Back in Business: Preventing back injuries

Back in Business: Preventing back injuries

Serious spinal injuries are rare among pro baseball players. "But back pain is an issue for athletes (including baseball players) on a fairly regular basis," said Brian J. McHugh, MD, a neurosurgeon with dual fellowship training in orthopedics and neurosurgery. He is a member of Inova Medical Group, the official hospital network and sports medicine partner of the Washington Nationals.

Pulling a muscle, throwing your back out, myofascial strain -- whatever you call it, it's an uncomfortable injury that can strike anyone from elite athletes to desk jockeys. But the underlying cause of that injury might surprise you.

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For more information or to make an appointment, call 703-970-6464 or visit Inova Sports Medicine. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sun Safety: Don't Get Sidelined by Skin Cancer

Sun Safety: Don't Get Sidelined by Skin Cancer

Serious athletes try to protect their bodies. They eat right, get proper conditioning and take steps to prevent injuries. But they might not always be so disciplined about protecting their skin from the sun when they head out on the field.

That's a problem, since avoiding sunburn and practicing sun safety is the single most important step you can take to prevent skin cancer, said Suraj Venna, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and director of the Inova Melanoma and Skin Cancer CenterInova is the official hospital network and sports medicine partner of the Washington Nationals, and a leader in bringing personalized care to people throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area and beyond.

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For more information or to make an appointment, call 703-970-6430 or visit Inova Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What UCL injuries can do to a baseball career

What UCL injuries can do to a baseball career

For a pitcher, an arm injury can be devastating. That's why it's worrisome that the elbow condition known as ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injury is on the rise for pitchers of all ages.

"There's been a pretty steady increase in the number of UCL injuries diagnosed and treated over the last 10 years or so. We're seeing this as more and more of a problem, for both younger pitchers and professionals," said Robert Najarian, MD, a Washington Nationals team physician and a member of the Inova Sports Medicine Team.

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For more information or to make an appointment, call 703-970-6464 or visit Inova Sports Medicine. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Winning mindset: Sports psych & the athlete

Winning mindset: Sports psych & the athlete

For pro athletes like players on the Washington Nationals, keeping the body in top physical form is undeniably important. But there's also more to baseball than muscles and reflexes. In many ways, baseball is a mind game.

"It's been estimated for baseball that mental factors determine as much as 80 percent of the fluctuations in day-to-day performance," said Melissa Womble, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist with the Inova Sports Medicine group, the official hospital network and sports medicine partner of the Washington Nationals. The Inova Sports Medicine team offers comprehensive, personalized care for athletes at every age and activity level, with a focus on injury prevention, recovery and performance. Athletes can access this care all in one convenient location in Fairfax, Va.

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For more information or to make an appointment, call 703-970-6464 or visit Inova Sports Medicine. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fuel your body: Eat right to play your best

Fuel your body: Eat right to play your best

Pro athletes know the importance of eating right. But amateur athletes, too, could up their game by improving their diet.

"Nutrition is an important part of performance at any level of play," said Dr. Peter MacArthur, a primary care physician and part of the Inova Sports Medicine Team, the official hospital network and sports medicine partner of the Washington Nationals.

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For more information or to make an appointment, call 703-970-6464 or visit Inova Sports Medicine. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Youth sports prep guide: 7 tips for a stellar season

Youth sports prep guide: 7 tips for a stellar season

As the official hospital network and sports medicine partner of the Washington Nationals, the Inova Sports Medicine team is responsible for the medical care of all Nationals players, working in conjunction with the Nationals medical staff. But youth athletes also count on Inova's comprehensive, personalized care.

Sports injuries can be devastating for any athlete, even young players. The best way to avoid those painful disappointments? Good preparation, says Chris Young, Director of Athletic Training Services and Outreach at Inova Sports Medicine.

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For more information or to make an appointment, call 703-970-6464 or visit Inova Sports Medicine. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Preventing injuries: From pros to youth leagues

Preventing injuries: From pros to youth leagues

Baseball is a very safe sport. Still, like all sports, it carries some risk of injury. Fortunately, there's a lot that players, parents, trainers and coaches can do to minimize the risk. Whether you're a professional player or a young person still dreaming of breaking into the big leagues, knowledge is key for preventing injuries.

Injuries from overuse
Sudden injuries -- getting hit with a fastball, twisting a knee on a slide into home -- can strike at any time. "But the majority of baseball injuries are what we call overuse injuries, which are injuries resulting from repetitive but typical athletic movements that occur over time," says Robert Najarian, MD, a Washington Nationals Team Physician and part of the Inova Sports Medicine Team. In fact, Inova Sports Medicine is responsible for the medical care of all the Nationals players in conjunction with the Nationals medical staff. This has been a perfect match due to both organizations' comprehensive care and focus on injury prevention.

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Meet the Nationals' Lead Team Physician: Dr. Robin West

Meet the Nationals' Lead Team Physician: Dr. Robin West

The Washington Nationals revamped their approach to treating and rehabilitating injured athletes following the 2015 season, opening the door for a new, progressive team of sports medicine experts to join the club as its official medical team.

The Nationals' overhaul of their medical staff led the club to Dr. Robin West, Chairman of Sports Medicine at Inova, who now serves as the team's Lead Team Physician. Dr. West and the Inova Sports Medicine Team are a natural fit for the Nationals as the organization focuses on comprehensive care for its players -- which is consistent with the approach Inova takes.

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