Common Lacrosse Treatment,
Injuries, and Prevention
P.R.I.C.E. Treatment Method
P. Protectâ€ Protect the injury from further harm by using a brace, splint, immobilizer, or ace bandage.
R. Restâ€ Rest the injured area by not participating in activities that is painful to perform.
I. Iceâ€ Ice the area for 20 minutes every 2 hours. Never use heat because that will cause the area to swell even more.
C. Compressionâ€ Compress the swelling using an ace bandage or compression wrap to limit any further swelling. When wrapping the injured area start at the furthest point away from the body and move towards the body. Be sure that you are not cutting off circulation.
E. Elevateâ€ Elevate the injured area above the heart to pull blood flow away from the
The most common injury in sports is a lateral ankle sprain. This injury occurs in lacrosse by rolling the ankle over the outside of the foot. This often occurs when stepping on an opponent’s foot, or planting for a sudden change of direction.
A common injury in lacrosse is an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) sprain or tear, which occurs when the knee is twisted forcefully or hyperâ€extended. This often occurs when changing direction on the field or colliding with another player. Athletes with a damaged ACL often describe a “pop” at the time of injury, followed by a lot of swelling within a few hours. Athletes should see an orthopedic or sports medicine physician if pain and/or swelling persist after P.R.I.C.E. treatment. In addition:
- Strength, flexibility and functional movement training in proper cutting, jumping and landing technique may help to prevent nonâ€contact knee injuries.
A concussion is a brain injury usually caused by a sudden jolt or a blow to the head or neck. This can occur in lacrosse when a stick or ball hits the athlete’s head or in a collision with another athlete. An athlete does not need to be knocked out, or have memory loss, to have suffered a concussion. Most athletes who suffer a sportsâ€related concussion DO NOT lose consciousness.
You may observe that an athlete with a concussion:
- Appears dazed or stunned.
- Is confused.
- Forgets plays.
- Is unsure of game, score, or opponent.
- Exhibits unsteadiness.
- Moves clumsily.
- Answers questions slowly.
- Has a behavior or personality change.
- Can’t recall events either before or after hit.
- Loses consciousness.
An athlete with signs of a concussion should be removed from play immediately and not allowed to return until evaluated by a doctor. Do not leave an athlete alone after a concussion.
It is important to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after a workout or game. An athlete’s performance can be impacted by even mild dehydration. It is important to be well hydrated prior to the workout. In addition:
- Water should be readily available when working out.
- Athletes should drink often – ideally every 15 to 30 minutes.
- Sports drinks are recommended for activities lasting longer than one hour.
Early signs of dehydration can be nonâ€specific and include:
- Decreased athletic performance.
Signs of advanced dehydration include:
- Dark urine.
- Dry lips and mouth.
- Decrease in reaction time.
Athletes with any of these signs should rest and drink water or sports drinks. If athletes don’t improve, feel dizzy or faint, or have not had much urine output, they should be seen by a doctor. Seek emergency treatment if the athlete is disoriented, unable to drink or has pale skin.
It’s hard to tell a dislocated bone from a broken bone, but the basic first aid is the same.
Symptoms include a visibly misshapen limb, swelling, intense pain, limited mobility, and numbness. Keep the athlete still and calm, contact your healthcare provider or 911 if the suspected broken bone is the back, neck, head, hip, pelvis or upper leg. Immobilize the injury, check for circulation beyond the fracture site and apply ice.
Use proper fitting cleats, helmet, gloves shoulder pads and other protective equipment.
Training / Conditioning
Proper conditioning, flexibility and functional movement training may reduce the risk of noncontact injuries.
An effective warmâ€up increases both your heart rate and your respiratory rate. Start by moving at a slower, more relaxed pace and gradually increase intensity. As the level of activity increases, the muscles burn more oxygen and their temperature rises. When perspiration begins, the muscles are warmed up and ready for a workout.
Stretch only after having warmed up; a cold muscle is more likely to tear when stretched. Stretching after a workout increases flexibility and reduces stress on joints. Perform stretches slowly, holding each position for at least five seconds.
Proper nutrition before and during your workout will help you maintain blood sugar levels and keep you adequately hydrated for peak performance. A physician or physical therapist can assist you in developing proper strength, flexibility and nutrition plan.