Category Archives: Sports Medicine

5 Sports Injury Treatments

When you are playing a sport, working out, or engaging in pretty much any physical activity, you may become injured at some point. Sports injuries can be caused by an accident, fall, impact poor training practices, using improper equipment, and lack of conditioning. The most common body parts that get injured during physical activity are the ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, forearm, and wrist. You may experience the following type of injuries in any of those areas:

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Tendinitis
  • Fasciitis
  • Bursitis
  • Dislocation
  • Fractures
  • Contusion
  • Muscle cramps & spasms
  • Cuts and scraps

While the sports injury treatments will vary depending on the type of injury, the following types of sports injury treatments are commonly used to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and promote healing.


The first line of treatment for sports injuries is summed up by the acronym PRICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Protection: When you have a sports injury.  you need to protect the injured body part from further damage. USe bandages, elastic wraps, splints, or braces to immobilize the injured body part. 
  • Rest: You need to rest your injured extremity to give the tissues time to heal. Don’t ignore the symptoms and keep doing the activity that caused the injury or one that irritates it.
  • Ice: Use ice to help control swelling and inflammation. Ice will also help with pain relief when it is applied. Place an ice pack on the affected area for 15-20 minutes every two to three hours. Wrap the ice pack in a towel to protect your skin from an ice burn.
  • Compression: Pressure helps reduce swelling and inflammation. Use an elastic bandage that is snug but not too tight. If swelling develops over time, loosen the compression wrap to accommodate it. 
  • Elevation: Elevate the injured extremity above the level of your heart when possible. This can reduce swelling and inflammation, which may help with pain reduction. Use a pillow or cushion under the injured limb when you are sitting or lying down.

2. Pain Relievers

If the steps of PRICE don’t provide enough relief, you may need us pain relievers. There are over the counter pain relievers that come in cream or balm form that you can apply to the tender spot. Pain relievers in pill form may also help during a sports injury treatment. You can get some like Advil, Tylenol, and Aleve over the counter or your doctor may prescribe one to you.

3. Injections

If topical or oral pain relievers or physical therapy do not provide enough pain relief, your orthopedic doctor may recommend injections for pain reduction. The orthopedic specialist will inject a pain-relieving substance directly into the affected area, usually a joint.  Corticosteroids are the most commonly used injection for sports injury relief. Other injections include hyaluronic acid, platelet-rich-plasma (PRP), and placental tissue matrix (PTM) injections.

4. Physical Therapy

Once you have starting healing and your swelling has gone down, you can start with rehabilitation. Depending on how severe your injury is, you may need to do physical therapy under the care of your doctor and a physical therapist. If you require surgical treatment you will need to go to physical therapy after you have healed from the procedure. 

5. Surgical Procedures

If you do not respond to other treatments or if your injury is severe, you may need to have surgery to repair the injury. The type of surgery used for sports injury treatment is entirely dependent on the type of injury, the severity of the injury, and its location. Surgeries may be done in either an open procedure or a minimally-invasive procedure. Minimally invasive procedures generally have a shorter hospital stay and recovery time than traditional open procedures. 

When to See a Doctor

Some times self-treatment with the PRICE method and over-the-counter medication is sufficient for a minor or superficial sports injury. However, there are times when you should see a doctor. If you have the following symptoms, call to make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist.

  • Difficulty using the injured limb
    • Difficulty walking or lifting your arms
  • Inability to place weight on the injured limb
  • Bleeding or skin injury
  • Limited mobility in a joint
  • Deformity around the injured area
  • Fever, chills, or other signs of infection
  • Headache, dizziness, or confusion following a fall or head injury
  • Loss of consciousness

The team Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine are dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions and injuries. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and a bone health clinic. If you’re having trouble with a suspected strain or sprain, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.

Most Common Types of Running Injuries

Humans have been running for thousands of years, and we’ve been injuring ourselves for all of them. The truth is, running is a high-stress, high-impact form of exercise that can take a serious toll on our muscles, joints, bones, tendons, ligaments, and spine. Here are some of the most common injuries that may arise from running.

1. Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee is usually the result of overuse and can occur when your kneecap gets out of alignment, causing excessive wear and tear on the cartilage in your kneecap. When you’re affected by runner’s knee, you’ll not only experience knee pain when running, but also when squatting, going up and down steps, or after sitting with a bent knee for extended periods of time.

