Fall is one of our favorite seasons at Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, and it has nothing to do with pumpkin spice. With autumn weather comes the kick off to fall sports! Our doctors and staff love following along with our local athletes and teams while cheering them on, but we also inevitably see a surge in sports injuries this time of year.
Our Orthopedic Urgent Care exists for just these types of injuries. We are open Monday through Friday, and see any and all orthopedic injuries. The best part about our urgent care for the athletes that come in? In one visit the injury can be imaged, diagnosed, treated, or set up for further care with a surgeon.
Although our excellent team will always have your back (or knee, or shoulder), we know prevention is key for athletes. There are several ways to prevent sports injuries we recommend, both in general and specific preventable injuries we see:
Always Wear Proper Gear and Use The Right Equipment
We see so many injuries that would have easily been prevented if the athlete was wearing or using the right gear. Here are some general tips that can be applied to all sports and athletes:
- Protective Gear is Essential: Even during practice, protective helmets, padding, or braces should be worn to maximize injury prevention. Remember, you are not just protecting your body from injuries, but for a lifetime of health as well as allowing you to play your sport longer and better.
- Shoes matter: Choosing the right shoe for your sport and your feet. The correct shoes can prevent overuse injuries, protect ankle and foot anatomy, and prevent unnecessary falls or related injuries.
A warm muscle is a protected muscle. It may seem repetitive or unnecessary, but warming up and stretching, especially dynamic stretching, drastically reduces musculoskeletal injuries. When muscles are warmed up before activity they are more flexible and resilient. Warming up increases blood flow to the muscles, which not only prevents injury but can reduce soreness as well.
Listen to Your Body
“No pain, no gain” can be a dangerous notion to follow in an athletic career. Pain is a signal from our body that we should listen to. If you are experiencing abnormal pain, don’t just play or push through it, get checked out! Walk in to our urgent care for a screening and checkup, or schedule an appointment with our team of surgeons.
Common Fall Sport Injuries
There are certain injuries we see more of with fall sports. Here’s what to look for and some keys to prevention:
Football athletes, we’re looking at you! However, concussions are not uncommon in other sports, and we often see hockey players, soccer athletes, and others with concussions as well. Signs of concussions to watch out for could include:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Blurry Vision, “seeing stars”
- Slurred Speech
- Loss of consciousness
If you have any suspicion you (or your child or teammate) may have a concussion, it is important to get seen by a medical professional immediately. There are several important ways to prevent concussion:
- Wear a helmet. This is perhaps the most important and effective way to prevent concussion. It is also imperative that the helmet fits properly, is secure, and the right type of helmet for the sport.
- Use a mouth guard. Using a mouth guard fitted specifically for the bite of the athlete can reduce risk of concussion.
- Use proper form and technique, and don’t use your head as the driving force. Never “lead with your head”.
College soccer season, high school football, hockey tryouts, and all other fall sports can bring an onset of joint injuries through our doors. Here’s how to know when to make a trip to urgent care:
- Lasting Signs of inflammation: redness, swelling, tenderness and heat
- Sudden pain or swelling associated with an injury
- Visual changes or deformities in the joint
- Excessive swelling or bruising
If You Get an Injury
Walk ins are welcome at our Orthopedic Urgent Care clinic. If you or your child experience an orthopedic injury, come in Monday-Friday between 9am-5pm. You will see an orthopedic specialist at the first appointment. We have medical supplies on hand specifically to treat orthopedic injuries, as well as imaging on site.
Join us in cheering on our community as we begin fall sports season, and know that we are here for any injuries or orthopedic questions!
Orthopedic Urgent Care
850 West Ironwood Drive, Suite 202
Couer D’ Alene, ID 83814