Author: Niki L. Carayannopoulos, DO
As one of the fastest growing sports in the country, lacrosse is catching on with high school athletes in Houston and throughout the United States. As participation increases, so do the injuries.
The Most Common Lacrosse Injuries
According to one study, lacrosse injuries occur in approximately two of every 1,000 exposures. An “exposure” is an instance of an athlete participating in a practice or game. The study found the most common injuries were strains and sprains (38%) and concussions (22%).
The most common injury sites in games were…
- Head/face (32%)
- Lower leg/ankle/foot (17.8%)
- Knee (12.2%)
…while the most common injury sites in practice were…
- Lower leg/ankle/foot (34.9%)
- Head/face (16.4%)
- Knee (12.7%)
Overall, injuries were three times more likely to occur in competition than in practice, and male athletes were found 1.5 times as likely to be injured. Additionally, the study reported that most injured athletes (71.8%) returned to activity in three weeks or less, and only 6.9% of injuries required surgery.
How to Prevent Lacrosse Injuries
While lacrosse players may be at greater risk for injury than athletes of other sports, many injuries can be prevented with the proper preparation and caution. Parents, here are a few things you can do to help reduce the risk of lacrosse injuries:
- Stay in shape. Continue your strength-training, cardiovascular activity, and stretching exercises throughout the year. Entering a new season after weeks or months of extended rest can be a shock to your body and put you at greater risk for injury in lacrosse practices or games.
- Stay hydrated and rested. Dehydration and fatigue can increase a player’s risk for injury. Getting adequate rest and drinking plenty of water throughout practices and games will help you stay alert and on-guard.
- Listen to your body. Know when you need a rest. Don’t keep playing on a mild sprain that could easily become worse by a misstep. If you think you may have had a concussion, get an evaluation before going back out on the field and putting yourself at risk for second impact syndrome.
- Communicate with coaches and trainers. Be open about your health, goals, and any injuries you may have. Communication is key for reducing risk of injuries and safely improving your performance.
Find a Sports Medicine Doctor Near You In Houston
To learn more about how a sports medicine physician may be able to help you, schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.