Lacrosse Injuries – Treatment, Management & Prevention
Lacrosse is among the fastest growing high school sports in North America. However, lacrosse injuries are a constant factor in this contact sport, and some of these can be quite serious. The injuries most frequently associated with the sport include:
- Contusions to the Head & Face, due to a blow from a lacrosse ball or from the equipment of another player;
- Concussion, which (even though players wear helmets) is probably the most serious of the injuries a lacrosse player can experience. This too can be the result of a blow from the ball or another player’s equipment or from a fixture in the arena;
- Ankle and Knee sprains, particularly involving the Anterior and Medial Cruciate Ligaments;
- Shin splints, due to the extensive running required of lacrosse players;
- Wrist fractures;
- Hip flexor strain;
- Low back pain.
Preventing Lacrosse Injuries
As with most sports or recreational activities, the risk of incurring many common lacrosse injuries can be reduced through proper training, preparation and technique. Off season conditioning to stay in shape and pre-season drills are important components of an injury prevention program. They should not be neglected.
Players should also be careful to wear the appropriate protective equipment, including helmets, arm and rib pads, athletic supporters with protective cups, throat and chest protectors and mouthguards.
If a player experiences a lacrosse related injury, however, he or she can wear a variety of supports to assist recovery. Additionally, players requiring additional support during competition or training for weak or previously injured joints will benefit from the application of a rigid strapping tape to the area requiring protection. Finally, kinesiology tape can be a valuable aid to promote recovery from sore muscles and repetitive stress injuries in general.
Use Adhesive Tape to Treat Lacrosse Injuries
Adhesive tape can provide stability and support to weak, unstable or previously injured knees or ankles. Although orthopedic supports can also achieve this, you can wear adhesive tape during training or practice without interfering with mobility or range of motion. Injuries such as knee or ankle sprains, or other soft tissue injuries (especially overuse injuries) are likely to be the most treatable using this approach. We would suggest that you treat acute injuries such as contusions using other approaches such as hot or cold compresses.
There are many types of adhesive tape suitable for lacrosse injuries in different circumstances. A light elastic tape like one of those shown below is useful for joints requiring only moderate support. It can also act as a supplementary support for joints that have already been taped with a zinc oxide adhesive tape like Renfrew Professional Trainers Tape. Finally, a heavy elastic tape such as Mueller Sports Medicine Stretch M tape can be used on joints requiring the most robust support.
For maximum mobility if you intend to wear the tape for matches or practice, a light elastic tape is the best choice for lacrosse activity. It will also conform best to highly contoured areas such as your knees or ankles.
If you plan to wear adhesive tape for lacrosse matches but also for your non lacrosse related activities, you should consider using a tape that is latex free and/or hypoallergenic. This type of tape will reduce the risk of medical reactions as a result of long term contact with your skin. The improved wearing comfort and freedom from worry will make it easier for you to continue wearing the tape for prolonged periods. This will in turn make for improved recovery prospects.
Suggested Adhesive Tape Products for Lacrosse Injuries
UltraLight Elastic Adhesive Tape
ElastikWrap Non Tear Elastic Tape
StretchLight Tearable Elastic Bandage
Non Elastic Adhesives
MTape – Retail Packaging
#188 Professional Trainers Tape
Rigid Athletic Tape – 15 Yd Roll
MTape – White
750 Athletic Tape
Cohesive Spatting Tape
SelfWrap Cohesive Bandage
How Athletic Supporters Can help Treat Lacrosse Injuries
Athletic supporters are invaluable accessories for protection from injuries to the pelvic area, especially when you use one with a protective cup. The cup can come with the supporter or the supporter can simply have a pouch for holding one. Lacrosse balls can travel at speeds of over 100 mph and the result of a blow to the pelvic area can be extremely painful and debilitating. In some cases, the consequences of the resulting injuries can be long term or permanent. They can certainly remove you from the remainder of the game and even from future games also. To avoid this eventuality, it is advisable to invest in pelvic protection such as an athletic supporter for lacrosse games or practice.
The athletic supporter you use for lacrosse games should have a pouch to accommodate the protective cup. It should also have 2 elastic bands that go around your legs. If you don’t like the feeling of wearing an athletic supporter to hold the cup, you can consider wearing a pair of compression shorts instead.
Choosing A Protective Cup
To use the protective cup, you simply insert it into the athletic supporter worn for lacrosse. For maximum protection, it’s important to choose the correct cup size. If the cup is too small, it could leave part of your pelvic area exposed to a blow from the ball. On the other hand, it it’s too large, the cup will be uncomfortable and could restrict your movement during the game. You can usually determine the appropriate cup size from your waist size measurement. 4 typical cup size classifications are pee wee, youth, teen and adult. An adult with a small build can sometimes feel more comfortable with a teen cup than with the adult version. Wearing a properly sized cup inside your athletic supporter for lacrosse games or practice is an extremely worthwhile investment in terms of the pain and expense it can save you.
