Wellness Wednesday: Avoiding athlete injuries after sedentary seasons

Wellness Wednesday

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Many high school athletes had their seasons just about wiped out last year. As some of them gear up to hit the field again, the team physician for the Syracuse Crunch is warning about a few anticipated injuries.

“We all know the story about the tortoise and the hare. Don’t be the hare,” said Dr. Daniel DiChristina, an orthopedist at Orthopedics East.

To avoid injuries after being out of the game for so long, Dr. DiChristina says athletes need to put their focus on two areas to rebuild endurance. “A gradual increase addressing both their baseline aerobics, coupled with the specific skill for that sport,” he said.

Conditioning activities, such as running and biking, are just as important as fine-tuning their shooting and pitching skills.

Dr. DiChristina says doing them progressively is the key.

Lacrosse carries with it a couple of unique injuries that have to be addressed before they occur, particularly in the women’s game. There’s a high incidence of non-contact knee injuries where the cutting and twisting leads to an injury.

Dr. DiChristina

That injury is connected to the ACL, the ligament in the middle of the knee. The way to avoid it? Doing stop-start drills around cones before going against players.

As for pitchers, the Tommy John injury is a concern.

All of a sudden, they haven’t thrown an 80-pitch outing in greater than a year, so they should start with 40 and 50 pitch outings. The coaches and the parents and the kids have to all understand they’re better off, 50 or 60 pitch outings twice a week rather than a 180-pitch outing that gets them in trouble.

Dr. DiChristina

Athletes should also be patient. DiChristina also cautions, regaining those skills won’t happen overnight, and it likely won’t happen in a week.

“Be the tortoise, build your way up.”

Dr. DiChristina

You’re better off with a strong back-half of your season than no season at all.

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