2. Pulled Muscle

A pulled muscle is actually a small tear in the fibers of your muscle, sometimes called a muscle strain. It can be caused by a muscle that is overstretched. When a pulled muscle occurs, you may hear or feel a popping sensation followed by a sharp pain.

3. Shin Splints

Shin splints happen when you experience pain in the shin area, typically around the front or inside of the lower leg area along the tibia bone. They are usually the result of substantial changes to your workout without adequate adjustment periods, such as greatly increasing your running distance or reducing rest periods abruptly. Pain from shin splints may feel similar to a stress fracture; however, the pain from shin splints is usually felt along a more spread out area along the shin. 

4. Achilles Tendinopathy or Tendinitis

Achilles Tendinopathy is when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed, causing stiffness and pain in and around the area of the Achilles tendon. Achilles Tendinopathy is typically the result of excessive and repeated stress to the tendon. Treatment for Achilles tendinopathy usually involves stretching, ice, and rest.

5. Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a band of tissue in the bottom of your feet that goes from your toes to your heel. When the tissue becomes inflamed, it’s referred to as plantar fasciitis. Treatment for plantar fasciitis involves rest, stretches, icing the soles of your feet, and using shoes with good support.

6. Stress Fracture

A stress fracture is a small crack in one of your bones that causes mild discomfort and pain. Runners that develop stress fractures usually develop them in their shins or feet. Similar to shin splints, they can be the result of abrupt changes to your workout without a sufficient adjustment period. If you continue to exercise and put additional strain on the bone that is affected by a stress fracture, it can turn into a more serious injury or fracture.

Contact Paris Orthopedics

If you have experienced an injury as a result of an activity or sport, including running, it is wise to be evaluated by a professional, especially if the pain has not subsided after a few days. Even if you consider your condition to be minor, it may be more severe than what meets the eye.

The experts at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine strive to offer solutions to treat patients and prevent future injury. Whether you are a competitive athlete or a weekend warrior, let Paris Orthopedics help. Contact our office today at 903-737-0000 to schedule an appointment. 

6 Ways to Avoid Workout Injuries

Regardless of whether you’ve exercised for years or are new to it, it’s important to familiarize yourself with how to avoid workout injuries.  After all, workout injuries can deter you from your health and wellness goals and leave you with a great deal of pain and discomfort. Here are six ways to stay clear of workout injuries.

1. Work with a Trainer

If you’re just beginning your fitness journey, it’s a good idea to work with a trainer who can design an individualized routine for you and show you how to perform each exercise correctly. Proper form is the key to injury prevention so a trainer can be an invaluable resource, especially if you haven’t had much experience with exercise in the past. 

2. Warm-Up

Get into the habit of warming up before you begin any exercise routine. This way, you can bring blood flow to your muscles and mentally prepare yourself for the workout to come. Some of the best warm-up exercises include jumping jacks, lunges, squats, and light jogging in place.

3. Switch Things Up

While it may be tempting to do the same exercise routine every day, doing so can wear your muscles out and hinder your results. Instead, switch things up and try to diversify your workouts. For example, one day you can take a cardio class at your local gym while the next day, you can do yoga in your living room.

4. Eat Healthily

The key to strong bones, which can prevent injuries is healthy eating. Be sure to fill your diet with nutrient-rich foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. Stay away from processed foods and sweets as much as possible. Remember, you can’t outrun a bad diet so what you eat matters, regardless of how much you exercise.

5. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is just as important as healthy eating. Every time you work out, make you drink plenty of water. Doing so will ensure that your body receives the vital fluids it needs to make it throughout the entire exercise routine. Keep a water bottle with you so you remember to hydrate.

6. Cool Down

Avoid ending a workout with 50 burpees or a 3-mile sprint. Instead, cool down and gradually lower your heart rate. Try a slow walk or gentle stretching exercises to maintain optimal strength and flexibility. 

Contact Paris Orthopedics

Paris Orthopedic and Sports Medicine provides comprehensive orthopedic and musculoskeletal services for patients of all ages throughout Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma. We offer surgical and non-surgical treatments for a broad range of bone, muscle, and joint problems, including broken bones. Contact our office today at 903-737-0000 for more information or to schedule an appointment with a physician.

How To Avoid Shoulder Pain While Golfing

For most people, the game of golf is one that is traditionally played to relax. The ability to go play nine to eighteen holes, regardless of age, can be just what you need to recharge, disconnect or even blow off some steam.

