Summer means heading to the golf course, going for an evening hike or bike ride, or having fun at the pool or beach to take advantage of the warmth and extended daylight hours we long for in the bleak winter months. However, while staying active and getting some sun is great for your health and well-being, summer sports and activities can bring with them any number of injuries. Here are just a few sports injuries your orthopedist has determined are quite common during these brief summer months.
Unless you’re a year-round swimmer, chances are if you commit to a swimming routine only in the summer, you can experience injures. The most common orthopaedic swimming injuries have to do with overuse – particularly in the hips and shoulders. Rotator cuff in the shoulders and labral tears in the hips result from straining and repetitive use. Ensure you use proper form and are warmed up before doing laps.
Contact is another reason one can experience an acute orthopaedic injury. Swimmers may propel head first into another swimmer, cyclists can crash into the pavement, soccer and frisbee players can collide. When one makes impact, fractures, sprains, tears and even concussions can occur. It’s best to be aware of your surroundings at all times and use common sense. Don’t ride your bike on wet pavement, wear a helmet and padding (depending on the activity) and never venture out on your own without understanding the terrain and the level of activity you are involved in.
The boys of summer come out to play every year, and not only on professional diamonds; in the United States alone more than three million children play organized baseball, and adult intramural baseball and softball is common from spring through fall. When properly supervised, baseball is relatively safe for children and adults to play. However, overuse injuries resulting from throwing do occur and pitchers are most susceptible. Additionally, concussions and other serious impact injuries occur on field, not to mention sprains and strains.
Golfer’s Elbow – the degeneration of the tendons that attach to the inner elbow; Pitcher’s Elbow – the result of excessive throwing motion; and Tennis Elbow, the most common racquet-related injury that occurs with the deterioration of tendons that attach muscle to the bone. In name, these injuries appear to be sports-related, but it doesn’t mean you need to be athletic to develop them – each is related somehow to tendon overuse and misuse. Meanwhile elbow fractures and dislocations are very common in the summer due to falls, accidents and other mishaps.
That dull ache in the shoulder joint should? You may have a rotator cuff issue. The group of muscles, and tendons surrounding your shoulder joint comprise the rotator cuff, which is responsible for securing the upper arm bone within the shoulder’s socket. Repeated activity that involves an overhead motion – not only from sports but also painting, raking, fixing up that ’65 Mustang and other summertime handywork –may cause injury, and the possibility increases with age.
Neck and Spine Injuries
You’ve seen the signs at lakes and alongside the shallow end of the pool: “No diving allowed.” These signs are there for a reason: to avoid neck and spine injuries that can leave you paralyzed. The only prevention for these types of injuries is common sense and awareness. Never dive into an unmarked or untested area and heed all warnings. When around bodies of water or on a boat, avoid alcohol, which can impede your judgement. Keep a close watch on your children and ensure that lifeguards are always nearby.
Orthopaedic Care in Johnson City and Kingsport
Don’t let injuries interrupt your summer plans. Preventing injuries is best, but should you experience an orthopaedic mishap, Watauga Orthopaedics is here to help. We offer general orthopaedic care with a focus on sports medicine, physical therapy and rehabilitation. Call Watauga Orthopaedics today at (423) 282-9011 or schedule an appointment online. And for orthopaedic injuries that can’t wait, check out our orthopaedic Urgent Care!