We all know how important exercise and physical activity are to good health. But if you’re an active athlete looking to up your game, it’s even more important to add specialized sports medicine care to your team. Think injury prevention, performance training … and a whole lot more.
Here are 7 reasons sports medicine is essential for active athletes.
- Specialization: Unlike general practitioners or ER docs, sports medicine professionals are specially trained to diagnose and treat athletic injuries – especially when it comes to concussions and repetitive motion injuries.
- Rehabilitation: Most sports injuries will require a rehabilitation period with or without physical therapy. This process is vital to recovery, and should never be left to chance.
- Prevention: Sports medicine professionals understand how athletes practice and play, and can offer expert advice on preventing injuries and avoiding re-injury.
- Personalization: It’s all about you! Sports medicine professionals – like our top-notch physical therapy team – can evaluate your anatomical strengths and weaknesses to make personal recommendations for everything from running shoes to training regimens.
- Strength & Mobility: A quality sports medicine program will help athletes focus on individual strength, speed, mobility and agility. Learn more about OI Performance in Sioux Falls.
- “Return to Play” Decisions: If there’s anything a sidelined athlete thinks about, it’s “When do I get back in the game.” Trained sports medicine professionals can help you make this all-important decision at the right time, to reduce the risk or re-injury.
- Teamwork: Active athletes need a sports medicine specialty team that works together – from physical therapists and athletic trainers to board-certified, orthopedic surgeons.
These days, student athletes start playing younger and younger. Wondering if yours needs to be seen for an ache or pain? Read the 4 Reasons a Walk-In Physician is Beneficial for Your Student Athlete.
Being a parent to a student athlete makes for an exciting, busy and sometimes nerve-racking life. Watching your athlete run past home plate, catch the winning touchdown or spike the ball over the net is exciting—but when it comes to sudden injury, your heart probably skips a beat.
Luckily, the services of an orthopedic walk-in clinic can be a big help in remedying this. Here are four reasons why.
Having kids can fill up a schedule fast, but having student athletes can fill up a schedule even faster—especially when it comes to injury. Luckily, orthopedic walk-in offices are often available to you when injuries occur—after regular clinic hours. Orthopedic Institute’s (OI) walk-in hours range from 3 to 7 p.m., weekdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturdays, so you can rest more easily that specialists are ready to care for you student athlete in a timely manner. OI also hosts morning student-athlete clinics on the third floor of its facility Saturdays through Oct. 21, 9-11 a.m. You can check in your student athlete between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.
Prevent Emergency Room Bills
Having student athletes can get expensive—from paying for equipment to the gas to drive them to practice or attend games—but injuries don’t have to be. Emergency room bills are an expense you can sometimes cut by seeing a walk-in physician for non-emergency situations. Sprains and fractures are not uncommon for student athletes and can be treated by one of OI’s walk-in physicians and can save you the ER visit.
Cut the Middleman
While an ER is always available, moderate or non-severe injuries might not get preferential treatment on being seen when emergency medical situations are present in other patients. If you are not the highest-risk patient in the waiting room, you will likely see a longer wait time. And if your student athlete is referred to a specialist, an appointment may not be available for a few days following your ER visit. OI’s walk-in clinic is designed to handle these types of injuries and offer direct contact with an orthopedic specialist when you stop in.
See a Specialist
Speaking of specialists… Two common injuries athletes suffer from are sprains and knee injuries—physicians at OI are specialized in sport injuries, with physicians that can treat ACL and other knee injuries, as well as foot, ankle, hand, wrist, elbow, back, neck, shoulder and knee injuries. When your athlete gets hurt, go somewhere that offers specialization to ideally see a faster recovery time.
An average golfer makes roughly 50-60 full swings per round. Each swing puts our joints near their end range of motion, particularly in the shoulders, spine and hips. If one does not possess the range of motion or strength to do this, then we put ourselves at additional risk of injury – which is why 46% of women suffer from low back pain and injuries from golfing.
Reduce your risk of injury with these essential strength and stability exercises for all golfers—but especially women.
