February 8th, 2013

Health N

Staff Report

Health N
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Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic shares insight on lacrosse injuries

As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation.

On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Article by: Patrick Thompson and Assumption lacrosse head coach Jason Curran

Lacrosse is one of the most rapidly growing team sports in the United States. It is as popular with girls as it is with boys. This sport combines skills demonstrated in sports like basketball, soccer, and hockey. The difference is the combination of ball handling, passing, and shooting skills required in Lacrosse which make it a unique sport.

Girls vs. Boys

The rules regarding Lacrosse are basically the same for boys and girls although body contact is not allowed in girls play. Frequent injuries are sustained in Lacrosse secondary to contact i.e.: bumps, bruises, fractures, and even contusions. Although there is a ban on contact in girls Lacrosse, the above injuries still occur with the female athlete.

Injuries Common in Lacrosse

“On the women’s side, that I’ve seen, the most common injuries are those that appear in any sport,” Assumption head coach Jason Curran said. “A sprained ankle, a bruised muscle, shin splints, perhaps a jammed finger. Unfortunately, I’ve had a girl fracture her finger and another tear her ACL but I wouldn’t list those as common injuries. Are the common injuries different for men and women? I would guess the “common injuries” are similar with men and women. However, you have to keep in mind the game may be called the same but it’s played completely different. The only similarities between men’s’ and women’s’ lacrosse is the goal, scoring, the objective (to outscore your opponent), and the ball. Heck even the ball is a different color. Men’s lacrosse is a physical game, the rules and equipment they wear speak for that. The women’s game is a more finesse sport.”

Common Lacrosse injuries include: ligament and musculotendinous injury, as well as, ankle and knee sprains occur frequently secondary to cutting and dodging movements. Hamstring muscle strains occur when the muscle is outstretched or forcefully contracted during play. Contusions and rib fractures occur with contact from the Lacrosse stick, as well as, the solid rubber ball.


“Again, play under control and know where the ball is,” Curran said. “You’re telling them “see ball, see girl” all the time. It’s a defensive thing but it’s important for safety reasons as well. Last thing you want is for a defender cutting across the eight or in front of the crease when a girl’s about to rip one at the goal. You’re also teaching them how to fall when taking a charge.”

Protective padding and proper head gear can reduce the severity of the injuries mentioned. Because this sport combines the skills of many other sports, it is also very important to cross train to condition muscles and prevent injury. Although concussions are very rare in Lacrosse, it is always important to contact your local ATC or Sports Medicine Physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.

“In women’s lacrosse the field players are only required to wear protect eyewear (goggles) and a mouth guard,” Curran said. “The goalie is required to wear a helmet with a face mask and a secured chinstrap, a separate throat protector, padded gloves, a mouthguard, and a chest protector. For high school and below the goalie must wear padding on the shins and thighs. The goalie’s helmet must meet the NOCSAE test standard and eyewear has to meet the most current ASTM Specification Standard for women’s lacrosse and be listed on the US Lacrosse web site.”

-Patrick Thompson, P.T.

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic & Sports Rehab Center

Main Office: 502-897-1794

Physical Therapy: 502-897-1790

Website: louortho.com

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Do you have a question or health issue that you would like a Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic Physical Therapist to answer? Please email your questions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.


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