Fall sports injuries: Sprains, strains and contusions, oh my!


A few common methods for treating injuries and helping an athlete recover are an ice pack, kinesiology tape and a walking boot.

Athletes have their hands full with keeping up their diets, physical conditions and attending practices or games daily. One accident can cause a screeching halt, though. Injuries are very common and vary between each sport.

“(I see) five to ten people (a day), usually after school,” athletic trainer Bill Coburn said.

While some teams have little to none injuries, other teams are often seen in the fieldhouse with Coburn. For example, the cross country team has an extensive amount of injuries.

“Since we have such a large cross country team, (I see many) shin splints,” Coburn said.

Shin splints are pain along the shin bone. They are caused by overworking the muscles, tendons and bone tissues.

Sophomore Olivia Steadman knows a thing or two about shin splints. She is one of the many cross country runners to acquire them.

“I put ice on my shins and tape my arches to recover,” Steadman said. “They put pre-wrap on my foot to make sure I do not get blisters from the adhesive tape.”

Freshman Olivia Toland has had an injury keeping her out of field hockey for weeks. During pre-season, she slipped and broke her arm. She has slowly been regaining her muscle strength through exercises her doctor has given her.

“I still got to learn a lot I hadn’t known before (while sitting out),” Toland said. “I would rather play than sit and watch everyone else.”

In volleyball, one of the most common injuries is a sprained ankle. With all the jumping and quick, short movements on the court, it is easy to get hurt. Athletes can roll an ankle if they land on another player’s foot when they land from blocking or hitting. A few girls from the volleyball team wear ankle braces for support because they have injured either one or both of their ankles in the past.

“After I injured myself the first time, I got super scared to do it again,” junior Sarah Barham said. “Getting my ankles taped makes me more confident and (makes me) play hard.”

Coburn also regularly treats ankle and thumb sprains, as well as contusions. From minor to major injuries, it is important to know how to prevent them.

“Stretching is important because you have to get prepared to play at your best,” junior field hockey player Grayson Fidishun said. “It’s an athlete’s responsibility to have their body ready to go.”