STA students, athletes battle injuries

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by Cassie Florido, photos by Maggie Rellihan

With many STA students taking part in daily physical activities, the risk of injury increases. Even with the high risk of injury, there are ways to prevent or end the reocurrence of an injury.

Injuries are the main fall back to many athlete’s sports careers. Many STA students find their seasons cut short because of injuries.

According the STA athletic trainer Lisa Gross, the most common injury she treats at STA are shin splints.

“Shin splints are incredibly prevalent due to the rate of growth high school girls’ are experiencing at this age and because of lack of conditioning,” Gross said.

Freshman track runner Jewell Allen is one of many STA athletes who battles shin splints.

“My shin splints hurt the most during practice,” Allen said. “Not when I’m running hard, just when I’m going easy and right after I go hard. This is because when I’m going hard I zone out the pain.”

Allen said that in order to relieve some of the pain, she stretches before her track practice and ices and stretches her shins on a mini ramp at her house.

According to Allen, as she tries to decrease the pain of her shin splints, she is going to take Epsom salt baths once a week, ice and stretch because she never wants to have shin splints again.

According to Gross, injuries to the knee and ankle are also common with STA athletes.

Over the past months, several students and athletes at STA have suffered severe knee injuries.

Junior soccer player Mallory Radtke tore her ACL and meniscus in December during a soccer game when an opponent nudged her as she was running with the ball. Radtke then stepped the wrong way, causing the injury.

Radtke had surgery in January to repair the ACL and meniscus. After her surgery, there is a six to eight month estimated recovery time.

Since six days after the surgery, Radtke has gone to rehab three times a week, along with outside exercises to heal her knee.

“The rehab is very important to do so I can come back to sports in the first place,” Radtke said. “But after I am back I will have to do extra strength and conditioning to assure my knees are staying strong.”

Freshman lacrosse player Kat Mediavilla suffered a compromised ATF and calcaneo-fibular ligament injury earlier this year. This means the two ligaments in her ankle are not supporting her bones properly.

“[The injury] happened because I’ve sprained my ankle a least three to four times and during my first lacrosse game of the season I sprained it again,” Mediavilla said.

Mediavilla was recently placed in a cast to allow the ligaments heal. She said she hopes surgery will not be an option.

While not all injuries are preventable when participating in physical activities, Gross said the best way to decrease the risk of injury is to incorporate daily stretching into your life.

“STA offers a great boot camp where the focus is not only strengthening, but also injury prevention,” Gross said.

Gross said the goal is to find a balance so you’re not over-training, but you’re also not allowing your body to become weak.

When trying to prevent future injuries or the reoccurrence of an injury, Gross says it’s important to understand the true cause of the injury.

“Some injuries can be prevented by taking a look at it from different angles, but sometimes there is no origin and you just have to accept that injuries are an inherent risk of playing sports,” Gross said.

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STA students, athletes battle injuries