Suggested Athletic Supporters for Treatment of Lacrosse Injuries
Performance Boxer w/FlexCup
Flex Shield w/Supporter
How A Back Brace Can Be Useful in Treating A Lacrosse Injury
Back braces will help to mitigate back pain frequently experienced by athletes in the sport. In lacrosse, low back pain is usually an overuse injury that results from prolonged running during a game and the rotation of the lumbar spine. It can also be the result of collisions between players. Choosing the correct back brace for low back pain is essential to achieving favourable results.
As with other types of brace, the greater the time that you spend wearing it, the better are your chances of a compete recovery. In particular, if you can find a back brace that you can wear while playing lacrosse, it will help to relieve pressure on your spine at a time when you need it most. So a low profile back brace that can easily fit under your lacrosse uniform is a good choice.
Another factor to consider in choosing a good back brace for playing lacrosse is breathability. A brace made of breathable material will wick perspiration and other moisture away from your body. You will feel cool, dry and comfortable underneath and be able to concentrate on your lacrosse game.
Some back braces use technology that help them to adhere more tightly to your skin as a reaction to perspiration r other moisture. A back brace with this feature will stay in its intended position even while you are playing lacrosse and lunging, jumping and sprinting. It will continue to target the injured area and you will have greater pain relief as a result.The Bio Skin Back Skin with its SkinLok technology is a good example of this type of brace.
Suggested Back Braces
Clavic Brace For Posture Improvement
Back Skin with Lumbar Pad
Adjustable Back Brace with Lumbar Pad
Back Brace, White
Flexible Lumbar Support
X-Tremus Back Support
Why You Should Use Calf, Thigh & Shin Supports to Treat Lacrosse Injuries
Calf/Thigh/Shin supports can serve many purposes for lacrosse players. However, shin supports will be especially useful in treating the pain and discomfort of shin splints. This condition results from the extensive running that lacrosse players have to do during a game. This running causes the tibialis posterior muscle to separate from the back of the shin bone. When this happens more rapidly than the body can repair itself, shin splints develop. This is a very painful condition in and of itself but if you ignore it, it can lead to even more serious injuries, such as a stress fracture or even possibly a complete fracture.
When looking for shin supports to treat lacrosse related injuries, you should try to find one that provides compression at or near medical grade levels. The Bio Skin Shin Splints are especially good in this area and should be considered. Compression will promote blood flow to the problem area. This fresh blood brings oxygen and other nutrients, both of which will improve the rate of progress towards complete recovery.
Another feature that contributes to making a good shin support for a lacrosse player is breathability. This ensures that your perspiration will not accumulate under the support and create discomfort. Instead, it will migrate through the support and evaporate on the outside, so you will remain dry and comfortable. You will find it easier to wear this type of shin support for longer periods, which will improve your progress towards recovery.
A good shin support will also be sufficiently low profile that you can wear it while playing lacrosse without it interfering with your mobility or other aspects of your play.
Suggested Calf, Thigh & Shin Supports
Compression Shin Splint
Thigh Skin with Cinch Strap
How You Can Use Hip/Groin Supports to Treat Your Lacrosse Injuries
Lacrosse is a fast moving sport that demands frequent changes of direction and speed from its players. These manoeuvres place great demands on the players’ hip and groin muscles. Injures like groin strains or hip flexor strains can happen and, when they do, the only way to recover from them is to allow the damaged structures to rest and heal. Hip & groin supports worn by lacrosse players will stabilize the muscles, tendons and ligaments in those areas and promote the healing process.
Hip flexor strains are particularly common in the sport of lacrosse.This is an overuse injury that can be the result of the extensive running and sometimes awkward pivoting that is integral to playing lacrosse. Groin strains are another category of injury that can result from the frequent running, stopping, twisting and turning that is such an integral part of the sport of lacrosse. There are other injuries in the same or adjacent areas that can affect lacrosse players, but hip flexor and groin strains are among the most common. Both these types of injuries can be treated by the injured lacrosse player wearing hip or groin supports that can take the pressure off the injured ligaments and muscles and allow them to rest.
The two primary categories of support available to lacrosse players to treat hip and groin injuries are compression shorts and groin wraps. Compression shorts are wearable during a lacrosse game and so are capable of providing support at the time when it is perhaps most needed. However, groin wraps are capable of providing more targeted compression to specific areas. Another reason to use compression shorts during lacrosse games lies in their ability to accommodate a protective cup covering the groin area.
