Avoiding Sports Injuries
With spring and summer upon us and the days getting longer, most people will find themselves outdoors more and engaging in some sort of physical activity. As you dust off your bicycle or polish your golf clubs, keep in mind that people are more prone to injury after being sedentary during the winter months. So how do you prevent such injuries? We’ve provided a few suggestions to help keep you safe and injury-free as you enjoy the warmer seasons.
Getting Back in the Swing
- Start slow
- Build up endurance
- Use the proper equipment
- Wear sunscreen
- Stay hydrated
- Know your limits
- Incorporate time for rest and recovery
It is also important to remember to warm up, cool down, and stretch. Warm muscles are less susceptible to injury, so ease into your sport or activity by giving your muscles the proper amount of time to “get warm.” Conversely, cooling down allows the body to transition back to a pre-exercise state by reducing your heart rate and returning your breathing back to normal again. It is important to give yourself ample time to warm up and cool down by simply walking briskly for five minutes prior to beginning your workout, and then walking slowly for five minutes after your workout. Finally, stretching is crucial in preventing injury because it improves flexibility, which is essentially the range of motion for a particular joint. Flexibility is important because it improves muscle balance around the joint, thus reducing the chance of injury. Stretching also increases the blood and nutrient supply to muscles, which reduces the risk of muscle soreness following an activity. After a workout, some key areas to stretch are your hamstrings, quads, calves and lower back.
And finally, if you do end up injuring yourself, be sure to give your body plenty of time to heal. Do not pressure yourself to get back out on the basketball court after twisting your ankle, for example, because that could lead to further injuries down the road. Instead, realize that your body is sending you signals through symptoms like pain and swelling, so respond appropriately by giving your body the proper amount of time to heal. Be sure to see a doctor if you experience severe pain or prolonged swelling.
If you would like to talk to an orthopedic specialist about an injury, check out the physicians on staff at Methodist Hospital for Surgery by visiting our website.www.methodisthospitalforsurgery.com