As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at ROC, I witness firsthand the surge in injuries that accompany the start of the spring training season. Athletes, excited to get back into action, often make the mistake of pushing themselves too hard, too soon. Here’s how you can avoid becoming one of those statistics: 

Understanding the Risks: Common Spring Training Injuries 

  • Overuse Injuries:  
    • Paratenonitis (often called tendonitis): Repetitive stress inflames tendons, causing pain and limiting motion. Common areas include shoulders (rotator cuff), elbows, knees, and ankles. 
    • Stress Fractures: Tiny cracks in bones due to rapid increase in training load, especially seen in runners and those in jumping sports. 
  • Acute Injuries:  
    • Sprains: Overstretched or torn ligaments, often occurring in ankles, wrists, or knees. 
    • Muscle Strains or tear: Sudden muscle contraction beyond its usual limit can cause tears in muscle fibers. Hamstrings and calves are common sites. 
    • Dislocations: Bones forced out of their normal joint alignment, commonly seen in shoulders and fingers. 

Prevention is Key: My Top Tips 

  • Gradual Progression: The single most important factor! Slowly increase training time and intensity over weeks, allowing your body to adapt. The ‘10% rule’ is a good guideline. This means you should start training way in advance of when you have an actual event whether a 5k run or the start of a pickup league. 
  • Strategic Warm-ups & Cool-downs:  
    • Warm-ups: Before strenuous activity it is important to increase bloodflow and temperature to the muscles and joints being used. Dynamic stretches (lunges, arm circles) with light cardio prepare your body. 
    • Cool-downs: Static stretches (held for 30+ seconds) help maintain flexibility. Repeat stretching before going to sleep and upon awakening. 
  • Cross-Training: Alternate your main sport with low-impact activities (swimming, cycling) or with activities that use different muscle groups to reduce repetitive stress.  
  • Strength Training: Focus on muscles supporting your sport and core strength for stability and improved performance. 
  • Listen to Your Body: Don’t train through severe or worsening pain. Persistent discomfort warrants an evaluation. 
  • Hydration & Nutrition: Fuel your body with whole foods and stay well-hydrated for optimal energy and recovery. Take a Vitamin D supplement and avoid all nicotine. Low Vitamin D and nicotine use increase your risk for overuse injury and stress fractures. 
  • Don’t Neglect Rest: Adequate sleep (7-9 hours) and dedicated rest days are crucial for tissue repair and are as important as any other training factor. 


The ROC Advantage 

Seeing a sports medicine specialist at ROC before the season starts is a smart move. We can help you: 

  • Identify potential risk factors based on your sport and any injury history. 
  • Develop a personalized training plan to maximize performance and reduce injuries. 
  • Access the latest treatment options should an injury occur, getting you back in action as quickly and safely as possible. 

Schedule Consultation

This season, train smarter. Have a healthy and successful year! 

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a physician or sports medicine specialist for personalized guidance.