Working with many golfers, healthy and injured, I notice trends in the physical characteristics between male and female golfers. For example, women tend to have much better mobility while men typically possess more strength while lacking range of motion.
Because of this, female golfers usually benefit from strength and stability exercise routines to help their muscles better protect their body while swinging a golf club. A simple warm-up routine (before you touch a golf club) that activates these muscles will have drastic effects on your body’s capabilities.
Use these two simple exercises to increase stability in your back and core, and to help protect your spine while golfing. If necessary, I recommend a physical screen and swing analysis to determine specific areas of emphasis that can improve your golf game and keep your body healthy.
Arm/Leg Floor Stretch
- Start in the quadruped position (all fours) with arms and thighs perpendicular to the floor.
- While stabilizing your spine in a neutral pelvic posture, extend your right leg and left arm simultaneously.
- Make sure your spine stays neutral throughout the maneuver and repeat with the opposite side.
“Y” Exercise Ball Stretch
- Lie on your stomach on top of an exercise ball with your arms out in front of you as though you are making the letter “Y.”
- Raise your right arm and your left leg in the air and hold for 5 seconds.
- Repeat this with the left arm and right leg. Perform 10 reps on each side. This builds the important muscles in the back that will help protect you during your golf swing.
Adam Halseth is a Physical Therapist and Golf Medical Professional with a Level 3 certification from the Titleist Performance Institute. He specializes in sports medicine and golf rehabilitation, and directs the OI Golf Medicine Program. Adam graduated from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2014.
The fall is just around the corner—the student athletes in your family might already have started practices to prep for the upcoming season. But when it comes to staying safe in outdoor practices and games, there are several ways you can outfit your athlete with the right protection.
Here are five pieces of protective gear you should keep in mind.
Athletic glasses aren’t merely for those students who wear contact lenses or traditional glasses in their daily lives—eye protection is a great option for vision safety in general. Ensure you’re using certified sports protective eyewear that meets the standards and rules of the sport in question. Not all sports eyewear is prescribed—you can wear this type of protection to prevent injury or impact and to block out over-exposure to UV rays.
Their requirement in organized sports varies, but any contact-sport athletes should at least consider a mouthguard, whether it’s mandated or not. This level of protection can reduce your risk of tooth chips or breaks, and even cuts on the inside of your mouth. Just make sure that it’s been properly fitted to your jaw—have it fitted by a sports medicine professional for best results.
Many sports, particularly high-impact ones, require use of a helmet for all or part of game time. But if your student athlete’s helmet isn’t properly fitted, it can’t truly do its job to the best of its potential. Make sure the pads inside the helmet, the chin strap and the face mask meet standards set by your state’s athletic board. As far as fit goes, a good rule of thumb is that it should fit relatively snugly without use of the chin strap. Make sure to check for a NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) sticker—it’s the organization that regulates the safety of helmets.
Depending on the sport, joint protection could be critical for you student athlete. This may include the standard elbow and knee pads for resisting injury from tumbles and contact with competitors. Hip and tail pads are required for high-contact sports such as football or hockey and can provide protection from contusions.
Depending on the time of year, one piece of protective gear that may be easy to count out are those that screen out sun exposure. Whether it’s visors or billed hats to keep sun out of eyes in outdoor events or proper application of sunblock, student athletes spend a great deal of time in direct sunlight in practices, games and meets. Reduce the risk of skin cancer and other related complications by planning ahead.
Despite your best efforts, not everyone is in the right shape or at the right life stage for an intense workout every day. But thanks to a wealth of options, you can still get in your regular exercise without engaging in high-intensity, high-impact routines.
Here are four low-impact, effective exercises that you should consider.
No, you don’t have to hop in the next kayak or canoe to get your rowing in. A great low-impact exercise you can do at home or in the gym is making use of the rowing machine. It’s a phenomenal way to work out your full body without putting undue pressure on your knees, ankles and other joints. Take it at your own speed, and work up to more intense workouts. As an added bonus, it can work wonders for your back alignment and posture when done properly. Make sure to consult a certified trainer to ensure you’re using correct form so that you maximize the effectiveness of the exercise and decrease risk of injury.
