Running season has arrived and a lot of you wanted to hit the ground running, but instead, you hit the ground hurting…hurting on the outside of your knee. If that’s the case, you could have iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) or IT band syndrome for short. IT band syndrome is an overuse injury that is common in endurance athletes like runners and bikers. It affects a tissue that runs from the side of your hip all of the way down past your knee. Most of the time, the inflammation manifests itself as pain on the outside of the knee. It can be incredibly painful and is typically a frustratingly stubborn injury to deal with.
Plantar fasciitis can be a real pain in the foot. Plantar fasciitis is the medical term for inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. If you’ve ever had pain in the bottom of your foot with the first few steps out of bed in the morning, you’ve probably had some experience with this painful condition. (more…)
It’s baseball and softball season and that means three things to me as an athletic trainer: hot dogs, bleachers and shoulder pain. While all three of those cause discomfort in their own way, I find shoulder pain to be the most pertinent to be addressed by my skill set. I’ve found that a majority of shoulder pain stems from a few of the following avoidable mistakes made by overhead athletes. (more…)
For many, the term ‘athletic trainer’ brings about the image of a polo and khakis clad person standing on the sidelines taping ankles, stretching players, or evaluating injuries. While these ideas may be accurate, there is a lot more to the profession than that. As healthcare professionals, athletic trainers are well-versed in the evaluation and treatment of a wide range of injuries, conditions, and issues. This can encompass everything from a sprained ankle to cardiac arrest to an emotional problem. Here are 5 things you may not have known about athletic trainers. (more…)
For a team that has a hooved mascot, the Bulls have had their fair share of toe injuries. One particular injury, turf toe, has reared its ugly head more than a few times over the past few seasons. I know what you’re thinking. Why is an injury that happens on the court called turf toe and not court toe? Well, since this injury was initially common due to the nature of early versions of artificial turf, it quickly got its alliterative name “turf toe” even though it can happen on any surface. Luckily, modern artificial turf has improved to a point that it no longer carries an increased risk of this injury, but the name has stuck around. (more…)
The off-season. For some teams, it seems to come too quickly too often. While this may have somewhat negative connotation for fans, for athletes the off-season is a necessary part of the training cycle. With year-round sports and athletics becoming more prevalent, the incidences of injuries due to overuse are increasing, especially in youth athletics. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with specializing in one sport year-round, it does present a problem when there is no time taken to let the body properly recover. (more…)
The thumb: It has allowed humans to develop into the most dominant species on the planet. Without it, we wouldn’t have the Mona Lisa, the Seven Wonders of the World, or quarterbacks that can complete a pass while scrambling out of the pocket when their protection breaks down. You can see just how important the “lone wolf of the hand” is in life and sports, and when Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was sidelined by a thumb injury, I started getting a lot of questions about thumb injuries in athletics. They’re fairly common in sports since the thumb is separate from the other fingers, exposing it to some unique injuries. Lucky for you, my background allows me to explain what a couple of the more common injuries are. (more…)
Ankle sprains are generally regarded as the most common sports-related injury and are, consequently, the #1 reason for lost time in athletics. In fact, it’s estimated that 1 in 17 high school athletes will suffer an ankle sprain per season. Yikes! Those are better odds than a lot of games in Vegas. As an athletic trainer, injury prevention is my top priority, so I’ve come up with a list of 5 ways to reduce your chance of experiencing (or re-experiencing) an ankle sprain. (more…)