Fall Sports: 2 Ways to Play it Safe

Matthew Bockhorst, offensive lineman for St. Xaiver High School’s football team hasn’t even had a game yet and he’s already sore. He has, however, started two-a-days and notes, “I get a little tight during the first one.”

As student-athletes transition from summer break to their respective fall sport, if they haven’t been conditioning, they’re at risk for overuse injuries, especially in the wrist and ankle.

Ways to Reduce Injuries at the Start of the Season

Ken Rushford, of TriHealth Sports Medicine and St. Xavier’s athletic trainer, works to get his players in the athletic training room before practice even begins, with the goal of reducing these overuse injuries.

On the other hand, junior defensive lineman, Carson Bray, likes to get his wrists and ankles taped up for more support. 

Overheating: What Student-Athletes Need to Know

During two-a-days Ken suggests his players warm up in the training room so when they head out to the field, they lower the odds of heat-related problems, such as muscle cramping, dizziness, headaches and confusion.

Heat exhaustion is a big concern at the start of the season, when the temperatures are significantly warmer. “What’s even more important is the humidity out there – and that’s the big red flag,” Ken points out. “The higher the humidity, the less they’re able to sweat and evaporate to cool themselves down.”

While staying hydrated during conditioning or practice is critical, it’s even more important to drink water off the field, too. The typical rule of thumb is eight glasses a day, but athletes exercising have higher sweat rates and, therefore, need to take in about 10 to 12 glasses per day.

Tags Orthopedics

Last Updated: August 13, 2014