There are plenty of benefits to making yoga a part of your daily life—flexibility, focus and balance, just to name a few. It also happens to be a low-impact exercise that can still offer up noticeable results in your fitness routine. There is a spectrum of options from which to choose, including relaxation yoga and sculpting yoga—you choose your comfort level, and instructor-led classes can get you started. When it comes to trying something new, safety in numbers can help. Gather some friends for a trial run of a local yoga course.
It’s an action you likely have to do on a semi-regular basis—why not make it part of your exercise routine? Step climbing, whether it’s the staircases in your home, a stair machine or platform you’d use for a step aerobics class, burns ample calories without putting too much stress on your joints. If lunges or squats are out of your wheelhouse, step climbing can be a good replacement exercise with lower impact. And Prevention magazine estimates 45 minutes could clock in at as much as 429 calories burned, on average.
If running is too high-impact for your tastes and walking isn’t quite exciting enough to keep your attention, why not introduce a nature element to the mix? Pick a favorite nearby state park or nature trail, and engage in some hiking. Sometimes adding things such as bird-watching or exploring can make exercise seem like less of a chore. And as long as you wear proper footwear and protect yourself with bug repellent, it’s a great way to get a low-impact walk in without feeling like time is crawling by.
Need Training Guidance?
The Orthopedic Institute team and OI Performance Training and Physical Therapy Sioux Falls , can help you with proper training technique throughout your fitness journey. Click here to learn more about what we can provide.
In recent years, fitness and health have received much more attention when it comes to professional golf. Every golfer on tour has a fitness routine, as well as a comprehensive warm-up prior to tournament rounds. However, the vast majority of amateur golfers have not adopted this idea.
The golf swing takes our bodies to its end limits of motion, while requiring strength and speed throughout. This is not only very challenging, but also creates a lot of opportunity for injuries. Improving the way your body moves and its strength in relation to your golf swing will absolutely improve your ability to swing a club and significantly reduce your risk of pain and injuries.
Below are just a few examples of how fixing your body can improve your golf game.
Listen to Your Body
A vast majority of golfers have aches and pains. Sometimes pain sets in after your round, sometimes it waits until the next morning and sometimes it is evident with every swing. Other golfers may not feel the ache until later in the golf season. Whichever the case, these are warning signs. There is a reason you’re experiencing this, and there is certainly a way to prevent it. Get your aches and pains treated now to prevent further injuries and time lost on the golf course.
Know Your Limitations
This part can be challenging. Do you have poor mobility in your hips, back or shoulders? Is your balance poor? These, among other physical traits, are very important to know when designing your swing. Don’t try to swing like your favorite PGA Tour player—you likely don’t have the same physical qualities. Injuries tend to happen when people try swinging a club in ways in which their bodies aren’t physically able. There are two choices—design your swing around your limitations or improve your physical limitations. A golf medicine provider can design specific exercises and treatments and also consult with your instructor to help you attain a swing that is good for your body and golf game.
Warm Up First
No matter the sport—including golf, warming up is critical. Many players will head the driving range and hit balls before they play and consider that a warm-up. It is not. A majority of injuries, especially in amateurs, can be avoided with a simple warm-up routine. Research also shows that warming up properly can actually improve driving distance! Make sure you feel loose and break a sweat before the first swing, whether it’s on the range or at the first tee.
Start simple—do some squats with no weight, take short jogs—anything to strengthen upper back muscles will get you properly warmed up. Each golfer should develop a specific warm-up routine that works for them, takes no more than 15 minutes and is based on their specific physical limitations.
Golf Medicine at Orthopedic Institute
Orthopedic Institute’s Adam Halseth is the only Titleist Performance Institute Certified Medical Practitioner in the Sioux Falls and surrounding area. He specializes in diagnosing and treating golf-related injuries. Call Orthopedic Institute (605-331-5890) to set up an appointment.