Common Golf Injuries

Whether competing with others or trying to top their previous personal best, golfers sometimes have the tendencies to overdo shots or maybe give a little more than what is actually left in the tank. This increases the risk of injury, with the shoulder being the most susceptible.

Additionally, many golfers have come to understand that one cannot become competitive or even proficient at the game without playing regularly. For those who play routinely, chronic injuries are a very real and daunting possibility. Most golf injuries are the result of muscular imbalances, overuse or poor mechanics. 

Golf is unique among competitive sports in that the action of swinging the club offers relatively little risk for acute, or immediate, injuries. However, one of the areas most at risk for injury are the shoulders. 

Most commonly, individuals will experience pain of the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a combination of four separate muscles that act to support and direct certain shoulder movements on a smaller level than muscles such as the deltoids and trapezius. As they are commonly used in movements such as throwing a ball or hitting a tennis ball, they share a similar function to stabilize and move the shoulder when hitting a golf ball.

Cartilage in the shoulder joints may also be affected by repetitive golfing as it does produce some degree of stress on the joints, especially on drives and other powerful swings. In the backward strokes, the acromioclavicular joint on the back shoulder experiences some degree of stress while the glenohumeral joints of both shoulders are stressed through varying degrees of rotation on both the backswing and front swing. This may cause shearing at the cartilage around the labrum in both shoulders, causing pain. 

Tips To Avoid Shoulder Pain While Golfing

  1. Warm-Up

Just as a baseball pitcher or a soccer player would, it is important to warm-up all parts of the body that will be used in activity prior to starting. This may include both static and dynamic shoulder, trunk, and hip stretches in order to activate the muscles that will be worked while playing.

  1. Use Proper Form

Incorrect form is the most common precursor to one developing chronic injuries. Improper form often leads to compensations along the kinetic chain, forcing certain muscles to work harder to pick up the slack for others. Working with a skilled golf coach can help minimize the risk of such injuries as well as improve one’s game. 

  1. Strengthen the Shoulder

The shoulder complex, especially the rotator cuff, should be engaged in a proper strengthening program to avoid energy. This is something common to all athletes and golfing should be no different. Specific focus should be on deceleration stabilizers at the shoulder.

  1. Recognize When to Seek Help

Golf is a game that is meant to be enjoyed. If your shoulder pain is preventing you from doing what you love, it is advisable that you take to you consult with your physician to figure out an approach that will get you back in the game. 

We can all expect to experience a little discomfort after a long day on the course. However, when this discomfort progresses to pain and does not give way within a few days, it is time to seek counsel as soon as possible to diagnose any underlying shoulder pathologies that may be holding you back. 

At Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, no injury is too large or too small. Whether you are a weekend warrior or competitive athlete, our experts strive to offer solutions to treat patients and prevent injury. Call (903) 737-000 to schedule an appointment.

4 Ways to Prevent Water Sports Injuries

As spring turns to summer, people flock to their favorite beach or lake for a little rest and relaxation as well as some fun in the sun. While water sports are nothing new, it seems that each year they get more and more intense with new devices and accessories always hitting the market like the increasingly popular water jet packs that look.

The problem is that activities that are supposed to be fun and relaxing, like water skiing or wakeboarding, can take a sharp turn if injuries occur. Here are four ways to help prevent water sports injuries so you can make the most of your time on the water:

  1. Know Your Limits

When engaging in new watersports, it is easy to look at them with a degree of ease and not understand just how taxing they may be or how much physical exertion is required. This is especially important for sports such as water skiing and jet skiing in which a high velocity may be involved, requiring extreme body control.

Like any sports, it is best to learn the basics before progressing to more advanced and challenging stages. While it may seem like a good idea to “go big or go home” while on vacation with friends, it is essential to treat one’s body with respect, paying attention to limits and understanding the consequences of not doing so.

  1. Don’t Forget to Warm-Up

Just like going for a run or engaging in other strenuous physical activity, loosening up the muscles and getting the blood flowing prior to activity may help to prevent muscle pulls and ligament strains by preparing the central nervous system for exercise. A light bout of stretching is better than nothing, but performing a small dynamic warm-up is best. This includes getting in the water to swim and move around a bit so your body can adjust to the temperature.

