I think we can all agree that the warmth of summer is a welcome relief from the rainy, cold BC winter. It’s no surprise that across the Lower Mainland, people are soaking up the sun by hitting the pavement, court, pool, and park. Unfortunately, our expert therapists have noticed that this surge in activity also results in an increase in sports injuries.
Why? People often lose strength and flexibility over the winter due to inactivity. When the warmer weather arrives, they do too much too soon and end up with an injury.
It is essential to be aware of the potential sports injuries you may be susceptible to this summer. This way, you can take precautions to prevent them and promote the safety and well-being of everyone.
What Injuries Happen Most Often in Summer?
Some of the most frequently reported summertime injuries from our patients at Synergy Rehab include:
Whether it is soccer, tennis, basketball, football, spike ball, and more, knee injuries are very common collateral of these summer sports. Proactively protecting the knees is essential, because injury to this joint can cause a lot of pain and immobilization – not to mention considerable time for recovery.
Overusing, overstretching, or hyperextending the knees can cause injury that takes several weeks to completely heal. Common knee injuries include a torn meniscus (protective cartilage in the knee), a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), dislocations, and tendonitis.
A sprain can happen when you’re out playing beach volleyball, or while you’re just out and about on a walk enjoying the warm weather. Walking and tripping on an uneven surface, or mis stepping off a curb or in a stairwell, could cause a sprain just as badly as when twisting your ankle while playing soccer.
A sprain occurs when a ligament – which connects a bone to another bone – is overstretched or torn. It can cause pain and swelling, but not necessarily dislocation. Sprains mostly occur in the wrist, ankle, and knee.
Similarly to sprains, strains are very common with summer sports. Strains may occur if you participate in an intense workout or activity, or if you overwork yourself while playing a sport without a proper warm-up and prior conditioning.
A strain occurs when a tendon or a muscle is overstretched or torn. This injury most commonly affects the lower back, arms, and hamstrings. A strain may cause limited motion, pain or tenderness, and weakness.
Summer fun often includes playing contact sports, which can lead to concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A concussion is to be taken seriously as it can severely damage your brain. The sudden impact on the head may cause dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and memory loss.
Remember to protect your head by wearing appropriate safety gear, such as a helmet. Know your limits and always make safety your top priority!
Synergy Rehab’s tips to prevent summer sports injuries:
Whether you are training for a race, playing a game with your friends, or exercising to stay in shape, there are many things you can do to avoid injury this summer. A few of our favourite tips include:
1. Warm up and cool down properly
A great rule of thumb is to practice dynamic stretching to warm up and traditional static stretching to cool down. This prepares your body for activity and reduces risk of getting tight and cold afterwards.
2. Wear properly fitted gear
Whether it’s team sports, hiking, or cycling, it’s essential to always wear the appropriate protective gear. Poorly fitting equipment can be a safety hazard, especially if you can’t see or move properly.
3. Incorporate cross-training into your routine
Cross-training involves adding in other types of exercise to activate a different set of muscles. For example, if you are a runner, take a day or two out of your running schedule to do something else, like swimming or biking. This can help reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
Your body needs rest to recover from a workout. Building rest days into your workout schedule and getting enough sleep each night can help prevent injuries. Don’t listen to that overly intense boxing teacher — “no pain no gain” can be damaging and lead to injuries!
5. Stay hydrated
Dehydration can not only cause heat-related injuries such as heat stroke, but also results in cramping that can lead to muscle and tendon injuries.
6. Start slow
After a period of inactivity, your body won’t get back into shape overnight. Increase your activity gradually so you stay injury-free.
7. Eat a healthy diet
A balanced diet rich in healthy grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins fuels your body for exercise and lowers your risk of injury. It also improves recovery time and allows you to heal more quickly from a strain or sprain.
Sports Injury Care in Surrey, Burnaby, and the Lower Mainland
Prioritizing your safety this summer can help you avoid common sports injuries. Because accidents can happen even if you prepare, our team of medical experts at Synergy Rehab are ready to diagnose and treat your injury, so you can get back in the game as quickly as possible!
We’ve got your back.