Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Injuries- What are they, how do we avoid them, and how do we treat them

So with the boys and girls club volleyball season underway, men's collegiate volleyball is ramping up, women's college programs are getting their spring seasons going and many other sports are in the middle of their season or just getting going, injuries will always be the topic of discussion. "If we can stay healthy, we'll be good" or "well, we're battling through some injuries right now..." are usually the first things that come out of a coach's mouth when asking about their team.

There are generally two types of injuries related to sports, traumatic and chronic. Traumatic injuries are the sprained ankles, torn ACL's, etc where you can point to one specific incident that caused the injury. The type, chronic injuries, are a bit trickier.  Any type of pain (and remember aching muscles and soreness from working out are different than injury pain) is a red flag and warning from your body. Tendinitis is an inflammation, also called an overuse injury usually treated by rest, ice, stretching and anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. When was the last time your coach, athletic trainer, or anyone ever said, "Hmmm, I wonder what is causing this?" This, unfortunately, it does not happen often enough. Maybe if you go to a physical therapist they will help strengthen the affected area and supporting muscle groups but rarely will they take the athlete through corrective measures to prevent the future re-occurrence.

Without getting into specific mechanics of movements (that's definitely another topic for another time), make sure you not only treat the symptoms of the injury, but treat the cause as well.

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