You never run a marathon without warming up and participating in water sports is no different.

  1. Use the Buddy System

Freak accidents happen each and every day. When they do occur, especially in the water, it is necessary to have another trusted individual, preferably someone trained in water rescue, to be there in the event things go awry. While it may seem like an unnecessary precaution to have a lifeguard present while wakeboarding, it is far better to have someone there and not need them opposed to the opposite.

Having someone nearby to assist if needed can help reduce the risk of extensive injuries following a water sports accident due to a timely response rate. Even if a lifeguard is not present, even having a friend who can recognize an issue or call EMS is a far better option than being alone.

  1. Wear Protective Equipment

Regardless of the intensity of water sport activity you’re participating in, wearing a life jacket is suggested even for strong swimmers. Any time water is involved, drowning is always a risk. Wearing a jacket, especially when on any form of vessel, will be extremely beneficial in the event one falls off and potentially hits their head, causing possible confusion or even a lack of consciousness.

Additionally, wearing a helmet may be advised for a number of watersports. While its use may not fully prevent a concussion, it does have the ability to help protect the head from the trauma associated with high impact, high-velocity sports.

When to Seek Help

Despite your best efforts to prevent water sports injuries, accidents can still happen. If you suffer an injury, the experienced team at Paris Orthopedic specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of some of the most common water sports injuries such as strains, sprains and fractures. To request an appointment, call (903) 737-0000.

What’s the difference between ACL and MCL tears?

Knee injuries rank among the most common sports-related injuries. Whether you play high school football, hit tennis balls on the weekends or enjoy jogging or hiking to clear your mind, anyone is at risk of injuring their knee at any age.

As weight-bearing joints that endure a lot of impact, participation in sports is not a prerequisite for knee injury. you don’t even have to participate in substantial physical activity to injure your knees. And as we age, the risk only increases.

Two of the most common knee-related injuries are ACL and MCL tears. Though you’ve undoubtedly heard the acronyms used before, what’s the difference between them? Understanding how these injuries occur can help you take steps to prevent them or at least reduce the risk of getting hurt.

Understanding the Knee Ligaments

The first step to understand the difference between ACL and MCL tears is to first understand the complexities of the knee.

While there are four major knee ligaments, the two most common injuries involve either the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

The MCL serves the purpose of providing medial stability to the inside of our knee and the ACL prevents anterior, or forward, translation of the tibia. It is very possible to injure both ligaments, in addition to other important structures in the knee, at the same time.

Roughly 70% of ACL injuries are non-contact related that involve sudden deceleration such as cutting, pivoting or landing on one leg. Sports that often require these types of movement include basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, downhill skiing, lacrosse, and tennis. This type of injury can also happen as a result of a direct blow to the outside of the leg or knee.

The MCL is torn by a force to the lateral side of the leg, forcing the ligament to tear as the femur and tibia are separated in the joint line. This can happen playing contact sports such as football, sports that quick stops and turns such as soccer or basketball, or even a non-sport related slip and fall. MCL tears can also occur as a result of repeated stress, which causes the ligament to lose its normal elasticity much like a worn-out rubber band.

Difference Between ACL and MCL Tears

These ligaments differ most based on their location in the knee joint. The MCL is a superficial ligament that is surrounded by the musculature of the medial knee. The ACL, however, is deep within the knee and stands as the main stabilizer of the joint because it has no muscle directly surrounding it.

When the ACL tears to any extent, the stability it provides to the knee is completely compromised, causing a great deal of instability that makes activities like running and walking downstairs very difficult.

The MCL does provide additional stability but the joint does not suffer greatly without it, as long as the demands of the individual do not require a great deal of stability on the medial aspect of the knee. Activities that require this additional support for proper function are usually athletic in nature, such as kicking a ball.

Signs and Symptoms

One of the most common signs of a knee ligament tear is hearing an audible “pop.” Even if you don’t hear this sound, you can typically feel a sudden shift in the joint. Other common symptoms of an ACL or MCL tear include:

  • Knee instability
  • Swelling
  • Pain, which can range from mild to severe
  • Tenderness
  • Feeling that the injured knee may give way under stress
  • Feeling that the injured knee may lock or catch

Severity of ACL and MCL Tears

Both are extremely painful but may result in a number of different treatment options, depending on the severity of the tear.

