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9 Tips for Fall Sports Preparation

The start of the fall sports season is just around the corner; you might already be able to imagine the roar of the crowd and the feeling of glory when crossing the finish line. But having a great season requires a little prep work. Being properly set up for this fall sports season makes a difference in your enjoyment of it as well as overall health and safety, so we put together nine tips for fall sports preparation.    

1. Start Taking Steps for Injury Prevention

a physical therapist bends a patient’s legs

Injuries throw a wrench in what could have been a great sports season. They can throw off young athletes’ progress and affect their entire athletic futures. Worse, they can affect the rest of their life and become larger issues later. At NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine, we offer various treatments for sports injuries, but it’s always better to prevent than to treat.

One of the most important injury prevention practices is to protect against recurring injury. This may be achieved with physical therapy, chiropractic care and other treatments. It’s vital that athletes follow the advice of their caregivers to help prevent injuries and ensure the healing of previous injuries.

Preventing injuries from ever happening isn’t always possible. The chaotic and highly competitive world of sports may lead to an injury entirely out of an athlete’s control. However, there are lots of preventive measures you can take that decrease the likelihood of an injury. Following the advice of coaches, trainers and medical professionals, getting a checkup and doing your own research into injury prevention are all ways you can improve your chances of steering clear of the bench.

2. Start Eating Right 


“You get out what you put in.” Athletes have probably heard this bit of advice enough times to make them wish they were running laps instead of reading it yet again. But it’s repeated often because it’s true, especially when it comes to nutrition. If you want to play your best this season, it’s important that you eat the right food and hydrate properly. And it’s best to get that habit started before life starts to get hectic this fall semester.

Eating correctly may help boost your immune system, give you more energy and focus and help prevent injuries. The best way to ensure a healthy diet is to consult with a dietician. And as an athlete, it’s also a good idea to start educating yourself on nutrition.

3. Adjust Your Sleep Cycle

a woman sleeps in bed

Sleep is extremely important for athletes. It plays a big part in healing, energy levels and the mental focus you need for maximum performance. Starting to follow the sleep schedule you keep during the fall sports season a few weeks in advance may help you adjust your sleep cycle before practices start. Getting used to that sleep pattern early may help you get better sleep during the season.

4. Start Strength and Conditioning Training 

a woman works with a physical trainer by leaning over an exercise ball and lifting weights while her trainer kneels alongside her

Physicality is a huge part of most sports, so getting faster, stronger and increasing endurance are goals for most athletes. Proper strength and conditioning help to improve your physical performance and may also help with injury prevention. But that’s only if you do it right. Improper strength and conditioning training could have the opposite effect and create injuries. That’s why it’s important to train with a qualified physical trainer who can ensure you have the proper form and aren’t over training.

Many schools have strength and conditioning programs with qualified trainers and coaches, which are much safer than training alone. You could also try cross-training with other sports, such as cross country running, to become a more well-rounded athlete. 

5. Study Up on Your Game 

a man watches sports on TV

Athletes might see sports as a way to get away from studying, but to stay competitive, you have to know as much as you can about your game. Luckily, this kind of studying can be fun. The first way to study sports is something you probably already do: watch games. Seeing other people’s strategies and approach to the sport can give you ideas to apply to your own games.

It’s also beneficial to watch your own games if they’re filmed. Taking note of what you did well and what you need to work on gives you a clear path on how to become a better player. 

Studying form is also important as an athlete. Form, whether you’re running or pitching a fastball, maximizes your energy and keeps you from straining and causing injuries. You can find detailed descriptions of correct form online from medical sources, but the best way to learn it is to have someone qualified, such as a trainer or coach, work with you to improve.

6. Practice Positive Visualization Techniques 

a woman closes eyes and relaxes during yoga class

A lot of sports are about attitude and mindset. And a lot of people believe you can change your mindset with positive visualization. To do it, you basically just imagine yourself achieving your goals over and over until you feel like nothing can stop you.

Starting with positive thinking early can help you develop a good mindset and attitude going into the fall season. It’s a good idea to focus on visualizing positive outcomes in all aspects of the sports experience, including making friends and being a good leader. Don’t just imagine yourself winning a ton of trophies.

7. Make Sure You Have the Current Gear and Safety Equipment

a closeup of a runner tying shoelaces

Proper equipment can go a long way toward preventing injuries, and having the latest technology can give you even better protection. It’s also a good idea to replace any heavily worn equipment because it’s probably not doing its job anymore.  

One important piece of sports gear is shoes or cleats. How your foot strikes the ground and how that force is—or isn’t—absorbed has a large effect on both your performance and on injuries. Not replacing worn out shoes can fatigue your feet and may even put you at a higher risk of knee and hip injuries.  

8. Try Massage or Acupuncture Therapy

a patient receives acupuncture treatment in their back

Massage and acupuncture therapy may have many mental and physical benefits for athletes. Sports are physically demanding and stressful, which might cause tension in some of your muscles. A massage may help loosen you up and alleviate some of that mental and physical stress. It may also be beneficial for recovery after heavy training.

