By John C. Kagan, M.D. –
With our beautiful spring weather, everyone is outside enjoying the sunshine before it gets too hot here in Southwest Florida. But it’s important to remember not to do too much too soon or the nagging pain from an overuse injury will stop you from having fun.
An overuse injury simply means you’ve overworked your arm, shoulder, knee or hip, stretching the muscles, ligaments or tendons beyond their capability. The American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine says overuse injuries are often subtle, occur gradually over time and are the result of repetitive micro-trauma to the tissue. The symptoms are a nagging pain, tenderness and stiffness.
Here are seven tips from the experts for avoiding overuse injuries this spring.
1. Cross-train. Participating in just one type of
sports activity every day can increase your risk of overdoing it. It’s better to work different muscles groups on occasion. If you run, balance it with strength training or stretching classes.
2. Know your limits. Don’t overdo it. Working through pain is never a good idea, it simply increases your potential for getting injured. Listen to your body and know when it’s time to stop.
3. Use proper technique. Get tips from a pro or take a lesson to make sure your technique and body alignment are correct.
4. Wear the right type of athletic shoe to support your feet.
5. Be sure to warm up and cool down.
6. Don’t take on too much, too quickly. Use common sense when training or taking on a new sports activity.
7. If you’ve returning your fitness routine or sport after injury, begin slowly and pace yourself to avoid re-injury.
Many medical experts recommend an overall fitness program that incorporates range of motion exercises to increase the flexibility of your joints; strengthening exercises to build strong muscles to support and protect the joint; and aerobic exercise to build heart health, control weight and increase your stamina.
Minor aches and pains from overuse can be handled with rest, ice and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. But anything more serious may need medical evaluation. Learn more about how orthopedic surgeon such as Dr. John Kagan can help at www.kaganortho.com or call 239-936-6778.