April 24, 2017

Common lacrosse injuries and how to treat them

Sports Injury

THIS POST IS PART OF THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SPORTS MEDICINE

Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing high school sports. It has gained a lot of momentum due to its fast pace and competitive nature. Although men’s lacrosse is a full-contact sport, injury rates are lower than other full-contact sports such as hockey or football.

Common lacrosse injuries

“Lacrosse is considered a moderate risk sport in regards to sustaining injuries,” said Dr. Michael Thieken, OrthoIndy sports medicine specialist. “Like many sports, the most common injuries are sprains, strains, bruises, cuts or scrapes. However, more significant injuries can occur and include wrist, hand, clavicle and ankle fractures. Ligament injuries to the knee and ankle, head and face bruising, concussions or shoulder injuries are also common.”

Dr. Thieken also added that acute injuries occur as a result of player to player, player to ground, stick to player or ball to player contact. However, overuse injuries can also occur as a result of inappropriate training or excessive participation in a sport or activity.

Treatment

Since most injuries in lacrosse are minor, treatment usually requires a short period of time off from participating in games or practice, ice, anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or possible immobilization such as a brace. These treatments are usually followed by a slow return to the sport. More significant injuries may require surgery or immobilization in a cast. Depending on the severity of the injury, an athlete may return to play the same day or have to sit out the rest of the season.

Injury prevention

Avoiding lacrosse injuries are possible. “Off season conditioning programs are extremely important in order to stay in shape and avoid injury. In general, a structured off-season program under the direction of a certified athletic trainer is more beneficial than the individual player performing this on his or her own,” said Dr. Thieken. “Men’s and women’s lacrosse have different rules in regards to contact and, therefore, have different required protective equipment. Regardless, wearing this equipment has proven to significantly decrease the injury rates in the sport.”

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