Acupuncture is a traditional treatment where needles are placed at specific pressure points on the body. Don’t worry; it doesn’t hurt and most people feel nothing or only a slight tingle. This treatment may help with pain or soreness. 

Giving these therapies a shot may help you feel fresh and ready for the fall season. And if you like them, you can use them again throughout the season.

9. Consider Seeing a Chiropractor 

a chiropractor adjusts a patient’s back

Chiropractic care may help ease pain and decrease the likelihood of certain injuries. Getting checked out by a chiropractor before the season starts is a good idea because they may catch something that would have turned into an injury later.

Connect With NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine

NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine can help you prepare for this sports season, address health concerns and previous injuries and offer various treatments. Connect with us to learn more about our therapies and services. Our experienced team can help create a plan for boosting your health this fall season that considers your goals and needs.

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an athlete grips their knee to ease chronic pain

How Can I Treat Chronic Pain Without Pain Relief Medication?

In a CDC study, more than one in 10 people over the age of 20 said they had used prescription painkillers in the last 30 days. However, there are many people who would prefer to manage their pain without medication due to religious and cultural factors, fear of addiction, a desire for holistic wellness or the price of medication. Luckily, there are treatment options for chronic pain that don’t involve medication—many of which are offered at NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine. 

Discover some potential ways to treat chronic pain without pain relief medication below.

Laser Therapies

a doctor uses laser therapy on a patient’s arm to treat chronic pain

Laser therapies are treatment options that may help with healing and pain management. NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine provides MLS laser therapy and cold laser therapy

MLS Laser Therapy 

MLS laser therapy is a noninvasive treatment for pain relief. The energy from the laser may cause an increase in blood flow, a potentially healthier metabolism and decreased inflammation. MLS laser therapy provides positive outcomes in around 85% of patients, though it may take multiple treatments before the effects are felt. The procedure only takes around eight minutes, and treatment plans usually involve seven to 10 visits.

This laser treatment differs from other laser therapies in that it uses two laser waves simultaneously. This may promote healing along with pain relief. Also, during the treatment, pain signals may be blocked entirely, providing a period of relief for patients with chronic pain.

Cold Laser Therapy

Cold laser treatments use light to help cells heal and return cell function to normal. The lasers are used at a very low level, so the treatment area isn’t warmed, which is why it’s called “cold” laser therapy. Like MLS laser treatments, this therapy may help reduce pain-causing inflammation. It’s used to help ease and treat chronic and acute pain, including pain from spinal injuries and sports injuries. 

Cold laser therapy sessions last around five to 10 minutes. Laser therapy is considered safe and effective for pain management when administered by qualified professionals.

Occupational Therapy 

an occupational therapist helps a patient walk

Occupational therapy is a treatment method that focuses on recovering the ability to perform daily tasks. This form of therapy considers the lifestyle needs of a patient in the treatment plan. At NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine, our occupational therapists work with you and adjust your treatment plan to fit your expectations and goals.

Daily tasks — even folding clothes and washing dishes — can be difficult with chronic pain. Occupational therapy specialists can help you find ways to complete tasks without agitating the issues causing your pain as much. This may be achieved through environmental changes, such as not keeping things on the top shelf so you don’t have to reach up, or by learning new ways to do things, such as picking up a box in a way that won’t hurt your knees.

Physical Therapy

a physical therapist holds a patient’s feet

Physical therapy focuses on improving range of motion and physical performance as well as reducing chronic pain. Patients are usually prescribed exercises based on their injuries or other physical needs to help them improve without making issues worse. Strengthening your body and improving your mobility can make daily tasks less painful and may help prevent future injuries.

Physical therapy specialists work with you to create goals and plans to make sure you get the most out of your therapy. Physical therapy treatments can vary greatly in duration depending on the patient’s situation and the severity of their injury.  

Chiropractic Treatment

a chiropractor stretches patient’s arm to treat chronic pain

Many forms of chronic pain are treatable with chiropractic care. Chiropractic treatments generally address musculoskeletal problems, which often cause chronic pain. Here are some of the chiropractic services offered at NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine:

  • Spinal manipulation. This treatment involves the chiropractor applying a controlled jolt of pressure to a joint with the patient lying in a certain position. Spinal manipulation is one of the most performed chiropractic treatments and may help with chronic back pain.
  • Decompression therapy. Decompressing the spine may remove pressure from nerve endings, causing pain relief. In this therapy, the patient is slowly stretched to create negative pressure. 


massage therapist massages patient’s back to treat chronic pain

Massage therapy involves applying pressure to soft tissues like muscle and connective tissue. This treatment may help alleviate chronic pain by increasing circulation and loosening stiff muscles. Massage is recognized as an effective part of pain management treatment, and studies indicate a connection between massage and a reduction in certain forms of chronic pain. NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine has a licensed massage therapist on staff.


a patient receives acupuncture treatments in the shoulder to treat chronic pain

Acupuncture is a form of traditional medicine that attempts to correct energy flows in the body by inserting needles at specific points. It has become increasingly accepted as a viable treatment for certain conditions, including chronic pain, and is approved by the FDA. When performed by a specialist, acupuncture treatments are considered very safe. 

