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Common Neck Injuries Sustained in Sports 0

Posted on December 10, 2018 by Jason Smith

neck-1For obvious reasons, you don’t want a neck injury. Not only have many professional athletes sat out whole seasons – or ended their careers – due to necks injuries, but roughly 10 percent of the adult population suffers from stiff, painful necks at any time, impacting their comfort and quality of life.

Working out your shoulders and back, high-impact training like jumping and falling and even just sitting or sleeping improperly can cause problems with your neck. If you want a strong, stable neck, you should know about these common neck disorders – and how to avoid them.

Nerve Problems

The neck is the thinnest part of your body – and it is also where some of the most important nerves in your body reside. Thus, damage to the neck can easily result in nerve problems that result in numbness, reduced function, pain or other issues on other parts of your body. It is possible to develop a pinched nerve in the neck merely by sleeping wrong or turning your head quickly and improperly, but in sports, more serious nerve issues can occur.

Among the worst are stingers and burners, which often occur to football players and other contact-sport athletes. As their name suggests, stingers and burners result in stinging, burning pain as well as an electrical sensation down the arm. When these symptoms last more than a minute or two, it is critical that you see a doctor as you may have a catastrophic neck injury.

Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms occur in any skeletal muscles that have recently been overused and are feeling fatigued. Dehydration and malnutrition can also result in uncomfortable or painful spasms. High-performance athletes in any sport can suffer spasms, but the solution is simple: rest, hydrate, eat healthily and rest more. Read the rest of this entry →

Everything Athletes Need to Know about Elbow Hyperextension 0

Posted on October 27, 2018 by Joe Fleming

Thomas-SunsWhen most people think of elbow injuries, they think of overuse injuries like tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. Overuse injuries like these are common, but so are acute elbow injuries like an elbow hyperextension.

Many professional athletes have suffered from hyperextended elbows during their careers, including former Phoenix Suns center Kurt Thomas, former Florida Gators running back Jeff Demps, and current free agent wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell.

Whether you’re a budding professional athlete or someone who enjoys the occasional recreational game, it’s important to understand elbow hyperextension. It’s especially important if your sport of choice is basketball, football, or boxing.

Read on to learn about the most common causes of this injury, along with tips on how to prevent and treat it.

What is Elbow Hyperextension?

Elbow hyperextension is an injury that occurs when the elbow is bent backward and moves beyond its normal range of motion. When the elbow is beyond its normal range, people typically experience the following symptoms:

  • A popping sound

  • Immediate pain

  • Pain when touching or moving the elbow

  • Swelling at or around the elbow

  • Redness at the elbow

  • Joint stiffness

  • Muscle spasms

  • Loss of strength in the affected arm

  • Loss of joint mobility

Sometimes, people with elbow hyperextensions also experience elbow dislocations. In severe cases, people with a hyperextended elbow may also experience elbow deformities or a reduction in circulation in the affected arm.

Some research also shows that repetitive hyperextension injuries can cause some pathological changes to the bones and soft tissues of the elbow joint. Read the rest of this entry →

Four Essential Warm-up Exercises to Prevent Rotator Cuff Tears 0

Posted on October 17, 2018 by Joe Fleming

Kobe-shoulderAs far as sports injuries go, one of the most common is the rotator cuff tear.

Rotator cuff tears can affect any athlete, especially at the competitive or professional level. For example, both Jets wide receiver Eric Decker and former Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant have dealt with rotator cuff injuries during their careers.

Whether you’re a competitive athlete or just an average gym-goer, it’s important to take steps to protect your rotator cuff.

One of the best things you can do is to make sure you warm-up properly before every practice, game, or workout. Listed below are four essential exercises that will help you warm up and prevent rotator cuff tears.

Understanding the Rotator Cuff

Before getting into the specific exercises for the rotator cuff, it’s important to understand what the rotator cuff is and why it’s so susceptible to injury.

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that surround the shoulder joint. These muscles help stabilize the shoulder and prevent injuries.

Rotator cuff tears typically occur slowly over time and are the result of overuse. They’re especially common among weightlifters and other athletes who do a lot of repetitive overhand movements (throwing, reaching, swinging, etc.).

