Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Learning to Manage Injuries

The unfortunate truth all athletes must face is the reality that they will become injured. Accepting this fact and learning how to manage injuries is an important skill for all athletes to acquire.

Common running injuries are shin splints, plantar faciitis, IT band soreness, knee pain and hip pain. If these become chronic or get too painful to compete be sure and see a doctor and/or physical therapist. (Report all injuries to your athletic trainer!)However, your goal is to "manage" these potential injuries before they become too serious. Perhaps the best thing you can do is ice, stretch and rest. Take care of the small "tweaks" before they become nagging injuries that keep you out of competitions.

Of course the ankles and knees (along with backs) are the most common ailments for basketball players. We already talked about knees in the last blog...let me address ankles. The most useful acronym I have found for dealing with ankle sprains is R.I.C.E. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. (Ashley is employing this right now after she sprained her ankle last night at open gym.) Be sure to get weight off your ankle. This may require using cruthes for a day or two. Ice frequently (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off). Wrap your ankle with an ACE wrap to keep the swelling down especially when walking around or sleeping at night. Elevation is the technique to use gravity to pull out some of the swelling. Prop your foot up on some pillows and get it above your heart for best results. The degree of sprains is different but the use of RICE can really help speed up the healing process.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you will be injured. However, accepting this reality and learning to manage these injuries can get you "back out there" a lot quicker and probably stronger than before.

Here's hoping for an injury-free season!!!

Coach Albert

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