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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sprains, Strains and Contusions How to Recognize and Prevent the Aches and Pains Most Common to Athletic Play

By Mark J. Triffon, M.D.

Athletes of all skill levels are bound to suffer some degree of injury during play or even pre- or postgame. But, what exactly is your ailment and how should you treat it?

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WRIST FRACTURES COMMON AMONG YOUNG SOCCER PLAYERS

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

Young and old soccer players fall numerous times in each game and during practice. But, how canyou tell when a little wrist pain is more than a normal bump or bruise? When is an x-ray needed? These are questions parents frequently ask after their child’s fall results in wrist pain.

A fall on an outstretched hand or “foosh” injury can result in a contusion, a ligament injury, a sprain or a fracture. Differentiating between these injuries can be tricky. Obviously, if you notice a deformity or irregular bump, seek an evaluation from your physician. If a player complains of significant pain with motion of the wrist or resists using the hand and wrist after a fall, a parent should be concerned. If pain is not significantly better in 24-48 hours, an evaluation is needed.

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DOES YOUR LOWER LEG PAIN MEAN YOU HAVE SHIN SPLINTS?

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

“Shin splints” is a commonly used term that most soccer players apply to any pain between the knee and the ankle. Making this assumption is problematic as other causes of leg pain are often not recognized and treated. “Shin splints” is one of five conditions that commonly cause non-injury related leg pain. Other causes include stress fracture, nerve entrapment, tendonitis and exertional compartment syndrome. Treatment for each condition is different, ranging from rest to surgery. Thus, identifying the true cause of the pain is very important.

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TOTAL SHOULDER REPLACEMENT ON THE RISE AS EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR ARTHRITIS

By Joseph Mileti, M.D.

You can perform a total shoulder replacement? Hearing this inquisitive response is not uncommon when the concept of shoulder replacement surgery is presented to a patient or, surprisingly, even a primary care physician. Although not as common as total hip and knee replacements, shoulder arthroplasty has a comparable history and excellent results for patients suffering from shoulder arthritis.

Arthritis can arise in the shoulder for various reasons. Primary osteoarthritis is the most common cause, but the shoulder can be affected by rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, avascular necrosis and arthritis secondary to chronic irreparable rotator cuff tears.

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