A ligament tear is classified according to the following criteria:

  • Grade 1 – stretching of the ligament
  • Grade 2 – partial tearing of the ligament
  • Grade 3 – complete rupture of the ligament

A grade 1 or grade 2 tear of the ACL may be surgical but can be treated non-operatively, at times, with conservative rehabilitative interventions. In most cases, an MCL tear will not warrant surgery unless it is a full grade 3.

How ACL and MCL Tears are Treated

The type of treatment required for ACL or MCL tears will depend on a variety of factors including the severity of the tear, age, and personal medical history.

If you take the necessary steps in allowing a torn ACL or MCL ligament to heal, in some cases surgery may be avoided. However, if the injury is severe enough, there is always the possibility that surgery will be necessary.

For an MCL tear, the first step in the healing process is rehabilitation, or physical therapy. Therapy can take two or more months before the ligament is fully healed. It’s important to be patient and not rush this process, otherwise, you may risk further damage or reinjury.

An ACL injury is more complex due to the fact there are multiple ligaments within the ACL. In more than half of injuries involving an injured ACL it won’t heal by itself and will often require surgery, with an estimated 350,000 ACL reconstructions performed annually in the United States. During this procedure, called ligament reconstruction, tendons from the patellar or hamstring are used to reconstruct the ACL ligament. The recovery time for this type of surgery is 8-12 months.

When to Seek Help

Knee injuries are very common when it comes to all sports and physical activities, but most cases aren’t serious. Identifying a severe knee injury and acting quickly by having a sports medicine physician look at it can make all the difference when it comes to getting you back on your feet and minimizing the risk of further damage.

The signs and symptoms of an ACL or MCL tear are not always the same, so it is important to see a doctor if you experience knee pain or swelling that lasts more than 48 hours, trouble standing or walking on the affected knee, inability to support your weight on the affected knee, or noticed a deformed or odd appearance of one side of the knee compared to the pain-free side. If you experience any of these symptoms, call Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at (903) 737-0000 to schedule an appointment today.

Tips for a Safe Youth Sports Experience

Spring is just around the corner and that means spring sports season.

In the United States, there are an estimated 30 million children and teens that participate in some type of sport and for good reason. There are numerous benefits including physical fitness, developing lifelong healthy habits, improved school performance and reduced risk of drug and alcohol abuse. Playing sports can also help boost self-esteem, teach discipline, build character and help develop social skills. However, as participation levels increase, so does the risk for injury.

Injuries from organized and unorganized sports account for 775,000 emergency room visits annually for children ages 5-14 and sports-related injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits in 12-17-year-olds. Perhaps the more important figure to note is that an estimated half of all childhood sports-related injuries can be prevented.

So how can parents help maximize the potential benefits while reducing the risk of injury? Here are some tips for creating a safe youth sports experience:

1. Choose the Right Sport

It’s important to choose the right sport for your child’s age, physical traits and maturity, and personal interest. Different sports vary in their demand for certain kinds of physical traits. Does your child have the strength, height, flexibility, endurance, or other traits needed to start a particular sport? Is their body mature enough to handle the stressors associated with that sport? Of course, certain traits can be developed through strengthening and conditioning, but there will be some level of predisposition to a particular sport or type of sports. For team sports, make sure children are grouped and matched up based on skill level, weight and physical maturity–especially for contact sports.

2. Get a Preseason Physical

Generally, a sports physical is a requirement for participation in youth sports through schools, recreational leagues, and other organizations. If for some reason it is not required, it is important to get one anyway. Preseason psychical exams are the best way to get an overall picture of your youth athlete’s health. It can help identify any issues that could hinder your child’s athletic performance or that could be detrimental to your child’s safety. In some cases, a sports physical can be completed by your child’s pediatrician in conjunction with his or her annual well-child visit. This health assessment can help prevent serious injuries resulting from a health issue that otherwise may have gone undiagnosed.  This is also an opportune time to make sure your child is current on all immunizations.

3. Get to Know the Coaches

Just as you should build a relationship with your child’s teachers, you should also get to know his or her coaches. How long have they been working with children? What is their experience with the sport? Are they qualified to administer first-aid? Is their CPR-certification up to date? Will there be athletic trainers on hand during practices and games or competition? In order to have a safe youth sports experience, you and your child should both feel comfortable with the coach and any support staff.

