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Athletes, Both Young and Old, Can Make the Right Choice for Care if Injured on the Sideline of Life

By Kelly Shannon, Copiah County Medical Center

Whether you are a current student athlete making the perfect plays this fall or you're a veteran athlete replaying those good ole days and plays through storytelling, one fact holds true for both regardless of age: we are all prone to injury, says Dr. Linsey Hood, PT, DPT, who is the Director of Rehab Services at Copiah County Medical Center (CCMC).

So, what's the main cause of injury in most sports? Overuse or repeated motions, falls, joint instability and poor form during lifting weights.

"In sports with a lot of throwing such as football or baseball, we see more rotator cuff injuries, but in all sports, knee injuries are most common," says Hood. "The most common sports injuries we treat at our outpatient rehab clinic are rotator cuff injuries, meniscus injuries and back pain."

Age is Just a Number

For younger athletes who experience pain or injury from playing their favorite sport, Hood encourages parents to take their child to see a specialist and request a physical and/or occupational therapy order, even it's just a small injury that does not require surgery. In some cases, physical and/or occupational therapy can help athletes recover faster, while also teaching them proper form and good body mechanics to prevent further injury and protect their joints.

So, is it safe to say that teenagers or younger athletes will outgrow sports injuries as they get older?

"No," says Hood. "Some people are more prone to injuries due to genetics and/or bad habits. With proper treatment, they will more than likely just need to be aware of their injury. Without proper treatment, then more than likely it will have to be addressed, either surgically or through physical and/or occupational therapy."

The most common ailments older athletes - older adults who were much more active in their younger days or played sports - experience and are being treated for are joint replacements, shoulder surgeries and back pain.

There is good news for older adults who may have had a sports injury earlier in life and are now addressing it: Hood says try physical therapy or occupational therapy before looking at surgery.

"Even if you end up needing surgery, having physical and/or occupational therapy beforehand can improve your outcomes afterwards," said Hood. "That individual will actually be stronger going into surgery, which helps speed up the recovery process afterwards."

You Have Choices

Your choice of care is an important one, regardless of where you are on your walk in life. Hood gives the following advice for both the young and old: "you always have a choice. You can choose where you do therapy, and you can ask for therapy if the doctor does not recommend it first."

That's why Hood says CCMC Outpatient Rehab Services is the choice for anyone's outpatient physical rehabilitation need; here, Hood says the staff is focused on the individual, not the injury. CCMC Outpatient Rehab Services offers physical, occupational and speech therapy services and is located at 529 Lake Street in Hazlehurst, conveniently located in front of the Hazlehurst Walmart.

For more information, call (601) 574-7388 or visit myccmc.org.