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Spring Sports Injury Q&A

February 23, 2017
Want to know how to avoid sports injuries? Ask a physical therapist.

As winter turns to spring, people start getting more active. But getting back in the game can cause injuries or bring back pain and discomfort from injuries you thought had faded away over the winter. ABC2 News Good Morning Maryland host Ashley James talked with physical therapist Christina Penny of Active Life Physical Therapy, a provider of choice for outpatient physical therapy in the GBMC system, about what you can do to reduce your risk of getting injured, whether you’re a weekend warrior, daily runner, occasional tennis player, or just trying to improve your health by moving more.

Many of the questions viewers shared were about problems they experienced while running, especially knee pain. Some even wondered if their pain meant running just wasn’t the right activity for them. Christina explained that pain-free running is all about your form, foot placement, and mechanics, something a physical therapist can help you with. From assessing your running form to guiding you through exercises to strengthen your knees and hips, a physical therapist develops a personalized program to help you get the most out of your run while lowering your risk of injury and pain. She also shared tips on how to choose the right running shoe, which can protect not only your feet, but also your knees, hips, and back, and the inside scoop on why planks are the best exercise for runners who want to increase their speed.

In this conversation, Christina also answered questions about when it’s safe to return to play after a concussion. “No two concussions are the same,” she explained. “Symptoms can be delayed even though you feel fine right after the injury, so gradual re-entry into the sport is important.” Also on viewers’ minds, how to prevent hamstring injuries and tennis elbow, whether cortisone shots are a good option for tendon injuries, and why it’s important to listen to your body when doing yoga.

How do you know when it’s time to see a physical therapist? “The sooner you address injuries and problems, the sooner you can get back to your sport,” says Christina. “After a week or two, if you don’t feel better, come see us.”
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