4. Inspect the Environment

Ensure that playing fields and environments are safe, clean and well-maintained. Areas should be well-lit and free of tripping hazards, holes, exposed sprinklers and broken glass. Are there nearby restrooms and adequate access to first aid? Is equipment in good, working order? Do heating and cooling systems function properly? For other areas to consider, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s guide for creating healthy environments for youth athletes.

5. Invest in Proper Equipment

One of the contributors to youth sports injuries is incorrect or ill-fitting gear and equipment. This includes protective equipment such as pads and helmets, but also apparel and footwear. Replace these items in a timely manner if they become damaged, show signs of excessive wear or your child outgrows them. Additionally, for most sports jewelry can be a safety hazard. Teach your child to leave these items at home, in their bag or in their locker.

6. Stress the Importance of Hydration

Hydration is one of the most important things you can do to promote a safe youth sports experience. As a child exercises, his muscles generate heat, raising his body temperature. When the body gets hot, it sweats. The evaporating sweat cools the body. If the child does not replace the water lost through sweating by drinking more fluids, the body’s water balance will be upset and the body may overheat. To prevent dehydration, your child should drink fluids before, during and after exercise. Though water is ideal, fluids containing salt such as sports drinks have been shown to significantly increase voluntary drinking. Don’t be afraid to speak to your child’s coach about what protocols they have in place to prevent dehydration and heat-related illnesses.

7. Use Food as Fuel

Teaching children that the body is fueled through proper nutrition helps set them up for lifelong healthy habits. This also helps ensure they’ll receive the adequate calories, vitamins and minerals in order to exert the amount of energy required by youth sports. It’s equally important to fuel the recovery phase after intensive or extended physical activity. A mixture of carbohydrates and protein can help repair and restore tired muscles.

8. Promote that Winning Isn’t Everything

More than 54% of athletes have reported playing even though they were injured. In many cases, not speaking up about pain or a seemingly minor injury is due to fear of failure or disappointment, but left untreated even the most minor aches and pains have the potential to become serious. It’s important for your child to understand that his or her safety is your number one priority–not winning or their potential athletic future.

9. Learn How to Fall

For most sports, part of learning how to prevent common sports injuries includes learning how to safely stop or how to fall. Doing so can help minimize the impact and severity of injury. For a gymnast, this might mean learning how to tuck and roll. For a baseball player, it might include learning how to properly slide to home plate. Each sport is different.

10. Have a Plan

Despite best efforts to prevent them, accidents and injuries do happen. Participating in youth sports or any physical activity increases the risk, so it’s important to know what to do if your child does get injured.

Contact Paris Orthopedics

The team at Paris Orthopedics specializes in providing care and prevention for a variety of sports and activity-related injuries for children, teens, and adults. Our knowledgeable team of providers works together to diagnose and treat sport and activity-related injuries while counseling patients on the correct training and best practices that can significantly reduce their risk of further or recurring injury.

If your child has experienced an injury as a result of an activity or sport, call (903) 737-000 to schedule an appointment right away. Proper diagnosis and timely treatment can make the difference in sitting out for a game versus sitting out for the season.

9 Tips to Prevent the Most Common Running Injuries

Running can be hard on the body, but for many, the physical and mental health benefits far outweigh the potential risks. From shin splints and stress fractures to hamstring issues and Achilles tendonitis, these nine tips can help you prevent the most common running injuries.

