Sports Injury Prevention and Performance | Loyola Medicine

Sports Injury Prevention and Performance

Injury Prevention and Performance Program for All Athletes

While Loyola Medicine’s orthopaedic team is skilled in treating sports injuries, prevention is always a better course. By preventing injuries, we can help players stay in the game and continue training, playing and achieving. 

Loyola’s sports injury prevention and performance team offers programs to correct mechanical problems that could increase the chance of being injured, while simultaneously building an athlete’s balance, strength and agility. Helping athletes in all sports, our world-class team includes orthopaedic surgeons, nonoperative sports medicine specialists, physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors, nurses, nutritionists, athletic trainers and physical therapists.

We provide specialized care and treatment for athletes in the following expert programs: 

  • ACL prevention clinic
  • Basketball injury prevention program
  • Dance injury prevention
  • Golf rehabilitation program
  • Running program
  • Throwing analysis

Loyola’s doctors work closely with athletes, trainers and coaches to offer thorough evaluation and screenings to assess an athlete’s level of risk, as well as provide tools and instruction appropriate to the sport or activity. This usually includes warm-ups, stretches and exercises to build strength, conditioning, balance and flexibility. We also educate on water intake, appropriate playing surfaces and equipment—especially shoes—to reduce the risk of injury.

One of the greatest risks in injury prevention is returning to a sport too soon after being injured. It is important not to push yourself to play through pain. Our specialists have the knowledge and experience to clear an athlete for a safe return to the game or activity.

Specialty Sports Injury Prevention Programs at Loyola

Loyola’s unique sports injury prevention and performance programs correct mechanical problems that could lead to injury, while simultaneously building your balance, strength and agility. Our specialized programs include:

  • ACL prevention clinic — Female athletes are six to eight times more likely to tear an ACL than male athletes. This injury rate can be reduced with a simple warm-up program that can be completed in minutes. In Loyola’s ACL prevention clinic, a physical therapist or athletic trainer will work with individual or small groups of athletes in high school or college. With education, training and prevention exercises, you can strengthen your muscles and learn safer ways to land, preventing ACL injuries.
  • Basketball injury prevention program — The most common basketball injuries involve the foot, ankle and knee with ankle sprains and knee ligament tears being the most common. A knee sprain can be caused by a sudden stop or change in direction. Loyola’s team will use functional movement screening to see if you’re at greater risk of injury. Then we’ll guide you through proper warm-ups and stretching to use before a game or practice. This coaching will help you improve your passing, shooting and jumping techniques to decrease your chance of injury. Loyola’s sports medicine team can also can help you improve your balance and conditioning and help you incorporate safer practices and appropriate equipment in your game. 
  • Dance injury prevention — In a rigorous dance rehearsal, the same movements need to be performed over and over, putting dancers at risk of developing overuse injuries. Loyola has developed a program to help dancers protect themselves from the most common dance injuries. Screening sessions help us identify potential problems and prevent future injuries. We work with dancers and instructors with a focus on proper stretching, warm-ups and breathing techniques. We coach dancers in proper balance, form, jumping and landing techniques and other motion mechanics.
  • Golf rehabilitation program — While golf is not seen as an intensely physical activity, injuries can occur—especially overuse conditions like golfer’s elbow. Loyola’s sports rehabilitation program helps golfers get back on the course more quickly while preventing future injuries. With experienced, Titleist-certified golf specialists, Loyola assesses swing mechanics to identify inefficiencies and problems that could lead to injury. In a one-on-one session, we’ll give you a specific exercise program to improve conditioning and ultimately make your golf game better, safer and more fun.
  • Running program — Runners are at risk for a unique set of injuries; problems like shin splints, runner’s knee and plantar fasciitis are common. This risk can be reduced with careful training and stretching. Loyola’s running program, built to help recreational runners and elite athletes alike, uses Dartfish® video technology to analyze posture, cadence, gait and running mechanics. Loyola’s specialists will help you modify your running form to correct bad mechanics. We can also make recommendations on flexibility, training and shoe inserts based on the number of miles you run.
  • Throwing analysis — Baseball pitching and other types of overhead throwing put enormous stress on the shoulder and arm, making players vulnerable to injuries such as frozen shoulder. Loyola provides overhead throwing analysis with the Xsens system to evaluate 3D kinematics and perceive problems that would be invisible to the eye. This uses 3D motion detection software and a series of transmitters to examine throwing mechanics and identify problems that could lead to injury. It also can be used for players in other sports that require rapid overhand motions, including tennis, handball and basketball.