PROPER TECHNIQUE KEY TO AVOIDING LOWER BACK INJURIES ON THE SOCCER FIELD

By Peter H. Edwards, Jr., M.D.

Back pain can be a common, reoccurring injury experienced by soccer players and other athletes. Learn more about the structure of the back and how players can prevent injuries to stay healthy and active on the field.

Continue...

ADOPTING A WEIGHT TRAINING PROGRAM KEY TO ENHANCING PERFORMANCE

By Peter H. Edwards, Jr., M.D.

Weight training – also called strength or resistance training – not only can improve soccer players’ strength and athletic performance, but also can prevent injury.

What is weight training?

Weight training means adding resistance to your body’s natural movements to make those movements more difficult, and help muscles become stronger.

Continue...

ARTHRITIS ON THE RISE

Aging joints at risk for ‘wear and tear’ of osteoarthritis

Arthritis is the most frequent chronic condition and cause of activity limitation in patients 65 and older and is becoming more prevalent as the population ages. “Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, occurs when cartilage within the joint breaks down from wear and tear,” said Kurt Unverferth, M.D., a Center surgeon specializing in total joint replacement of the knees and hips. “One-third of the population, or at least 40 million Americans by the year 2020, will experience some form of osteoarthritis by age 65.”

Continue...

AC JOINT INJURIES MAY RESULT FROM EXTENSIVE WEIGHT LIFTING

By Peter H. Edwards, Jr., M.D.

Although a less common condition among soccer players, AC joint injuries may occur among athletes who frequently lift weights. Seasoned goalkeepers also are most likely to suffer AC joint injuries resulting from repeated long throws during matches.

Continue...

SPEED AND AGILITY TRAINING CAN SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE PERFORMANCE

By Peter H. Edwards, Jr., M.D.

Having speed is very important to athletes competing in most sports and especially for soccer players. Recovery from a stolen ball, breaking to a header, outrunning a defender to the ball and breaking to an open space all depend on explosive takeoff speed. Speed often defines a player and clearly distinguishes the exceptional player from the average one.

Continue...

OVERUSE INJURIES COMMON AMONG YOUNG SOCCER PLAYERS

By Peter H. Edwards, Jr., M.D.

Sports activity in athletes of any age can lead to repetitive stress-type injuries often called overuse conditions. Young athletes are at even greater risk due to growth centers in the bone and their inherent weakness and from muscular imbalances that often develop with growth. Overuse conditions develop when micro-injuries occurring during play accumulate because athletes haven’t rested enough between activities. Three common overuse injuries are: Sever’s disease (calcaneal apophysitis); Osgood-Schlatter’s disease and shin splints.

Continue...

MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY RETURNS PATIENTS TO A NORMAL LIFESTYLE, SOONER

Recovering from traditional joint replacement surgery can be a long, painful process. Traditional surgery typically involves a long incision where the surgeon has to cut muscles, tendons and/or ligaments to access the joint. The more tissues cut, the longer it usually takes for a patient to heal.

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) allows traditional procedures to be preformed through a smaller incision. Using modified techniques and instruments, surgeons can place the same implants used in traditional surgery, but through an incision one-half to one-third the size.

Continue...

Proper training helps keep the “spring” in your step

By Mark J. Triffon, M.D.

After an unusually cold winter, most people are itching to get outdoors and start shedding those winter blahs and the extra pounds that came with them. Sports medicine experts urge athletes and active adults not to work their bodies too hard or too fast.

Whether you are a professional athlete or just trying to stay in shape, remembering the fundamentals of proper training will not only improve athletic performance, but also prevent injury.

Continue...

GET TO THE “CORE” TO IMPROVE YOUR SOCCER SKILLS

By Peter H. Edwards, Jr., M.D.

Power, strength and the ability to avoid injury are all closely related to the least trained area of a soccer player’s body: the core musculature. This area includes the low back abdominal and pelvic muscles as well as the adductors. These central stabilizers control balance and body position as well as improve the soccer player’s ability to overcome potential injuries.

Since targeting this muscle group is not recognized as an essential element of training, most coaches devote little effort to strengthening this area. Similarly, few injuries affect this group directly, resulting in the assumption that training/strengthening the core won’t really prevent injury.

Continue...

GROWING PAINS—ARE THEY FACT OR FICTION?

By Peter H. Edwards, Jr., M.D.

Parents frequently hear their young soccer player’s knee pain is due to “growing pains.” I believe this is a misnomer. Growing, in and of itself, is not painful, nor does it directly result in pain. Physiologic consequences of skeletal growth can lead to a condition such as muscular imbalance that can secondarily become painful, but to lump painful knee conditions into the category of “growing pains” is inaccurate.

Continue...