It only stands to reason that sports activities heat up in the summer months. It’s the time of year when athletes of all ages and performance levels get to work out outside and compete outdoors after being sidelined during the cold winter months.
This also explains why there are so many sports injuries during the summer months. Many are the result of being somewhat out of shape after a long hiatus. Others are just because of the nature of the sport – particularly contact sports.
Whatever the cause, summer is the peak season for physical trauma, contributing to the nearly two million Americans who suffer sports-related injuries each year according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The sports with the highest number of injuries include bicycling, basketball, baseball, softball, football, and soccer.
And it’s not just contact sports that are sending athletes to the emergency room and to urgent care clinics. Conditions such as tendonitis, stress fractures, pulled muscles, and plantar fasciitis occur at a high rate among runners in particular. Plus, many sports injuries not only occur during games, but also during routine workouts.
How Can I Prevent Sports Injuries?
To prevent sports injuries on and off the playing field, take these four precautionary measures:
1. Be Sure to Warm Up
Take the time to loosen up your muscles and joints before hitting the field, the links, the track, or the workout area. Stretching exercises should do the trick and will help to prevent shoulder, back, and leg pain later.
2. Keep Yourself Hydrated
When you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to suffer a cramp or to pull a muscle. Whereas, good hydration – as well as good nutrition – helps keep your muscles and joints working effectively.
To stay loose and limber, consume a sports drink with electrolytes in addition to water if you plan on working out or playing for more than 45 minutes.
3. Use the Proper Equipment
Besides helmets and padding, the right athletic footwear, knee pads, and other equipment is crucial to preventing injuries. Wear the type of shoe that is designed for your specific sport and for the surface you’re playing on.
Also, make sure the shoe has good arch support and firm heel support. You can tell by squeezing the back of the shoe: If it’s easily compressible, you need a better shoe.
4. Be Aware of Your Technique
How you grip a golf club or tennis racket can affect your muscles and joints. Likewise, where and how you run can determine whether you’ll feel pain or discomfort.
Be prepared to adjust your running or playing style to accommodate your sensitivity level. For example, don’t always run on the same surface. Alternate between concrete, track, and trail, and choose paths with varying curves and inclines to avoid repeated stress on your lower limbs.
Sports Doctors in Palm Beach County
Sports injuries and the chronic pain that can result from them are a major problem for many people. That’s why it’s essential to get expert advice and treatment for pain before it does permanent damage to your physical and mental health.
If you or a loved one is susceptible to a sports injury or suffers from chronic pain, call the orthopedic specialists at South Palm Orthopedics today at (561) 496-6622 or request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you live a pain-free, active lifestyle.