Student injury rates up due to COVID-19


Pictured above (from left to right): Brooke Archer, Alyssa Serri, and Giana Nakoul. Students are preforming a Jazz Split. Eagle Photo courtesy of Mikayla Hairston.

It was as if it was in slow motion, the flag falling down slowly in circular patterns. But in the blink of an eye, freshman Giana Nakoul was standing there, her eyes widened, with half of her tooth in her hand. That’s when she realized that her flag had hit her in the mouth and that the bottom of her front tooth was gone.

 “I was really embarrassed and I was kinda freaked out because, I guess I just got scared,” Nakoul said. 

Nakoul had only been on color guard for a few months prior to her injury, not getting as much in person practice that a normal member on the team would during their freshman year.

“Before my injury I’d been on colorguard for around like two months,” Nakoul said. 

Although this injury may just be a newbie mistake, there may be more to it that explains the spontaneous spike of injury cases since quarantine began.

Many have seen the injury rates rise during COVID-19, including coaches, teachers and physical therapists. They think it is because of the lack of proper training while staying home.

“There has been a moderate increase in number of sports related injuries, which has caused us to hire three more therapists,” physical therapist Billy Wanger said. “I typically see 13 patients per day at this point.”

This new trend of injuries in quarantine is not just of those who recently began their sport, but also those who have been competing and training for a longer time. Senior Emily Kuntz, 18, is a dancer with the Canton Ballet and has been dancing for 14 years. She has suffered from two severe stress reactions in her shins for a while now, but has noticed them getting worse since quarantine began. Kuntz infers that the injuries coming back occured from all of the dancing at home and on non-dance floors.

“Not being in the studio definitely left me susceptible to getting injured more easily because I wasn’t dancing as much as I was previously,” Kuntz said. “I’m still currently injured and it does in some ways affect my dancing, I feel like I can’t jump as high or do as many jumps before my shins started hurting.” 

Although injuries are common, especially now, athletes typically want to heal as quickly as possible to continue practicing and competing. One way they speed up the recovery process would be talking to professionals like trainers or even their coaches. Coaches have especially been working hard during quarantine to find new and efficient ways to get their athletes back and ready to train.

“It is imperative that athletes spend time at home working out. Cardio is always good, a mile run on a daily basis is good for you, sit ups, push ups are a great way to enhance your conditioning and help maintain a healthy heart rate,” basketball coach Rick Hairston said.  “After returning to your sport it is smart to take it slowly when you first get started. Lots of stretching and lots of specific drills that are specific to the sport that you are participating in.”

As the fall sports seasons come to a close and the winter sports begin, there is still potential that more injuries will occur. But hopefully with the right mindset and knowledge these issues can start to be resolved. The increased injury rate during the fall sports could possibly make coaches and trainers more equipped for the problems that may arise in the near future. But with the knowledge from the trial and error of this season, coaches should be prepared for whatever could come.