Jock Doc

How to avoid spring break injuries

Q. Spring break is coming up and I want to play beach volleyball. Sometimes I am clumsy and want to play but not get hurt. Any advice?

Inevitably, a week after a spring break I see an increase of injured athletes in my office. In terms of volleyball, I recommend you warm up and stretch before going out onto the sand. You are likely to get tired while playing more than you used to, so stay hydrated.

Of course, twisting injuries to the feet and ankles cannot be totally prevented but taking as much care as possible to landing properly could help decrease injuries. Shoulder and elbow problems are also frequent and could be prevented by proper serving and spiking techniques.

As a general rule, about 50 percent of the injuries that I will see around spring break are preventable in all sports. Just like volleyball, proper warm-up and stretching before and after the athletic activity will decrease the risk of injury. In running, proper shoe wear will also decrease the risks of painful maladies. Adherence to proper technique whether it be tennis, golf, or weight training, is probably the most important in decreasing the risk of overuse and acute injuries.

Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to

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