  1. Invest in proper footwear: Don’t make the mistake of letting sticker shock deter you from investing in proper footwear. It’s best to visit a specialty running store to help you achieve the best fit for your individual body and needs. You should have a little wiggle room around the toes while your foot fits snug in the heel. It’s also equally important to maintain your running shoes. Avid runners should replace their shoes around every six months or every 400-600 miles.
  2. Find the right surface: High-quality, properly-fitting running shoes will only get you so far. If possible, avoid running on concrete. Instead, opt for surfaces that absorb the shock rather than passing it along to your legs. If you can’t find grass, dirt trails or a rubberized running track, even asphalt is a better alternative. But, keep in mind that a sudden change in the running surface can also cause injury so transition over time versus all at once.
  3. Stretch it out: This may be obvious, but hands down one of the best ways to prevent any injury to the body are to keep it loose and limber. The more flexible you are, the better your range of motion and the less likely you are to get injured. Stretch both before and after your run. You may also want to consider taking up yoga on the days that you don’t run to further improve your flexibility and balance.
  4. Consider strength training: Maybe you’re a runner because you don’t like traditional gym workouts, but the stronger your muscles are the better they are able to support your joints. Added benefits of strength training include improved muscle tone, endurance and bone density. If the gym isn’t your thing, you can lift weights at home or use everyday household objects to help you build muscle.
  5. Take your time: If your goal is to run a 10K but the furthest you’ve run is around the block, don’t expect to run six miles right out of the gate. There’s no harm in taking it slow, especially when you’re starting out. In fact, starting with shorter runs and gradually increasing your distance over the course of several weeks is the best way to prevent running injuries.
  6. Posture matters: When you’re running, it’s easy to think about your legs and feet. But, it’s also important to pay close attention to your upper body. Get in the habit of checking your posture every so often throughout your run. Are you staying upright with your shoulders back and relaxed? If not, raise your shoulders to your ears then drop them back down to a relaxed position. This can help you avoid lower back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as improve your breathing.
  7. Keep your head up: Maintaining your form is critical to preventing running injuries, and this includes your head positioning. Too far forward and you’ll experience neck and back pain, too far back and you may strain your neck muscles. Keep your head in line with your shoulders and hips.
  8. Don’t forget to rest: If you aren’t feeling 100%, consider skipping your run. Sure there are some days where you’ll have to talk yourself into getting out of bed for your morning run when the temperatures cool down or maybe you stayed out too late the night before. But, what we’re talking about here is listening to your body when it’s telling you it needs a break. Taking time off each week can help you avoid the most common running injuries and prevent the fatigue that occurs when you push your body too hard, too fast.
  9. Ask an expert: If you think your running form could use some help or you need advice about best practices to train for a race, consider reaching out to a professional. Your physician can refer you to a physical therapist who can help you avoid or recover from injury.

Contact Paris Orthopedics

Maintaining an active lifestyle is important, but with it also comes the risk of suffering from a condition as a result of injury, disease, or the normal process of aging, disuse, or overuse.

Despite all of your best efforts to avoid them, the bottom line is that injuries can still happen–especially with the overuse and repetitive motion that occurs with frequent running. If you are experiencing chronic pain or injured yourself while running, schedule an appointment with Paris Orthopedic today. Our team of experts specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of running-related injuries and conditions including knee ligament and tendon tears, ACL injuries, tendonitis, meniscus injuries and more.

How to Prevent High School Sport Injuries with Good Nutrition

Now that it’s time for your high schooler to get back to sports, it’s important to educate yourself on how they can prevent high school sport injuries. One of the best ways to keep your teen healthy and injury-free is to promote good nutrition. Here are several tips that are essential for injury prevention and improved performance:

Stay Hydrated

Your teen should get into the habit of drinking plenty of water throughout the school day. This way, they are hydrated and ready to go when it’s time for practice or a competitive game. Staying hydrated will reduce their risk of headaches, fatigue, mental confusion, heat illness, and injury.

Eat Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel are vital for your high school athlete. While they are known to keep the heart in good shape, research has proven that omega-3s may also protect against concussions and other serious head and brain injuries.

Opt for a Pre-Game Snack

Before any practice or game, encourage your teen to eat a pre-game snack. Some examples of excellent pre-game snacks which are portable and okay to keep in a backpack or locker include homemade trail mix, fruit, pretzels, and granola bars. Pre-game snacks can provide energy for your teen’s working muscles and reduce their risk of high school sport injuries as a result.

Eat Immediately After a Game

Eating after a practice or game is just as important as eating before. A grilled chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread, salmon with steamed veggies, or an egg sandwich with a bowl of fruit are all great options. Proper post-game nutrition can help your teen’s body recover and prepare for the next time they play.

Avoid Fast Food

It may be tempting for your teen to stop into a local fast food joint after a game. While this is convenient, it can be very detrimental to their health. Regular fast food consumption may lead to unhealthy weight gain, weak bones and muscles, heart problems, diabetes, and the increased risk of high school sport injuries.

Choose Foods & Beverages with Vitamin D

Vitamin D can improve bone health as well as mood and cognition. Your high schooler should try to get 400 to 800 units of vitamin D each day. Foods such as cheese, eggs, milk, almonds, and tofu all contain vitamin D.

Contact Paris Orthopedics

Despite your teen’s efforts to eat healthy, they may experience an injury while playing a high school sport. If this occurs, contact us right away to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists.