Those who engage in lacrosse will definitely need to be aware of the various injuries that can be sustained. If you play this sport you will have to find out as much as possible about some of the different injuries that you can encounter and how to deal with them properly. Injury is an inevitable part of most contact sports, including this one.
Ligament sprains and muscular or tendon strains are the most common injuries seen in most sports, including lacrosse.
• Ankle and knee sprains — these ligament sprains commonly occur because of the sharp cutting and dodging movements required to play lacrosse.
• Hamstring muscle strains — unlike a ligament sprain, a strain occurs when a muscle is stretched or contracted too forcefully during movement. In lacrosse, the culprit tends to be the hamstring muscle group.
Proper strengthening and stretching can help prevent sprains and strains throughout a season. Continue to maintain strong, flexible muscles and your chances of injury will significantly decrease.
Lacrosse is played with a long metal stick and a rock solid rubber ball that can cause major damage if enough force is put behind them. Unfortunately, you will come in contact with one, or both, at some point during your lacrosse career.
The most common outcome of these encounters is a contusion (bruise). Some contusions are very superficial and you can see the discoloration in the skin. Others are located deep within muscle and soft tissue and can be very painful. Icing and anti-inflammatory medication are the keys to managing contusions. Be sure to ice and medicate, as soon as possible, to prevent future complications.
Most players like to wear the least amount of padding because they feel they can move easier and quicker, thus increasing their production on the field. Consequently, rib pads are usually the first piece of equipment they leave on the sideline. Rib pads are not required to play lacrosse, but are highly recommended. A stick check across an unprotected rib cage is an easy way to fracture or break several ribs. The major concern with a rib fracture is the possibility of puncturing a lung. If you want to stay in the game, wear your rib pads.
Although concussions in lacrosse are very rare, they can happen. The technology behind lacrosse helmets is still light years away from football helmets. And, even though helmets cannot prevent concussions, it’s important to wear one that’s properly fitted. If you suspect a concussion, contact your local Athletic Trainer or Sports Medicine Physician for proper diagnosis and treatment. Lacrosse is a very fun and exciting game at all levels. Remember to take the time to prepare, just as you would for any sport, test, or competition.
As always, consult your local Sports Medicine Physician if you have any questions or concerns. As players prepare for their season, it’s important to set both position and season goals with their coaches before they train.
With any injury, participation should be stopped until an assessment is made by a qualified health professional. For minor injuries, treatment usually includes rest, ice, and elevation.
Other injuries may be more serious, and require a longer period of rest and rehabilitation. These athletes may be allowed to participate with modifications, depending on the risk for re-injury. In the most severe cases, surgery may be required. All head injuries should be thoroughly evaluated. Athletes should return to play only after appropriate physician evaluation, on a graduated schedule, and only when completely symptom free.
It is very important that you treat any injuries you sustain from playing lacrosse so you can start healing as soon as possible. The longer you wait to treat your injuries, the longer it is going to take for your body to heal completely.