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5 Ways to Prevent Injuries as High School Winter Sports Ramp Up

It’s already November, and as 2021 is winding down, winter sports are just ramping up. As our high school athletes look forward to getting back to games-as-usual, we are here to help them think about how to avoid injuries beyond pre-season play.

The three most popular winter sports are basketball, swimming, and wrestling, so we’ve identified the most common injuries in each and the training exercises that can keep athletes healthy through the season.

Basketball

  • ACL tears
  • Achilles’ tendonitis
  • Ankle sprains
  • Finger injuries
  • Knee tendonitis

Swimming

  • Swimmer’s shoulder
  • Swimmer’s knee
  • Neck injuries
  • Lower back pain
  • Swimmer’s ear

Wrestling

  • Concussions
  • Strains and sprains:
    • Ankle
    • Knee
    • Trunk
    • Neck

5 Winter Sports Training Suggestions for Injury Prevention

1. Are you up in the gym just working on your fitness? Maintain a regular exercise routine that incorporates flexibility training, strength training, and aerobic exercise — in the pre-, regular, and post-season.

2. Don’t get thirsty. No matter your definition of “thirsty,” avoid it. For the purpose of this article, we’re talking about hydration. When you get dehydrated while being super active, the body struggles to stay cool. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), players should:

  • Drink 16 ounces of fluid 2-3 hours before play and 8 more ounces 15 minutes before practicing or playing a game.
  • Take breaks while playing (around every 15-20 minutes) to take in approximately 4 ounces of fluid
  • Drink 16-20 ounces of fluid for every pound lost after playing

3. Get warm. A warm-up is a critical part of getting the body ready to play. You’ll play better, but even more importantly, it helps avoid injuries. Start with jumping jacks and running/walking in place for 2-5 minutes. Then move into stretching, holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds.

4. What equipment are you working with? From shoes to mouth guards and more, players need the right equipment for their sport to keep their bodies protected. Players need appropriate shoes with a snug fit, mouthguards to protect teeth and heads from injury, and safety glasses to protect those who wear eyeglasses.

5. Don’t be extra. Overuse injuries are increasing in prevalence, even with our youngest of athletes. Kids don’t always pay attention as they should to their bodies, so adults should check in with them regularly and keep an eye on them to see if they’re showing signs of discomfort or pain.

Beacon is Here for You

The priority of Beacon’s physicians and athletic trainers is to keep young athletes playing the sport they love. If they need a break to recuperate an injury, we’ll do our best to get them back to their sport as quickly as the healing process will allow. If there’s something we can help check out, schedule an appointment today.

 

Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine +