Lessons to Avoid Injury After a Long Off Season

With the NBA set to return on Christmas day, sports injury specialists are wondering if the lockout will lead to an increased number of player injuries. While many players probably remained diligent during this extended off-season, it’s very likely that some did not stay consistent in their conditioning.

If you’re active in sports, it’s important to keep fit during your off-season, and even between games. Strong muscles help support your joints, which prevents injury during sports or forceful impact while playing. Here are some things you can do to stay fit during a long off-season:

  • Join recreational sports leagues to stay in shape. Bringing a friend will make it even more fun!
  • Go to the gym regularly and continue working out. Again, bring a friend for accountability.
  • Wear knee braces, ankle braces, elbow braces, etc. – give your joints extra support depending on what’s appropriate for your sport.

Not only can these tips help you perform at your best when it counts, but they may help you stay healthier too!

What is the Difference Between Shoulder Separation and Shoulder Dislocation?

Shoulder separation and shoulder dislocation are often mixed up with one another. They are very similar injuries, but they happen in different locations in the shoulder.

There are two primary joints in the shoulder. The glenohumeral joint is where your upper arm connects with your shoulder. This is also known as the “ball and socket” joint because of the way these structures are shaped. When the ball becomes partially or completely out of the socket, this is known as a shoulder dislocation.

The acromioclavicular joint (also known as the AC joint) is where your shoulder connects with your collarbone. When the structures in this area move too far apart from each other and no longer line up correctly, this is known as a shoulder separation.

Both shoulder dislocation and shoulder separation involve the bones in the area moving too far apart from each other – either partially or completely out of place. Both injuries also often include partially or fully torn ligaments. As you can see, shoulder separation and shoulder dislocation are very similar to one another. The key difference is whether you’ve injured your glenohumaral joint or your AC joint.

DonJoy Lateral J Knee Brace for Patella Stabilization

Patella tracking issues occur when the kneecap glides improperly within the groove at the front end of the femur (thigh bone). This can be caused from a shallow femural groove or if ligaments, tendons and muscles are too tight or too loose. A misaligned kneecap can also cause patella tracking problems.

Kneecap tracking issues can be extremely painful. Luckily, wearing a patella stabilizing brace can help alleviate kneecap pain. One of the best knee braces for patellar stabilization is the DonJoy Lateral J Knee Brace. Watch this video to learn why:

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

Shoulder arthritis is not as common as knee arthritis, but it’s still a very prevalent condition that affects both young and old. It occurs when the cartilage in your shoulder has been worn away or damaged… usually due to an injury or over time. It can also be worn away through rheumatoid arthritis, a disease where your body attacks its own cartilage.

Shoulder arthritis can make it difficult to move your shoulder, especially when reaching over the head. It also may cause pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. As with any injury, your doctor is the best source of advice for diagnosis and treatment. Treatment for shoulder arthritis typically involves physical therapy. Your therapist will work with you to strengthen your shoulder muscles and increase flexibility. Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is also often used, in order to help reduce pain in the area. If your doctor has recommended cold therapy, you may want to check out our shoulder cold therapy products that may assist in your rehabilitation.

Insights on Meniscus Tears

Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She recently tore her ACL and will be sharing her experiences with us as she works towards getting back into sports.

One thing that surprised me about my ACL tear is that I also tore my meniscus. First off, I didn’t think my knee injury was that big of a deal until the MRI revealed my torn ACL. Then I thought that the meniscus was another ligament in my knee. As it turns out, the meniscus is actually cartilage that helps cushion the structures in your knee as you move. During my ACL surgery, my doctor confirmed that my meniscus was torn and repaired it.

I soon learned that tearing a meniscus is fairly common. Meniscus tears can happen during sports or even when performing awkward movements during everyday activities. My physical therapist had her meniscus repaired just last year. She tore hers simply while running downhill – nothing too crazy, but it was enough to do damage to her knee.

Luckily, meniscus tears can be repaired with minimally invasive arthroscopic knee surgery. This can be a surgery on its own, like what my physical therapist had to do, or in conjunction with other knee injuries, as with my ACL surgery. Some meniscus tears even heal on their own, depending on the size of the tear and its location. Regardless, make sure you’re protecting your knees and its structures when you’re playing sports and participating in physical activity. (Hint: Check out these knee braces!)

P.S. If you think you may have torn your meniscus or injured your knee in any way, check with your doctor for the correct diagnosis and treatment.