If you experience a rotator cuff tear, you likely won’t realize it right away. Over time, though, you may start experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Pain while at rest and while lowering or raising your arm

  • Weakness, especially when rotating or lifting your arm

  • A cracking sensation when you move your shoulder Read the rest of this entry →

Four Things Runners Need to Know to Prevent Ankle Injuries 0

Posted on October 06, 2018 by Joe Fleming

running-2Of all the injuries that can affect runners, ankle injuries are one of the most common. Even professional runners like Olympians Usain Bolt and Paula Radcliffe have dealt with ankle injuries that negatively affected their careers.

Whether you’re an Olympic hopeful or just someone who runs for fun, it’s crucial that you take steps to keep ankle injuries at bay. Not only can an injured ankle prevent you from running consistently, but it can also negatively affect your movement patterns and make other forms of exercise more difficult.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about preventing ankle injuries while running.

Common Ankle Injuries for Runners

The following ankle injuries are probably the most common ones that can affect runners:

Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments of the ankle are damaged or torn.

In runners, ankle sprains are often the result of a misstep when coming down from a curb, or from tripping over rocks or cracks in the road or sidewalk.

Often, sprains do not cause lasting damage, particularly if they’re mild and diagnosed early. They’re typically characterized by swelling and constant pain, even when you’re at rest.

Overuse Injuries

As their name suggests, overuse injuries are the result of overuse.

In runners, some common overuse injuries include posterior tibial tendonitis, which affects the back of the ankle, and peroneal tendonitis, which affects the inside of the ankle.

With overuse injuries, you’ll likely feel pain during activity, but not when you’re at rest.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are small cracks or severe bruising that affects the bone. Stress fractures can be brought on by an acute injury, like a fall, or by overuse. Runners are particularly prone to stress fractures in the ankles and the feet.

How to Prevent Ankle Injuries

In order to avoid these common ankle injuries, it’s important to take the precautionary measures. They’ll help you strengthen your ankles so that you’re more resilient. They can also correct improper movement patterns that increase your injury risk. Read the rest of this entry →

The Greatest Myths Surrounding Sports Injuries 0

Posted on September 03, 2018 by Stephen Shaw

Each sport has its own personal risk of injury, even the sports where you may think a problem is highly unlikely.

Darts, for example, is not exactly what you may call ‘high intensity’ but players often fear the dreaded Dartitis which is when the players lose the ability to allow the dart to leave the fingers effectively. This is also known in other sports, especially golf, as the ‘Yips’. It is essentially the loss of fine motor skills in athletes and can occur completely at random.

Dartitis is a psychological disorder and very real, but there are sports injuries and sayings that need dispelling as pure fantasy as we look at cracking some of the myths surrounding sports injuries.

No Pain No Gain

Let’s start with a famous saying that is repeated in every single gym around the world. However, strictly speaking, no pain no gain is the opposite of the words uttered.

soccer pain

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Continuing through sores or cramp is not an immediate problem but if there is acute pain (something sharp and severe) or a clear indication that something is not right (a sprain for example) then it is time to stop immediately and seek medical advice.

Injuries heal fastest when rested

Football injuries cost clubs millions of pounds a year by having to pay injured players and in some cases, when key players are absent, it has a direct impact on a team’s ability on and off the pitch. Read the rest of this entry →

Common Back Injuries and How Athletes Can Treat and Prevent Them 0

Posted on August 28, 2018 by Joe Fleming

BoltBack injuries are a common issue among athletes, especially those who compete at a high level.

For example, before he retired, Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt had to take a significant amount of time off from his sport to deal with severe back pain. Professional golfer Tiger Woods also had to take time off as he underwent surgery to repair a damaged disc.

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to suffer from a back injury, though. Whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned pro, it’s important to know how to treat and prevent these common back injuries.

Common Back Injuries

The following are the most common types of back injuries that athletes tend to experience:

Lower Back Injuries

Many athletes struggle with lower back injuries. The following are some of the most common injuries they experience:

  • Back strains (injuries to the soft tissues — muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, etc.)

  • Spondylolysis (stress fractures in the lower lumbar spine)

  • Herniated discs (the nucleus — center of the discs of the spine — ruptures outside of the normal place)

Runners, golfers, gymnasts, and weightlifters most frequently experience lower back injuries. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Tony Oliva: Hall of Fame Worthy
      April 21, 2019 | 5:18 pm
      Tony Oliva

      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

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