Photo by Brian Canniff –

Here at Major League Ultimate, we are athletes just like you.  Our players, coaches and staff are athletes.  We train and compete, and as a result we get injured. Injuries and sports go hand in hand, they are inevitable for an athletic lifestyle.  That being said, there are ways to limit and prevent needless injury, and we’ve asked our friends at Novacare to help us with some tips.

Overuse is one of the biggest issues for ultimate athletes. College and Club tournaments may have you playing seven, eight, maybe even nine games in a weekend.  Add that to your weekly practices, workouts and the occasional tripping over your own feet, and the potential for injury is high. You need to take care of your most important piece of ultimate equipment: your body.

Caitlin Shaw, P.T, DPT, from Novacare’s Oregon Ave center (in Philadelphia, PA) explains how these injuries occur and how they can be prevented and treated.

– Overuse injuries can occur to any muscle or joint when repetitive trauma is introduced. They most often effect those who train “too hard” or “too fast” at the initiation of a sport or activity. Individuals who are returning to a sport or activity and try to make up for lost time by pushing themselves are susceptible to overuse injuries as well.

– Most overuse injuries can be prevented by listening to your body, proper training and using the appropriate equipment. For example, runners should consider replacing sneakers for every 200 miles they run.

– Try pacing yourself and extending your workouts throughout the week instead of one or two days. 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week is the recommendation.

– Treat overuse injuries by cutting back on the intensity, duration and frequency of an activity. Performing proper warm-up activities before and after a workout, using ice for minor aches and pain and using anti-inflammatory medications when necessary are also helpful in treatment.

Maintaining an active and physically fit lifestyle is something that Novacare feels is very important to living a longer and healthier life. Overuse injuries are often the most common result of improper training and can result in injuries such as tennis elbow, runner’s knee, swimmer’s shoulder and shin splints.