Suggested Hip/Groin Supports
Groin Hip Spica
Kinesiology Tape & Lacrosse Injuries
A lacrosse game requires extensive running and changes in speed as well as frequent twists and turns to keep up with the flow of the game. Over time, these movements can lead to repetitive stress injuries among even the fittest of players. Lacrosse players can experience a number of acute injuries such as ankle & knee sprains and hip flexor strains. They can also experience overuse injuries that can lead to back pain problems. The proper use of k tape by lacrosse players can help players recover more quickly from their injuries. Kinesiology tape will help to lift the skin over injured muscles and ligaments and allow blood and lymphatic fluids to flow through the area more readily.
Probably the main advantage of a lacrosse player wearing kinesiology tape to treat his or her injuries lies in the fact that this type of tape is fundamentally different than traditional adhesive tape. Traditional tape aims to stabilize muscles and joints to allow them to rest. This may in certain cases cause restrictions in movement, range of motion, etc. Kinesiology tape, on the other hand, relies on your joints continuing to move through a full and natural range of motion. It utilizes these movements to perform the lifting action discussed above that is such an integral part of its healing effect.
How To Use Kinesiology Tape
To get the most benefit from using kinesiology tape to treat your lacrosse related injuries, here are a few points to remember:
- You should thoroughly clean and dry the area to which you intend to apply the tape. This will help it to gain the required degree of adhesion to your skin.
- Make sure there are no oils or creams on the area of skin to which you will apply the tape.
- Apply the kinesiology tape about an hour before your the start of your lacrosse game or practice. This too will help the tape to get the required degree of adhesion.
Kinesiology Tape Suggestions
Kinesiology Tape – 5m Continuous Roll
Kinesiology Tape – 30m Continuous Roll
Kinesiology Tape – I-Strip Roll
Use a Knee Brace To Help With Lacrosse Injuries
For a lacrosse player, a knee brace canl help to mitigate the symptoms of knee injuries such as medial collateral or anterior cruciate ligament (acl) tears or sprains. These injuries are common experiences in lacrosse due to the fast moving nature of the sport and the sharp changes in running speed and direction it demands of the players. The knee instability that can result from MCL or ACL tears can threaten a player’s career if he does not properly attend to them. A major component of the treatment strategy is rest for the damaged ligaments. Wearing a properly designed knee brace is a great way to reduce the pressure on these ligaments and allow them a chance to recover.
Choosing A Knee Support
For maximum effect, the knee brace chosen by a lacrosse player with ACL/MCL injuries should be wearable for as much of the day as possible. If the player can wear it during lacrosse games or practice, it will then be providing knee support when it is most needed. A knee brace wearable for lacrosse will need to be a low profile brace (light and thin) that will interfere as little as possible with the player’s movement and range of motion of the joint.
A breathable knee brace is also a good choice for a lacrosse player. The athletically rigorous nature of the sport means that he or she is likely to perspire heavily while playing. When this happens, the knee brace should ideally allow the perspiration to migrate away from the player’s skin and leave him or her cool and dry underneath.
Another desirable feature of a knee support for a lacrosse player would be some sort of anti microbial or anti bacterial protection. This will allow the player to use the brace over a prolonged period without having to discard it due to unpleasant odors or unsightly stains.
Some Knee Braces To Consider
Bio-Logix Knee Brace
Hinged Knee Skin – Front Closure
Jumper’s Knee Strap
Knee Sleeve / 4-Way Elastic With Gel Buttress
Wrist Braces for Lacrosse Injuries
Hand and wrist injuries have become a growing problem in the sport of lacrosse. The scenarios giving rise to these injuries include a blow from the stick of an opposing player. A second possible scenario involves an attempt to break a fall which leads to the wrist being bent back at an awkward angle. Yet another scenario involves a direct blow from the ball to the tip of the goalkeeper’s thumb. These incidents may cause acute injuries such as bone fractures that are usually not treatable using a wrist brace. However, some of the resulting wrist problems may be purely soft tissue injuries. Recovery from these injuries usually requires a rest period for the damaged soft tissues of the hand or wrist. In these cases, wearing a wrist brace may be a part of the treatment of a lacrosse player for injuries to the hand or wrist.
As we have noted above, lacrosse related wrist injuries can be very serious and can frequently involve bone fractures. Before taking any steps to self diagnose and treat a wrist injury using a wrist brace, you should seek urgent medical attention from a qualified medial professional. Follow the advice you receive from that professional. If there is no wrist fracture, or if you have a lacrosse related overuse wrist injury, you should consider using a wrist brace to promote recovery.
A lacrosse player may have experienced a wrist sprain or other injury in the past. This may be a result of an incident not involving lacrosse. If so, he or she may be concerned with providing additional support to the wrist while playing lacrosse in order to prevent re-injury. This is another typical scenario in which a wrist brace may be of value to a lacrosse player.