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Community Advocacy Organization

Spring Into Action: Ways to Stay Active and Prevent Sports-Related Injuries

Spring is finally here. As the weather starts to warm up, many people spend more time outdoors and get back into sport-related activities after the long winter months. While living an active lifestyle is vital for your overall health, injuries can and do happen. 

“Injuries can occur at all ages in a wide variety of joints,” said Dr. Toufic Jildeh, orthopedic and sports medicine specialist at MSU Health Care, who performs procedures at McLaren Greater Lansing. “Whether it is a sudden or chronic injury, there are steps people can take to prevent further pain and damage that would lead to more concerning injuries.”

Dr. Jildeh is the head team physician for MSU Athletics and for the U.S. Olympic Ski and Snowboard team, and he sees patients for sport-related injuries such as those affecting the knee, shoulder, and hip joints, including broken bones, dislocated joints, and injuries to ligaments and tendons (such as the ACL and meniscus).

Transitioning Outdoors

With shorter days and colder temperatures, some people may not be as active in the winter. Even if you are going to the gym regularly or perform athletic activities, your muscles and joints can weaken. A sudden increase and demand for these muscles and joints can lead to injury.


“When you are getting back into an activity, it’s important to take the necessary steps to help strengthen and support your muscles and joint movements,” said Dr. Jildeh. “Making sure you are doing proper warm-up and cooldown techniques such as stretching, along with staying hydrated and eating a nutritional diet, can improve your ability to bounce back into your outdoor activity.”

It’s important to know your limits and know when your body may need a rest. Wearing proper equipment and footwear can also greatly reduce the risk of injuries. 

When Injuries Happen

In recent years, Pickleball, a combination of tennis and badminton, has become a popular outdoor sport many people have come to love and play. While enjoying a sport like this can keep you active while having fun, sports medicine physicians such as Dr. Jildeh have seen an increase in injuries, sometimes even if you are taking proper warm-up and cooldown techniques to help prevent them.

“Everyone’s anatomy is unique, and there are a lot of factors that go into an injury no matter your age or how active you are, and sprains and strains do occur,” said Dr. Jildeh.

These types of strains can lead to ligament and tendon tears in your joints that can affect your ability to continue your activity or sport.

There’s No One Size Fits All

Surgery may be the first thing that comes to mind, but Dr. Jildeh mentions that is not always the case.

“I’m sensitive to the uniqueness of every patient and every injury, and my goal is to get each patient back to activities as quickly and safely as possible,” said Dr. Jildeh. “I like to approach each patient’s problem with a personalized plan, using the most conservative techniques possible. A variety of injuries can be treated with non-surgical methods.”

Depending on the injury, your sports medicine physician may prescribe physical therapy, which can improve and strengthen your joints and muscles. Other methods include different types of injections and bracing.

“However, if a patient is still having pain and issues with mobility after these nonsurgical methods, surgery may be needed. Fortunately, there have been a lot of advances in this field that offer minimally invasive options that allow my patients to recover faster and can help prevent retears in the future,” said Dr. Jildeh.

Are you active or thinking about getting back into a sport or activity and want to learn more about preventing injuries and the treatment options available? Dr. Jildeh is participating in an upcoming Healthwise series, through McLaren Greater Lansing, to discuss more on this topic on Thursday, April 4, at 6 p.m. This event is open to the public and is free. To learn more or to register, click here.

To learn more about McLaren Greater Lansing’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute, click here.

To read more articles and health and wellness,click here.


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