Over 80 percent of the injuries that I see in my professional practice are non-contact. No collision happens. These include broken bones, torn ACLs, torn labrum, the whole works. And it's not just me and what I see. I'm not the outlier. Just to give you an idea of how prevalent these are, 85 percent of ACL injuries in professional football, according to the National Trainers Association, are non-contact—and they play a contact sport. We don't even play a contact sport. So the chances are pretty good, even if you have had a severe injury, it's non-contact.
DID YOU HEAR THAT??? OVER 80 PERCENT ARE NON-CONTACT.
That means that OVER 80 PERCENT OF OUR INJURIES ARE 100 PERCENT PREVENTABLE. Next week we are going to talk about how to prevent them, but this week we are going to talk about how to treat them. But first, let's do a quick review of contact injuries.
We all know what to do about a contact injury from the last post!
Step 1: REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, and ELEVATION
Step 2: Condition the injured area and the rest of your body to get back into your sport!
Step 3: Plug back into your sport.
Game is tied 0-0 and you're the home team. You hit what should be a double, but on your way to second base, it's going to be a close play. You dive into second base but collide with the shortstop. You feel your ankle twist and can feel that it's swelling. The trainer rushes out and takes care of the acute injury, applying ice and compression. You sit the rest of the short game watching your running mate come in and score the game-winning run. Now you're at home dealing with injury, but it's totally worth it because your team won!
RICE those injuries: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. And while you're on your couch RICEing it, get rid of the potato chips. Eat good, nutritious whole food; eat your leafy greens and drink your body weight in ounces to give your body the nutrients it needs to recover. Eating potato chips while you're trying to recover is like running down your street while holding your breath. You are depriving your body of nutrients. You might get to your destination, but not nearly as fast as if you're an efficient breather. Give your body a chance to recover the quickest.
Now we are going to switch gears and talk about 4 steps to heal those non-contact injuries.
I'm not good enough at math to tell you what the probability is that you will have a non-contact injury that takes you out of your sport, but I do know there's a pretty good chance, so listen up so you know what to do. I recently re-took my CPR class, and looking around at the class, I was wondering how many of the folks in the class just took it for requirements, will pass the test, and will have no idea next month what to do in the case of a breathing emergency. I was thinking to myself, I sure hope people are paying attention so someone knows what to do if I collapse. I can't save myself. Don't be caught sleeping and assume it will never happen to you because the statistics are not in your favor. Probably most of your orthopedic injuries aren't life or death, but they can save you a lot of money by paying attention to a few simple steps.
Here's the Big 4 steps if you are currently experiencing a non-contact injury.
Step 1: REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, and ELEVATION (look familiar?)
Step 2: Find the problem that's causing you to overload the tissue that is giving you pain. Under every pain problem, there's a strength issue somewhere. Sometimes it's at the area of pain, but most of the time, it's someplace else. Hint: your movement indicators listed above can cue you into where the problem might be. An ankle problem can cause hip pain. A hip problem can cause elbow pain in your throwing motion.
Step 3: Condition the injured area and the rest of your body to get back into your sport!
Step 4: Plug back into your sport.
The second step above is the key difference in recovering from a non-contact injury. Finding that root strength problem will save you from repeated injuries. Find the problem, specifically the strength problem, and fix it.
Now you know what to do if you are experiencing any injury, contact or non-contact, but did you know that we can predict non-contact injuries? Stay tuned for next week when I reveal 5 leading indicators that you might be headed for one of these non-contact injuries.