Keeping Athletes Safe on and off the Field

Tools

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 (www.Arnicare.com), 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

Name:

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. Michael Fallon

Cancer Center

Lourdes Regional Cancer Center


Watch our Docs on Call Interviews:
Interviews with Dr. Roney
Interviews with Dr. Anne
Interviews with Elizabeth Sweeney
Interviews with Michael Fallon
Interviews with Joe Viscello
Interviews with Michelle Williams
Interviews with Dr. Madhuri Yalamanchili
Interviews with Dr. Sandra Haynes
Interviews with Dr. Francine Rainone
Interviews with Dr. James Kondrup
Interviews with Dr. Michael Barrett
Interviews with Dr. Madhukar Bhoomireddi
Interviews with Nurse Julann Ashman
Interviews with Nurse Mary Mancini
Interviews Dr. Rayford Petroski
Interviews Dr. Ghassem Mangouri
Interviews Azur Kelly
The LOURDES Regional Cancer Center is the area's premier facility dedicated to spiritually based, comprehensive cancer care. Since 1957, the Lourdes Regional Cancer Center has been providing the Southern Tier of New York with outstanding cancer care.

Now, nearly fifty years later, the LOURDES Regional Cancer Center continues that mission. Since 1971, the Lourdes Regional Cancer Center has been accredited as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program. Most recently, Lourdes has been awarded the 2008 Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award by the Commission on Cancer American College of Surgeons. The Award is designed to recognize cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients. Lourdes is one of only 95 facilities in the US to receive this award.

Today, Lourdes is among the largest and most sophisticated community cancer centers in the country. Here within the region's premier facility dedicated to the fight against cancer we've gathered the area's top physicians and oncologists. We've assembled select teams of cancer nurses and specialists and we've brought to the Southern Tier some of the newest weapons to fight cancer.

Pastoral care, nutrition services, and rehabilitation services are also available for both outpatients and inpatients. Lourdes Regional Cancer Center also maintains a link with the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) database. This database provides the latest information on research advances and new treatments, as well as emerging topics on the influence of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle factors in the development of cancer.

For more information visit www.lourdes.com.