Sports Medicine

Yakima Orthopedic Services
Yakima Sports Medicine

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

Meet Joel Buffum, MS ATC ATL

Joel Buffum

Joel specializes in the prevention, assessment, and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions. His goal is to be easily accessible to athletes and coaches in need of education, treatment advice, and/or provide proper recommendations to those in need of more advanced medical services. Joel has also been certified by the Titleist Performance Institute. Call Joel at 509 941-5746 or email

Meet Denton Norwood, MS, AT/L, ATC

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

Sports Injuries

When it comes to sports injuries, prevention is definitely the best medicine. Wearing the proper equipment, doing the proper stretches and not pushing yourself too far too fast are all steps that may help keep you safe.

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


A concussion is a brain injury and all brain injuries are serious. They are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or by a blow to another part of the body with the force transmitted to the head. They can range from mild to very severe and disrupt the way that the brain normally functions.

Most concussions are mild and can be easily managed, but all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly.

Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or can take hours to days to fully appear. If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if the symptoms or signs yourself, seek medical attention right away.

"When in doubt, sit it out"

Overuse 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 remedies

PRICER The first line of self-treatment for many sports injuries has been RICE-Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Sports medicine professionals have 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.

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

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