2811 Tieton Drive,
Yakima, WA 98902 Map this address

(509) 575-8000

Sports Medicine | Jugar de manera segura

Yakima Sports Medicine

Sports injuries happen. Knowing how and when to treat them is important. Yakima Valley Memorial's Sports Medicine Advantage ™ provides both medical and community resources to help your body work, play and perform to its fullest potential.

Sports injury prevention

Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to sports injuries. Wearing the right equipment, proper stretching, and staying hydrated may help keep you safe and in the game.

Unfortunately, injuries can still happen, even when taking proper precautions.

Be Water Wise

Athletes should be well hydrated before and after every activity session. Heavy sweating and physical exertion causes water loss and electrolyte depletion. Without proper hydration and cooling, the body can become overheated, causing heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Overuse, injury treatment and trauma

The most important thing to remember about playing sports and injuries is to stop as soon as you feel any pain. A simple injury can turn into a serious issue if you continue to play, despite the pain. You should consult a health care professional immediately for injuries like broken bones, a dislocation, severe swelling, and numbing and bleeding.

For less severe injuries, it is probably safe to treat your injury at home. If discomfort or other symptoms persist for more than a couple days, contact your doctor.

Home treatment for minor Injuries

The standard for many sports injuries has been RICE-Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Sports medicine professionals have now added Protect and Refer to this acronym. If injured, Protect the injured area by stopping the activity. If discomfort or other symptoms persist, Refer the injured person to a qualified medical professional for diagnosis and continued care. Using the PRICER method may help lessen pain and inflammation and heal the injury more quickly.

The NO HARM principle complements the PRICER method and is extremely important in the initial 48 hours following a soft tissue injury.

NO:  H - Heat   A - Alcohol   R - Running/Exercising the injured area    M - Massage

Heat and alcohol cause the blood vessels to dilate (open up) and increase the bleeding in the injured area. Exercising the body part or massaging the area also increases the blood-flow to the area. This is detrimental to the repair process as there is increased swelling in the area to be resolved.

Injury Prevention, Play it Safe

Certain sports have a higher rate of overuse and trauma injuries. Protect yourself from injury and check out our helpful tip sheets to learn about how to stay safe when playing YOUR sport.

These Sports Tips provide general information only and are not a substitute for your own good judgment or consultation with a physician.

Learn more about other specific sport injury prevention, visit www.STOPSportsInjuries.org.

Meet Our Team

Joel Buffum, MS ATC ATL

Joel Buffum

Joel leads the Sports Medicine Advantage team with the goal of increasing access to healthcare for the Yakima valley and helping the community continue enjoying their sports and activities. Joel specializes in the prevention, assessment, and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions. In the clinic and on the field, he works to engage people in their healthcare and rehabilitation. You can call Joel at (509) 941-5746, or email him at jbuffum@ortho-nw.com.

Denton Norwood, MS ATC LAT

Denton Norwood

Denton is in his 9th year as an Athletic Trainer in the Yakima area. Denton has extensive experience working with both high school and college student-athletes. He specializes in the prevention, assessment, and treatment of emergency acute and chronic injuries. As the Athletic Trainer for East Valley High School, Denton strives to be the critical link between the school system (administrators, coaches, parents, and student-athletes), and the healthcare community in the Yakima area. Call Denton at 509-731-2621 or email dentonnorwood@yvmh.org.

Kent Wilcox, MS LAT ATC

Kent Wilcox

Kent comes to Yakima from Spokane where he worked with high school and professional athletes. He specializes in injury prevention through sport specific strength training and proper sport preparation. Additionally, he provides assessment and treatment of acute and chronic athletic injuries. His goal is to improve patient outcomes by providing exceptional athlete education, medical treatment and rehabilitation protocols.

Alyssa Wickehagen, ATC LAT

Alyssa Wickehagen, AT

Alyssa, a native of the Yakima, has returned home to work with student athletes around the valley. Alyssa is passionate about providing care to this community and specializes in the prevention, assessment, and treatment of emergency, acute, and chronic sports injuries. Her goals are to provide student athletes with medical care and to educate athletes on proper prevention of injury and correct treatment of injuries in order to return to play safely. Contact Alyssa at alyssawickenhagen@yvmh.org or 509-902-9869.

Jugar de manera segura

Algunos deportes tienen una probabilidad mayor de lesiones por uso excesivo y el trauma. Protéjase a sí mismo de lesiones y aprenda a mantenerse seguro cuando práctica SU deporte.


Una conmoción es un tipo de lesión cerebral traumática que ocasiona cambios en la forma en que funciona el cerebro normalmente. Una conmoción es causada por un golpe, impacto o sacudida en la cabeza o el cuerpo que hace que la cabeza y el cerebro se muevan rápida y repentinamente hacia adelante y hacia atrás. Hasta un "chichoncito" o lo que pareciera ser tan solo un golpe o una sacudida leve en la cabeza pueden ser algo grave.

¿Cuáles son los signos y síntomas de una conmoción cerebral?

Los signos y síntomas de una conmoción cerebral pueden aparecer justo después de una lesión o puede que no aparezcan o se noten sino hasta días o semanas después de ocurrida la lesión.

Si un deportista presenta uno o más de los síntomas de una conmoción cerebral indicados a continuación, luego de un golpe, impacto o sacudida en la cabeza o el cuerpo, no se le debe permitir continuar jugando el día de la lesión y no debe volver a jugar hasta que un profesional médico con experiencia en evaluación de conmociones cerebrales indique que ya no presenta síntomas y que puede volver a jugar.

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