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Tips for Preventing Spring Sports Injuries

Injury prevention is an important part of training for spring sports especially after a long winter break. Repeated lifting of the arm above shoulder level as in overhead sports can potentially cause rotator cuff damage and other types of shoulder injuries. Here are a few tips for preventing spring sports injuries:

Balanced training & conditioning: To avoid injuries, it is necessary to train not only to build strength and endurance, but also to avoid injuries. Athletes sometimes fall into the trap of focusing on the “showy” muscles such as the pectoralis and front deltoid muscles while neglecting the smaller muscles such as the rear deltoids and the rotator cuff muscles. This causes muscular imbalances that that damage the joint.

Warm up thoroughly: Before every game or sporting activity make sure you take the time to warm up the muscles with light range of motion exercises. This will help improve blood flow to the muscle and reduce risk of sports injury.

Use proper form: Practicing the proper technique when striking or throwing the ball or other overhead sports. This will maximize the force you can generate with minimal effort reducing stress on your joints. Generally, your shoulder blade should be correctly positioned with shoulders back and the chest out to avoid shoulder injuries.

Get plenty of rest: Muscles adapt to the excess stress placed on them during sports by hypertrophy. But this regrowth of muscle occurs during your rest days and not while exercising or during active play. If your strength and energy levels seem to be decreasing with every game, consider adding more rest days to your schedule.

Get injuries evaluated sooner rather than later: Don’t play through the pain. A small rotator cuff injury that probably would have healed with conservative therapy may need more invasive treatment if left untreated for too long.

Dr. Patrick Denard has been voted one of the top 20 Shoulder Surgeons in North America and is the most widely published shoulder specialist in Oregon. Dr. Denard is committed to providing the highest level of Orthopedic care to his patients. Dr. Denard has advanced arthroscopy training and is able to perform the vast majority of shoulder procedures in a minimally invasive fashion, including all types of rotator cuff repairs and instability repair. These techniques allow him to repair tears that some consider “ irreparable”. Providing every patient with advanced medicine and compassionate care each and every time.