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Lacrosse Injuries, Treatment, and Prevention Tips

Often referred to as "America's first sport," lacrosse is quickly becoming one of the most popular sports in North America. The sport combines elements of basketball, soccer, and hockey, and requires coordination and agility.

Common Lacrosse Injuries

As players prepare for their season, it's important to set both position and season goals with their coaches before they train. Because men's and women's rules differ significantly and because injuries and demands may differ by position, it's important for players to participate in an individualized training program that can lessen the risk of common injuries in lacrosse and boost conditioning.

Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, and head injuries a common risk associated with the sport.

Common lacrosse injuries include:

For athletes who have experienced a sports-related injury, UPMC Sports Medicine's orthopaedic surgeons and board-certified physical therapists will help to speed recovery and restore function.

In lacrosse, injuries and conditioning demands depend on what position you play. For example, an attacker will need to train with more quick and explosive movements, while a midfielder will need to perform more endurance activities for the increased amount of running the position requires.

Preventing Lacrosse Injuries

Off-Season Conditioning

Every season must come to an end. In order to stay in shape and avoid injury, it is important to participate in a conditioning program even during the off-season. Some helpful conditioning exercises include:

Full-Field Interval Distance Sprints

  • Starting from one end line, sprint to the closest restraining line and back.
  • Sprint from the end line to the midfield line and back.
  • Sprint to the opposite restraining line and back.
  • Sprint to the opposite end line and back.

Train Tracks

  • This exercise should be performed with a group of people or your team.
  • Start with all but one person lying on the ground, face down, about three feet apart from each other in a row, like railroad ties.
  • The person standing runs and leaps over the top of each person on the ground making sure to clear each person.
  • Meanwhile, as each person is cleared by the runner, that person rises and follows behind the runner, also leaping over each person in the row.
  • As each runner clears the last person, that runner lies down at the end of the row.

Pre-Season Drills

Practicing these drills every day will help to improve your stick handling, ground balls, and passing ability.

Ball Wall

  • Find a brick or concrete wall that no one minds you using.
  • Pick a spot on the wall and aim for that spot every time, and repeat each throw 100 times.
  • Throws: Right hand throw and catch; left hand throw and catch; right hand throw, left hand catch; left hand throw, right hand catch; quick stick right hand; quick stick left hand.

Line Drills

  • Line up in two equal groups around 25 yards directly across from each other.
  • One line starts with the ball; they will pass or roll the ball to the other line on the run depending on the drill:
    • Right hand throw to right hand catch.
    • Left hand throw to left hand catch.
    • Right hand throw to left hand catch.
    • Left hand throw to right hand catch.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with a physician or other Sports Medicine expert, call 1-855-937-7678.

UPMC Rooney Sports Complex
3200 S. Water St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex
8000 Cranberry Springs Drive
Cranberry Township, PA 16066