Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Foot and Ankle Injuries From Lacrosse

Lacrosse has a long history in the United States. Originally played by Native Americans, lacrosse is our country's oldest and fastest growing team sport. Played by both girls and boys, it's a fast paced, free moving game. However, the game's combination of quick movements, speed, stick, and ball make feet a prime target for injuries.
At the scholastic level, 21 percent of all reported injuries for girls and 16 percent for boys are ankle sprains due to cutting and dodging while playing. Many of these sprains are inversion ankle sprains, which can damage the ankle ligaments. Also related are peroneal tendon injuries and fractures.
Shin splints and blisters are common because of continuous running and changing field surfaces.
Overuse injuries include heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, stress fractures, posterior tibial tendonitis, and calcaneal apophysitis in children and adolescents.
Here are some tips in preventing foot and ankle injuries in lacrosse:
  • Know the rules. Boy's play allows for a lot of contact, but is still a game that values finesse and skill. Unprotected hits should be calls for foul. Girl's play has limited contact but promotes free play. 
  • Maintain open communication. Talk with your coach, organization, trainer, other parents, or health provider to ensure that the right environment is being fostered for safe play and fun.
  • Be proactive in your conditioning. Stay in shape year round. Before the lacrosse season starts, begin a graduated program of plyometrics, neuromuscular training, conditioning, and strength training that will get you ready for the season. Always be sure to warm up properly and increase the intensity of your workouts appropriately. Drink plenty of water and rest.
  • Wear the right equipment. Wear protective equipment that is sized for you. Mouth pieces and gloves should not be tampered with.
  • Take a break. To stay fresh you should have at least one to two days off a week and one to two months off a year to prevent burnout and overuse injuries. 
  • Report all injuries. You're not doing yourself any favor by keeping quiet about injuries, whether they are large or small. Small injuries can turn into larger injuries when untreated immediately. 
  • Have a plan. Your lacrosse organization should have an emergency medical plan and injury prevention/educational programs for you to read or attend.
Shoes are an important part of playing lacrosse. Played in the spring and summer time, the fields can be muddy, wet, and slippery, and therefore excellent ground for injuries. When your child decides they want to play lacrosse, you should head to a specialty sports store, as the department store in your area will likely not have the shoes they need. Lacrosse cleats have an upper leather and rubber outsole, which give the player the traction they need. Check with your lacrosse organization, but most will not allow cleats that are metal. The cleat should be lightweight, plastic, comfortable, and be able to fit custom orthotics, if need be.
Reference: Stop Sports Injuries
If you are a lacrosse player and have a foot problem, call our Newington, Kensington, or Middletown office to make an appointment.
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Medicine Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Newington
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1 comment:

  1. In a physically demanding game like lacrosse, injuries are always a threat. Thanks for sharing.