Summer is a time to have fun and spend time outdoors. It is an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine. It’s a time when you can go out for a walk and roll down the windows and take in everything that nature has to offer, allergies and all. The warmer weather encourages you to be active and venture outside – yes we know, as Central Oregonians this pretty much goes for all seasons! The only caveat with outdoor activities is the risk of injuries due to twists, turns, and falls, among other reasons. The good news is that many of these injuries can be easily prevented, often with simple adjustments and suggestions:
WEAR PROTECTIVE GEAR: When participating in contact sports, it is essential to wear protective gear appropriate to that activity. For example, wearing helmets, gloves, properly fitting shoes and shin pads (depending on the sport or activity) can prevent injury. Children are undoubtedly more prone to sustaining injuries such as scrapes, bruises, ligament tears, and even broken bones.
STRETCHING EXERCISES: Summer presents a tempting opportunity to jump into several activities. If your muscles are deconditioned from the long winter, it’s important to plan ahead. You want to eliminate muscle tears and joint injuries, all of which form a part of the ‘weekend warrior syndrome’. Stretching the muscles and warming them up adequately before and after exercising can help prevent muscle aches and joint pains. Your physical therapist will be able to advise you on the right stretching exercises to perform before and after participating in any activity.
PROPER BODY MECHANICS: It’s important to be careful when using equipment. Gardening tends to be a popular activity during the summer. Using a wheelbarrow to carry heavy objects is highly advisable. Your physical therapist will also give you great advice on how to avoid back injuries by teaching you how to use different muscle groups when lifting heavy objects.
STRENGTHEN THE CORE: The core muscles refer to the abdominals and lower back. Exercises such as leg raises, crunches, and simple rotational movements can help strengthen the muscles of the back and abdomen. This can help in preventing injuries. To be on the safe side, ask your physician if it’s safe for you to exercise. Your physical therapist will provide you with various exercises that can strengthen your core and prevent back, hip, and knee injuries.
Have aches or pains? Have a nagging injury? Give us a call, we are here to get you back to the activities you love, pain free!