Lacrosse, considered America’s oldest team sport, has quickly grown in popularity all over the country — including right here in Central Texas. A fast-paced sport, lacrosse requires a diverse skillset and proper training and conditioning in order to prevent injury.
Texas Orthopedics foot, ankle and knee specialist Dr. Brannan Smoot recommends lacrosse athletes and parents become familiar with the rules and regulations of the sport, because they differ between girls and boy’s with regard to contact and protective equipment. Boys lacrosse is considered a contact sport while girls lacrosse is technically non-contact and they are not required to wear helmets.
“Lacrosse is considered a moderate risk sport, but sprains, strains and more serious injuries can occur,” according to Dr. Smoot. “We are seeing more lacrosse injuries as the sport continues to grow, and more youth leagues are available around Austin.”
What Are Common Lacrosse Injuries?
Some of the most common injuries related to lacrosse for both boys and girls include:
- Ankle sprains
- Knee injuries, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.
- Muscle strains of the hamstring, quadriceps, groin and hip flexor.
- Head and face injury, including contusions and concussions from collisions with other players or the ground.
- Overuse injuries, including shin splints and stress fractures.
- Hand and wrist fractures, more often in boy’s lacrosse, from being slashed by an opponent’s stick.
How Are Lacrosse Injuries Treated?
Treatment of lacrosse-related injuries depend on the severity and type of injury sustained. For minor injuries, rest, ice and elevation are often enough to help your body heal on its own. For more severe injuries, our orthopedic specialists can evaluate your injury and get you back on the field as quickly and safely as possible.
How to Prevent Lacrosse Injuries
To reduce your risk of sustaining an injury while playing lacrosse:
- Wear proper equipment.
- Always warm up before practice and games.
- Train in the off-season to help keep your muscles and other soft tissues conditioned.
- Stay hydrated.
- Allow your body to rest and avoid playing lacrosse year-round.
- Know the rules of the game.
If you experience an injury while playing lacrosse, Texas Orthopedics team of sports medicine physicians and physical therapists are experts in the treatment and recovery of sports-related injuries. Schedule an appointment online or call (512) 439-1000 to be seen at one of our eight Austin-area locations.