preventing lacrosse injuries

Preventing the Most Common Lacrosse Injuries

Staying on the Lacrosse Field and Out of the Doctor’s Office

Maryland is the home of Lacrosse. With nearly half of the Top 25 high school Lacrosse programs and many more elite collegiate programs in the state, it’s pretty easy to see why. It’s a sport which requires speed, skill, strength, and vision – a magnificent game for boys, girls, men, and women alike. Just like any other sport, no athlete wants to be kept out of the game. Unfortunately, injuries do happen. But that doesn’t mean the risk for injury can’t be minimized.

What are the Most Common Lacrosse Injuries?

On the whole, Lacrosse is a sport which carries a moderate risk of injury. The majority of reported injuries come in the form of bruises, strains, and sprains. This is fairly common for any contact sport – but just like other contact sports, Lacrosse also carries a risk for more severe injuries:

  • Knee injuries (such as ACL tears) are the most common cause of lost game and practice time for both girls and boys
  • Non-contact ankle and knee ligament sprains are another leading cause of lost practice time. These injuries are slightly more common for girls than boys
  • Non-contact strains of the hamstrings, quadriceps, and groin muscles are another common ailment
  • Concussions are less common in Lacrosse than most other contact sports but do still occur and adherence to a strict concussion protocol is vital for the protection of athletes at all levels
  • Shin splints are another common condition, generally caused by the volume of running inherent to Lacrosse as well as the likelihood that a player will encounter different types of playing surfaces throughout any given season

How You Can Actively Prevent Lacrosse Injury

There are a few things that any athlete can do to help lower their chance of injury, or reduce the likelihood that a minor injury becomes a chronic one:

Take a Rest: It’s vital that players of all ages take at least one or two days a week off from strenuous training and another month or more off in any given year. These breaks help to prevent overuse injuries and give the body the recovery windows it needs to keep the body performing at maximum capacity.

Never Hide Injury: Sometimes you have to swallow your pride, admit that you are injured, and stay away from any activities that exaggerate your injury until it is fully healed. Far too often players will attempt to hide an injury which may lead to a minor injury which would have only taken a few weeks to fully heal (at most) becoming a chronic issue which can end a player’s entire career prematurely. Keeping an open line of communication with your coaches and team trainer is one of the best things any player can do to prevent injuries.

Make Sure Your Equipment Fits: There are few things that a player can do which are more dangerous than forgoing the proper protective equipment required to play the game of Lacrosse. A feeling of greater freedom is in no way worth the extreme injury risks which accompany this type of behavior. It’s also important to ensure that all gear fits properly as to prevent it from dislodging during a game.

While you don’t necessarily need to train at your maximum capacity for the entire year (actually, as mentioned above, this isn’t a good idea at all) it is very important that you maintain your base fitness levels even during the offseason. If you feel that the beginning of each season is a major shock to your system, you aren’t doing enough conditioning during the offseason. This mentality also applies to stretching, something that cannot be overlooked if you hope to maintain your fitness as you age. Stretching regularly is one of the easiest ways to stop your body from breaking down under the stress of playing.

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