With the warm summer days arriving, it’s time to get outside and engage in your favorite activities. Summer is the perfect time for picnics and outdoor activities with family and friends in the park, beach, and swimming pool, or for summer league or sports camps. While it’s a great time to spend time outdoors and get active, the summer season is also a prime time for sports injuries. In fact, exercise-related injuries or sports injuries and conditions are quite common during summer activities such as hiking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, football, basketball, golf, tennis, and any number of other competitive sports. Most injuries occur due to repetitive motion, sudden strains and muscle and ligament sprains and tears.
Since people tend to be more active in the summer, the number of injuries related to sports and activities tend to increase as well. Common injuries that people suffer from during summer time include – ankle sprains, back injuries, neck injuries and whiplash, muscle cramps, bone fractures and concussions. Getting enrolled in slip and fall prevention programs in Brooklyn is a great option to minimize such injury risks.
Let’s take a look at some common summer activity and sports injuries –
- Ankle sprains – Ankle sprain is an injury to the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that surround and connect the bones of the leg to the foot. Typically, this injury occurs when you accidentally twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way, forcing the ankle joint to move out of its normal position. Common symptoms include – swelling, tenderness, bruising, pain, stiffness and inability to put weight on the affected ankle and skin discoloration.
- Burners and stingers – Generally common in contact or collision sports, these injuries occur when nerves in the neck and shoulder are stretched or compressed after an impact. In most cases, burners and stingers are temporary and symptoms quickly go away. Symptoms typically occur in one arm only and include – a burning or electric shock sensation, arm numbness and weakness and a warm sensation.
- Sprains and strains – Regarded as common orthopedic injuries, sprains are injuries to the ligaments whereas strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. A sprain is usually caused by trauma to a joint. A strain is the result of overstretching or overuse of the muscles and tendons. Common symptoms include – pain, swelling, bruising, and decreased range of motion.
- Concussions – A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects your brain function. Concussions are particularly common among people who play contact sports, such as football, soccer and hockey. Common symptoms include headache, loss of memory (amnesia), and confusion. These symptoms can last for days, weeks or even longer.
- Muscle cramps – A muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles. It usually develops in the leg muscles, particularly in the calf. Overuse of a muscle, dehydration, muscle strain or simply holding a position for a prolonged period can cause a muscle cramp.
- Golfer’s elbow – More common among golfers or tennis players who repeatedly use or clench their fingers, this condition causes severe pain on the inner side of your elbow. It may restrict or affect your ability to perform your routine activities. Symptoms include – chronic pain on the inside of the elbow, pain when shaking hands or flexing the wrist, loss of elbow flexibility and limited range of motion.
- Bursitis – This is an injury that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs – called bursa – that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. Typical symptoms include – disabling joint pain, excessive swelling, redness, bruising or a rash in the affected area and joint stiffness. The most common causes of bursitis are repetitive activities, motions or positions that put pressure on the bursae around a joint. Examples include – throwing a baseball, lifting something over your head repeatedly, leaning on your elbows for long periods and extensive kneeling for tasks such as laying carpet or scrubbing floors.
- Rotator cuff tendonitis – This injury is common in sports that require repetitive overhead activities such as throwing and many other types of highly repetitive motions. Rotator cuff tendinitis occurs when the tendons and muscles that are responsible for the support and movement of the shoulder joint become inflamed or irritated. Typical symptoms include – swelling and stiffness, loss of strength and motion in the affected area, pain radiating from the outer arm to the front and top of the shoulder and clicking sound in the shoulder and pain when the arm is raised or lowered.
- Tennis elbow – A common elbow injury in the world of sports, tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow. As the name suggests, playing racquet sports like tennis/squash which involve repeated use of the backhand stroke is one of the possible causes of tennis elbow. Other possible causes include – repetitive computer mouse use, using plumbing tools, painting, weightlifting and driving screws. Burning pain sensation on the outside of elbow is one of the primary symptoms of this condition.
- ACL tear – Regarded as one of the most common knee injuries, Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear occur when an athlete suddenly stops, changes direction rapidly, slows down while running, lands incorrectly from a jump and involves in direct contact or collision, such as a football tackle. Athletes who participate in high demand sports like soccer, football, and basketball are more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments.
How to Prevent Summer Sports Injuries
Summer is a great time to get physically active and engage in your favorite summer sports. Injuries are quite common during sports activities, but it is important to give your body time to heal. Minor injuries like strains generally take about 3 months to heal and can be easily handled by taking adequate rest, icing the injured area and elevating the injured area. On the other hand, other serious injuries like muscle tears can take longer and require effective treatment to reduce pain, restore functional ability and improve strength.
Multi-specialty pain management centers offer effective rehabilitation services in Brooklyn for managing different types of summer sports injuries. Physical therapy exercise programs such as stretching, strengthening and isometric exercises specific to the concerned sports type can help minimize the risk of sprains and strains. Chiropractic care is a proven option for sports injuries. Chiropractic treatment typically includes joint manipulation, soft tissue therapies, individualized exercises and lifestyle advice to restore proper function, heal damaged tissues, and reduce pain. Other treatment modalities for sports injuries include – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Radiofrequency radio ablation, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and trigger point injections. After performing a thorough physical examination, the rehabilitation team will identify the cause of the pain and recommend an appropriate treatment plan to help you heal and get back to your favorite summertime activities.
Sports related injuries are unavoidable, but many can be prevented by following certain important tips. Make sure to stay hydrated, wear suitable protective gears, engage in proper training and workouts that suit your muscles and choose the right shoes for the specific summer sports that you intend to involve yourself in. Supportive shoes and orthotics are good options that take the extra stress off the ligament. In multi-specialty pain management centers, physicians recommend Foot Levelers Orthotics soles that can be easily slipped into any type of closed footwear. By supporting the foot’s natural structure, these functional orthotics soles help alleviate pain throughout the body and improve balance.