Treatment sessions can range from 10 to 45 minutes, and the initial treatment involves a short interview. Acupuncture is reported to be painless by most patients, and the needles are always sterilized and only used once.  

For patients with chronic pain, acupuncture is often used in conjunction with other therapies to create a holistic pain management treatment plan. 

Dietary Changes

a hand holds a green tea latte

A lot of pain is associated with some kind of inflammation, so eating inflammatory foods could be increasing or causing pain for some people. Sugar is a big issue in this area, for example. Added sugar and processed sugars are a large part of many people’s diets and are known to cause inflammation. Lowering your sugar intake may be a step to take for treating your chronic pain, but it’s always a good idea to consult a medical professional before making changes to your diet.

In addition to cutting out inflammatory foods, you can add in anti-inflammatory foods and beverages. Leafy greens, nuts and tomatoes are some diet additions that may help lessen inflammation that leads to pain. Cannabis strains from may also help with inflammation. 

Weight Loss

healthy food, weights, and a measuring tape sit next to a scale

Weight loss may help reduce the amount of stress your body has to deal with on a daily basis. That stress might be causing pain. For example, overweight people often overpronate, which means they stand and walk with their feet rolled onto their arches, and overpronation is known to cause hip, spine and foot pain.

Meditation, Relaxation and Breathing Exercises 

a person meditates in their living room

Pain is usually caused by a physical problem in your body, but the experience and management of pain is often as mental as it is physical. 

Meditation is a mindfulness practice where you focus on feeling sensations without judgement. Acknowledging any pain you feel may help you cope with it and even reduce it. An article in Harvard Health suggests the body scan meditation technique for pain.

Breathing and relaxation exercises may help you relieve the tension you build up throughout the day. Techniques like progressive relaxation may help you manage and treat muscle pain caused by tension and stress.

Consult NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine

a doctor takes notes with a patient

The best way to manage and treat chronic pain is with the help of experienced medical professionals. Contact us to learn more about treating chronic pain and the therapies we offer.

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The Best Local Parks near Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex Counties

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How to Treat Sciatica: 5 Effective Home Exercises

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7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System This Winter

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If you’re looking for a multi-specialty medical group that offers interventional pain management, sports medicine, chiropractic care, acupuncture therapy, physical therapy, and orthopedic surgery, look no further than NorthEast Spine & Sports Medicine.

We have eight offices and one ambulatory surgery center (ASC) located in and around Monmouth County, NJ and Ocean County, NJ, and we have many patients that visit us from the following towns:

  • Jackson, NJ
  • Point Pleasant, NJ
  • Barnegat, NJ
  • Brick, NJ
  • Lakewood, NJ
  • Manchester, NJ
  • Aberdeen, NJ
  • Marlboro, NJ
  • Freehold, NJ
  • Monroe, NJ
  • Glassboro, NJ
  • Any many others

Since the beginning, our doctors and staff have been committed to treating patients who suffer from several different types of painful spine, joint, and orthopedic conditions. Furthermore, our goal is not only to reduce pain through physical rehabilitation, therapy, or any of our procedures and treatment options, but to help all of our patients have their functionality and quality of life restored.

Doctors with Superior Medical Knowledge and Compassion

One of the many benefits of choosing NorthEast Spine & Sports Medicine is that we only use the most innovative and modern treatment options and procedures. Furthermore, every service and treatment option we offer is available at each of our eleven offices. Therefore, you should expect to receive the treatment you need whether you visit our office in Jackson, NJ, Point Pleasant, NJ, Barnegat, NJ, Manchester, NJ, Aberdeen, NJ, Rahway, NJ, or Tinton Falls, NJ. Furthermore, when patients come to one of our offices, they are always greeted with smiles and treated with kindness.

Every member of a team is respectful and empathetic, and will go to great lengths to ensure your pain management needs are addressed. Another reason to choose our medical practice is because our team makes it one of their highest priorities to stay at the forefront of medical research so that they’re offering the best care possible. Lastly, our physicians and staff also make certain that patients have the knowledge they need to help them live pain-free lives.

Comprehensive and Customized Care Provided by NorthEast Spine & Sports Medicine

While some patients may only require one service and/or treatment option and procedure, others may require customized care plans to help them get back on their feet. After your initial evaluation, your physician will create a custom-tailored treatment plan that they feel will offer you with the pain relief you want. In fact, you should not only expect to be recommended with a treatment plan that will help to reduce and/or eliminate your pain, but one that will aid in increasing your activity level, and reducing the amount of pain medicine you take. In the end, you will be provided with a comprehensive and customized care plan that will greatly improve the quality of your life.

Even though pain is an unavoidable part of life, it doesn’t mean you must suffer from it all throughout your lifetime. To learn more the doctors and staff at NorthEast Spine & Sports Medicine, our pain treatment options and procedures, and our locations in and around Ocean County, NJ, and Monmouth County, NJ, please browse our site. To make an appointment, please don’t hesitate to do so online, or give one of the offices closest to your home in Brick, NJ, Lakewood, NJ, Marlboro, NJ, Freehold, NJ, Glassboro, NJ, or another area a call today.