Injury is an inevitable part of most contact sports, including lacrosse.
Ligament sprains and muscular or tendon strains are the most common injuries seen in most sports, including lacrosse.
Ankle and knee sprains — these ligament sprains commonly occur because of the sharp cutting and dodging movements required to play lacrosse.
Hamstring muscle strains — unlike a ligament sprain, a strain occurs when a muscle is stretched or contracted too forcefully during movement. In lacrosse, the culprit tends to be the hamstring muscle group.
What can help prevent sprains and strains? Proper strengthening and stretching can help also continuing to maintain strong, flexible muscles and your chances of injury will significantly decrease.
The most common outcome of stick or ball encounters is a contusion (bruise). Some contusions are very superficial and you can see the discoloration in the skin. Others are located deep within muscle and soft tissue and can be very painful. Icing and anti-inflammatory medication are the keys to managing contusions. Be sure to ice and medicate, as soon as possible, to prevent future complications.
A stick check across an unprotected rib cage is an easy way to fracture or break several ribs. The major concern with a rib fracture is the possibility of puncturing a lung. If you want to stay in the game, wear rib pads.
Concussions in lacrosse are rare, they can still happen. The technology behind lacrosse helmets is still way behind football helmets. And, even though helmets cannot prevent concussions, it’s important to wear one that’s properly fitted. If you suspect a concussion, contact your local Athletic Trainer or Sports Medicine Physician for proper diagnosis and treatment. Lacrosse is a fun and exciting game at all levels. Remember to take the time to prepare, just as you would for any sport, test, or competition.
With any injury, participation should be stopped until an assessment is made by a qualified health professional. For minor injuries, treatment usually includes rest, ice, and elevation.
Other injuries may be more serious, and require a longer period of rest and rehabilitation. These athletes may be allowed to participate with modifications, depending on the risk for re-injury. In the most severe cases, surgery may be required. All head injuries should be thoroughly evaluated. Athletes should return to play only after appropriate physician evaluation, on a graduated schedule, and only when completely symptom free.
The longer you wait to treat your injuries, the longer it is going to take for your body to heal completely.