Banner Fort Collins Medical Center

WIN 2017

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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28 Fort Collins Medical Center T he underlying goal of every athlete isn't a medal or bragging rights – it's injury prevention. Easier said than done, right? Sometimes accidents and falls just happen, like when someone cuts you off on a ski slope or a hazard pops up on mountain bike trail. Those traumas can't always be avoided. However, some injuries are caused by training error, and those we can sidestep with planning. Things like weak core muscles, overuse of a specific joint or muscle group, or pushing too hard too fast can defeat you before you ever step up to the starting line. Based on advice from the orthopedic and sports medicine physicians at Banner Health Clinic, here's how to take steps to make sure your adventures are as safe for your body as possible. The Basics STRETCH "You can't stretch enough," says Daniel Heaston, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Banner Health Clinic. "As you start to get older, stretching is a key part of prevention." Colleen Dupuis, MD, Banner By Corey Radman It's a whole lot easier to prevent an injury than to rehab from one. Just ask the orthopedic and sports medicine physicians of Banner Health Clinic. Health Clinic primary care sports physician adds, "Don't stretch cold. Always make sure you warm up before you stretch. Make sure your muscles are kind of warm and ready to go." So, do a couple minutes of light activity, then stop and stretch. Get those tendons loosened up. Then delve deeper into your exercise routine so you don't pull or tear a stiff tendon. When you're done, stretch even longer and deeper to prevent stiffness after your workout. TRAIN Some people are more predisposed to knee ligament problems than others. Garrett Snyder, MD, another Banner Health Clinic orthopedic surgeon, says that's especially true for women, whose hips tend to be broader and the femoral notch (base of femur in knee) is more narrow, meaning the chance of tearing an ACL is higher. Plus, ligaments in general tend to loosen up around periods, adding another potential injury factor. Dr. Snyder says, "Prevention for knee injury, no matter your gender, is core stabilization. Also, pay attention to jumping mechanics, like for basketball. Make sure you're landing properly so you don't create unbalanced forces in your knee." In addition to core stability for balance and jumping mechanics, athletes can support their knees by strengthening their hips and thighs. Add lunges and squats to your workout for that, or get into the weight room. Especially for sports that require swift directional changes, train your knees to plant and pivot correctly during workouts. For example, run to a line then run back. Pay attention to your joint alignment when you plant your foot on the turn. Don't let your knee collapse inward to change direction. Always remember, hips over knees over ankles. Age-Related Complications TISSUE CHANGES When we reach age 40 and beyond, the bodily changes are distinct. All our connective tissues receive less oxygen and are therefore slower to heal and more easily injured. Dr. Heaston says, "Speaking as someone who is 40, there is a huge swing at that age. The anatomy changes. The quality of the tissue is not as healthy. You don't bounce back as quickly. If you don't change your Athletic "Don't stretch cold. Always make sure you warm up before you stretch. Make sure your muscles are kind of warm and ready to go." Colleen Dupuis, MD, Banner Health Clinic primary care sports physician PREVENTING Injuries

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