Originally played by Native Americans as early as 1100 CE, lacrosse is part of the Iroquois tradition. Lacrosse was well-documented by Jesuit priests by the 17th century, and it is often referred to as “America’s first sport.” Combining elements of basketball, soccer, and hockey, the high-agility sport is rapidly becoming one of the most popular sports across North America.
Men’s and women’s rules differ significantly, and physical demands vary widely by position. Therefore, it is vital for each player to embark on an individualized training program that addresses both overall conditioning and the most common concerns for his or her position.
Common Lacrosse Injuries
- ACL or MCL tears
- Ankle sprains
- Facial contusions
- Head injuries
- Hip flexor strains
- Knee sprains
- Lower back pain
- Wrist fractures
Which injuries are the most common depends largely on which position is played. For example, attackers use quick and explosive movements that can cause traumatic injuries, while midfielders perform a great deal of running that can lead to overuse injuries.
Common Causes of Lacrosse Injuries
Lacrosse injuries can have many causes. Some of the most common include:
- Imbalances in strength or flexibility across the body
- Improper player to player contact
- Inadequate warm ups
- Insufficient protective equipment
- Poor conditioning
- Repetitive motion
Preventing Lacrosse Injuries
It is impossible to prevent all lacrosse injuries, but a strong off-season conditioning program can help reduce the risks. Players must be careful to incorporate cross-training activities to avoid overtraining specific muscle groups. Other preventive measures include:
- Wearing properly fitted protective gear
- Respecting the rules, particularly those governing physical contact
- Taking rest breaks of at least one day per week and one month per year
- Reporting all injuries, no matter how seemingly minor
Physical Therapy for Lacrosse Players
Physical therapy can be highly valuable for lacrosse players. A full evaluation by an experienced physical therapist can help to identify and correct such underlying concerns such as muscle imbalances or lack of flexibility before an injury occurs.
After an injury, lacrosse players typically want to get back on the field as soon as possible. However, the body has been through a trauma, and it is vital to allow proper healing to occur to avoid reinjury. After medical treatment is finished, physical therapy can give lacrosse players a safe yet aggressive path back to the field, while reducing the risk of further injuries.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are ready to start your physical therapy journey with a team you can trust, contact Raritan Physical Therapy at (732) 662-4400 to schedule your appointment.