We all look forward to enjoying the summer sunshine and midyear vacations. Summer is prime time for sports and plenty of physical activity, but this also means an increased likelihood of injury.
People may experience many different types of musculoskeletal sports injuries – anything from minor injuries such as a mildly sprained ankle to more serious ones like a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in the knee. Let’s talk about how you can help to prevent getting injured this summer and who you can talk to if you do get injured – or if you would like in-depth injury-prevention tips that are geared toward your own body and your summer activities of choice.
Warm-Up and Cool Down for Every Activity
Always begin with light stretches before the activity. Engaging in physical activity with tight, cold muscles makes your body more susceptible to getting a muscle tear (strain) and other unnecessary damage. Warm-ups increase blood flow to the muscles while also gradually increasing your heart rate and breathing rate, getting your whole body prepared for activity.
Afterward, end with light stretching to cool down at a controlled pace. Cooling down helps to prevent dizziness and cramping, while also gradually and safely decreasing heart rate and breathing rate.
Use Protective Gear and Practice Caution
You may be tempted to just jump right into these popular summer activities, but here’s how to avoid getting injured while enjoying them:
Riding bicycles and dirt bikes can be invigorating; however, its high-speed nature puts cyclists at risk of head injuries and musculoskeletal injuries. Always be sure to wear the proper protective gear when cycling, especially a helmet – and ideally, also elbow and knee pads.
Motorsports have similar risks to cycling. Riders of motorized vehicles are at a higher risk of injury and therefore require more protective gear. Wear full bodysuits if possible, gloves, and always wear a helmet.
Swimming and Diving
You might go swimming in a pool, at the lake, or even in the ocean. If you want to dive, make sure that the water is deep enough, because you could suffer full paralysis if you dive into shallow water. Do not assume that a pool is deep enough to dive into.
Sports such as baseball, football, and soccer can lead to broken bones, sprains, and strains. In addition to stretching and warming up, be sure to wear the appropriate protective gear while playing, such as helmets, shin guards, and knee pads.
Listen to Your Body
The warning signs that your body is trying to tell you can be very easy to ignore while having fun. However, you need to listen to your body and take a break or get a drink of water if you feel the need.
Also, minor muscle aches can be normal during intense physical sports, but excessive pain or joint pain is not. If your body warns you that it needs rest, listen to the warning, because ignoring these signs can lead to more serious complications.
Sports Medicine in Pembroke Pines and Lauderdale Lakes
Although we can do our best to avoid injuries during the summer, accidents and mistakes can happen. Our caring medical staff at Total Orthopaedic Care has years of experience in sports medicine, and we are here to help you heal from your injury so you can back to life as quickly as possible.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists, contact us today by calling (954) 735-3535 or by filling out our online form to request an appointment. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!