the beginning of the season, when you are most likely to be out of shape. Building hamstrings and inner quadriceps muscles helps prevent knee injuries.

* Diligently use the proper safety equipment, e.g., mouth guards, safety goggles, helmets and elbow and knee pads. Don't forget to apply sunscreen SPF 15 or higher.

* Stay adequately hydrated with water or a water-electrolyte drink. Replacing fluid lost from sweating is essential to maximize athletic performance and prevent heat exhaustion, especially during warm weather.

* Treat injuries on the spot. Keep a first aid kit ready for cuts and scrapes, allergic reactions, insect bites and eye irritations. Most importantly, be prepared to treat muscle pain at the first sign before it sidelines you. There are safe, natural and unscented pain relievers available.

Look for a homeopathic medicine like Arnicare Gel (, which works with the body instead of just masking pain. Try it on legs stiff from running or cycling, or on shoulders aching from too many tennis racket swings. It also helps with pain from strained ligaments or bumps and bruises from hard-fought basketball games.

* Limit practice and playing time. Nearly half of all injuries suffered by children are results of overdoing it. Consider allowing a child to take three months off per year and limiting practice to 12 hours per week for one sport, and 20 hours for multiple sports.

Add a comment


Comment: 250 Characters Left

WBNG and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.

Featured Professional
Dr George T. Roberts


Roberts Eyecare

Watch Docs on Call: Roberts Eyecare
Interviews with Dr. Willden

Interviews with Dr. Angela Marx
Interviews with Dr. Kristy Dean
Interviews with Dr. Ted Bryant
Interviews with Dr. Subadra Arun Interviews with Dr. Ryan Beers Interviews with Dr. Bryan Lewis Welcome to Roberts Eyecare Associates where we believe in providing our patients with comphrehensive eye health care. At our offices you’ll experience the latest in eyecare technology and treatments, an extensive eye health examination, a clear explanation of your condition, and answers to your questions by friendly, knowledgeable, and caring Doctors of Optometry. Whether you need glasses, specialty contact lenses or non-surgical medical treatment for an eye disease or condition, we are here to serve you.

Visit our offices in Vestal and Sidney for the region’s largest selection of eyewear, contact lenses and other vision care products. In addition to our Doctors of Optometry you will find quality and professional service from our licensed Opticians. Our Opticians specialize in helping you find the eyeglass frames and lenses that are right for you.

Roberts Eyecare also accepts most major medical and vision insurance plans including the following: Aetna, Avesis, BC/BS CNY, BC/BS Rochester, BC/BS Utica-Watertown, Block Vision, CDPHP, Cigna, Davis Vision, CSEA, EBS, Empire BC/BS, Empire Plan, Excellus, Eye Med, HeathNow New York, Medicare, MVP, RMSCO, Sieba, Spectera, Superior Vision, Today’s Options, Touchstone, United Healthcare, UNIVERA, Vision Benefits of America (VBA), Vision Care Plan (VCP), Vision Service Plan (VSP).

If your vision or eye health requires immediate attention, please call our offices. For urgent eye health attention after normal business hours, please dial our on call doctor at 607-221-2398. We are here to help.