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12 Timely Tips from the FVO Sports Medicine Specialists

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12 Timely Tips from the FVO Sports Medicine Specialists

Timely Tips From our Sports Medicine Specialists

With the summer sports season around the corner, the orthopedic surgeons at Fox Valley Orthopedics (FVO) want to get the word out about the importance of summer sports injury prevention to ensure their patients keep it moving.

“Many people put on a brave face when injured, and try to keep playing through an injury,” says FVO President and Sports Medicine Surgeon Vishal M. Mehta, MD. “We encourage sports enthusiasts to see a specialist about any problems they’re experiencing.”

Dr. Mehta’s Smart Play Tips:

  • Mix it Up: When it comes to sport-specific training regimens, vary things a little in order to give all your body parts time to rest and recuperate.
  • Incorporate Technique, Protection and Warm-ups: Always implement proper injury prevention such as practicing proper technique, wearing well-fitting protective equipment, and performing gentle warm-ups and whole-body stretches before and after workouts.

“When an athlete comes to a quick stop, or in combination with a directional change while landing from a jump, pivoting, or running, a knee injury can happen,” says Sports Medicine Surgeon Timothy S. Petsche, MD. “That ‘popping’ sensation is usually a sign that the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) has torn.”

Dr. Petsche’s Smart Play Tips:

  • Don’t Twist and Shout: If prone to knee injuries, switch to a sport that doesn’t involve a lot of twisting or contact (i.e. avoid basketball, football, skiing, and soccer).
  • Conditioning and Training: Implement a training regimen that focuses on agility, balance, and power; include a warm up, stretches, strengthening exercises, plyometrics, agility drills, and a cool down.

“Nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students are linked to overuse,” says Sports Medicine Surgeon James Sostak, MD,and team physician for the Kane County Cougars. “Avoid becoming a sports injury statistic.”

Dr. Sostak’s Smart Play Tips:

  • Tackle Prevention Head On: Protective headgear is an important part of summer sports injury prevention. Most concussions resolve on their own without permanent damage, but a blow to the head can be potentially life threatening. And, over time, multiple concussions can cause cumulative, serious brain damage.
  • Avoid Overplay: Overuse injuries can result in lost participation time, physician visits, lengthy rehabilitation, and even a total cessation of participation. They can also lead to disease and growth-related disorders, as well as little leaguer’s elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, tennis elbow and/or stress fractures.

To avoid overuse injuries, listen to your body. No pain, no gain does not apply here,” says Sports Medicine Surgeon Michael Kogan, MD.

Dr. Kogan’s Smart Play Tips:

  • Age vs. Hours: Young athletes should not be spending more hours playing sports per week than their age.
  • 10% Rule: Do not increase your training program or physical activity by more than 10% per week.

The recovery phase is a very important aspect of training. Rest days and recovery are just as important as your workout regimen. Without a rest day, injuries are more common. Give your body the appropriate rest for better results,” says Sports Medicine Surgeon James Seeds, MD.

Dr. Seeds’ Smart Play Tips:

  • Keep Your Head Up: Injuries can occur when players keep their head down watching the puck or ball, and you may not see impact coming with another player. Keep your head up to avoid contact injuries.
  • Guard Your Shoulders: Young athletes who dislocate their shoulders are much more likely to have recurrent instability issues with that shoulder. Early prevention can keep this from occurring.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose’ isn’t just a quote from Friday Night Lights, but a good way to compete on and off the field. Play, practice, and work out hard. Give it your best effort. You do that, and you can’t lose in training or in life,” says Sports Medicine Surgeon Joshua Alpert, MD.

Dr. Alpert’s Smart Play Tips:

  • Let Your Physical Therapist Guide You: When rehabbing an injury, always allow your physical therapist to work with you on any new exercises. When it’s time to run after an ACL surgery, try it on the treadmill with your PT supervising. When you begin strength training after rotator cuff surgery, start lifting weights while the PT can watch your form. Proper form is vital to avoiding recurring injuries.
  • Low Weights, High Reps: When trying to build muscle or rehab an injury, always perform exercises with smaller weights and more reps, rather than a heavy weight for one or two reps. Taking on heavier than appropriate weight without working up to it is a recipe for orthopedic injury, whether new or tearing the area that has already been repaired.