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Ronald H. Israelski, MD
Ronald H. Israelski, MD
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Play it Safe During Spring Sports

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March 26, 2012

Middletown, NY – The early arrival of warm weather has put the rush on spring sports, with adults and children alike brushing off cleats, oiling baseball gloves, and restringing tennis racquets. As athletes of all ages jump headlong into outdoor activities, training, safety, and injury management become extremely important.

“Smart training is crucial for both skill development and injury prevention,” says Bradley D. Wiener, MD FAAOS, an orthopaedic surgeon at Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery.  “This includes learning proper form, building up endurance, warming up, stretching, and, most importantly, resisting the urge to overdo it.”

Both adults and children, whose growing bodies are susceptible to injury, also can stay safe during sports by using the right equipment. Always wear a correctly-sized helmet for baseball, softball, bicycle riding, and skateboarding, along with other protective equipment as necessary. Use a mouth guard for sports such as lacrosse. Inspect all equipment at the beginning of the season and replace items that are worn, cracked or broken.

Work with the local sports league or town recreation department to ensure that playing surfaces are safe. Holes and ruts on ball fields and tracks should be repaired before the season begins and maintained regularly during the season. Be sure to report potential hazards such as broken fences and irregular surfaces, and remove sharp objects such as nails or broken glass from playing fields, tracks, and paths before they cause injury.

“Unfortunately, despite best efforts, sports injuries do occur and should be addressed immediately to prevent additional damage,” advises Dr. Wiener. “Common acute injuries that occur during practice or play include bruises, sprains, strains, and broken bones. They may require a doctor’s visit to determine how severe the injury is and what type of treatment is necessary. If a child or adult requires orthopaedic surgery, faster treatment can mean a speedier recovery.”

Injuries from overuse are a sign that a particular part of the body is being stressed. Signs of damage can include knee pain and swelling, elbow soreness during throwing or pitching, shoulder pain while swimming, shin splints, and lower back pain. Less severe injuries may improve after changing a warm-up routine, modifying technique, or buying new equipment, but more serious conditions could require surgery.

“To help prevent re-injury or a new injury after treatment, be sure not to rush your recovery, and follow your doctor’s instructions for easing back into your sport safely and wisely,” says Dr. Wiener.

Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery, LLC, is located at 75 Crystal Run Road, Suite 225, Middletown, NY 10941. For additional information, please visit call 845-692-9900.

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