Summer is a long awaited time for outdoor activities and sports enthusiasts to enjoy their favorite games. However, engaging in physical activities during this season also comes with an increased risk of injuries. From sprained ankles to heat-related illnesses, it’s essential to take preventive measures and understand how to manage these common summer sports injuries. In this blog, we will explore some valuable tips for you to prevent potential injury and learn more about the role of physical therapy in your recovery process if you are injured.
- Warm up and Stretch: Prioritize a proper warm-up routine before starting any physical activity. Dynamic stretching helps increase flexibility and prepare your muscles for action.
- Hydrate: Dehydration is a common issue during summer sports. Drink plenty of water before, during and after activities to maintain optimal hydration levels.
- Wear Protective Gear: Ensure you have appropriate safety equipment for your sport. Helmets, knee pads, shin guards and mouthguards can significantly reduce the risk of injuries.
- Know Your Limits: Don’t push yourself too hard, especially if you are new to a sport or haven’t been active for a while. You will want to gradually increase the intensity and duration of your overexertion.
- Take Rest Days: Allow your body ample time to recover between training sessions or actual games. Rest days are crucial for preventing overuse injuries and promoting overall well-being that will allow you to continue participating without injury.
Common Summer Sports Injuries
- Sprains and Strains: Twisting an ankle or pulling a muscle is common during summer sports. Remember the RICE protocol – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation – to manage acute injuries initially.
- Heat-Related Illnesses: Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are serious conditions that can occur when the body overheats. Be sure to stay hydrated, wear lightweight and breathable clothing and take frequent breaks in shaded areas to avoid overexertion.
- Sunburn: Extended exposure to the sun can lead to painful sunburns. Don’t be tempted to ignore using it and make sure it has a high SPF.
The Role of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is an effective tool to help you prevent and manage sports injuries this summer.
- Injury Assessment and Treatment: If you sustain an injury, consult our physical therapist, Russ Gatenby for a diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. He and his team can help you regain strength, mobility, and function through various therapeutic techniques.
- Rehabilitation and Strengthening: Russ uses exercises, stretches, and targeted movements to rehabilitate injured muscles, tendons, and ligaments. His team also focuses on building strength and improving flexibility to prevent future injuries.
- Education and Injury Prevention: Russ also provides valuable guidance on injury prevention techniques, proper body mechanics and sports-specific training programs. He can identify biomechanical issues and recommend corrective measures to enhance performance and minimize injury risk.
Enjoying summer sports while staying safe requires a proactive approach to injury prevention and understanding how to manage common injuries. By following warm-up routines, wearing protective gear, staying hydrated, and listening to your body, you can reduce the likelihood of summer sports injuries.
If an injury does occur, Russ Gatenby and his Qore Physical Therapy team in American Fork, Utah, are here to help. To receive optimal care, rehabilitation and guidance for a successful recovery please call 801-701-6699 to schedule a consultation!