Four Tips to Ensure You Stay Injury-Free During Physical Activity
Summer is officially here, which means we’ll have more opportunities for things like running, swimming, playing sports, and being active outdoors. Gyms also see an increase in activity because a lot of people are trying to capture their perfect beach body. No matter which way you slice it, working out and being active is one of the summer’s most popular activities. The only thing that can put a damper on your plans is injury.
Unfortunately, a workout-related injury can hit anyone at any time. No matter how young or fit you currently are, everyone is susceptible to strained muscles, torn ligaments, lower back pain, joint issues. Of course, if you get an injury, your next course of action should be to reach out to Mid-America Orthopedics since we have the best orthopedic surgeons and pain management doctors in the area. However, the best way to deal with an injury is to not get one in the first place. Although it may require a little time and effort on your end, the following injury prevention measures have proven to be effective for keeping people healthy when they engage in physical activity.
Tip #1 – Do a Proper Warm-Up
A lot of injuries happen due to not being properly warmed up before engaging in physical activity. Your body isn’t a machine, so you can’t take it from 0 to 60 within the first few seconds of working out. That’s a surefire way to hurt yourself.
There are a couple things that you should do before every workout so that you’re properly warmed up. The first is to stretch so that you get the blood flowing to your muscles and warm up your joints. Make sure you target every major muscle group in your arms, legs, torso, and neck. Ease into each stretch until you feel tension that you’re comfortable with and hold for 15 to 30 seconds. The entire process should take roughly five or more minutes.
The other thing you should do before a workout or prior to doing intense cardio is a brisk walk. This further warms up your muscles and gets your joints ready for impact. After about 10 or so minutes of power walking, you can transition over to a light jog. By this point, none of your muscles or joints should feel cold or stiff. This is a classic example of pain management by prevention.
Tip #2 – Use Proper Technique
A lot of workout-related injuries stem from using incorrect form or technique, which can be especially dangerous if you’re handling an excessive amount of weight. Whether you’re shooting a jump shot, swinging a tennis racket, or lifting a dumbbell, proper technique plays a critical role in ensuring that you don’t inadvertently tweak or twist something.
Take the time to learn the basics of the activity that you plan to engage in. Make sure to practice those basics so that the proper technique is ingrained via your muscle memory. If the joints in your body start to hurt, that is a sign that you may be using improper technique. Using the right technique is a lesson that many people learn once they’re already in physical therapy to deal with tennis elbow or a similar condition. Remember, proper technique equates to pain management.
Tip #3 – Don’t Push Too Far
When it comes to working out, it can be tempting to try and push yourself to the limit. Everyone is trying to go faster, lift more, and take themselves to the threshold of what they can do. This is how speed, strength, and stamina are built. However, working out shouldn’t hurt. There are going to be times when you feel tired, winded, or sore. In the event that you feel pain, that’s when you know it’s time to stop. That’s your body telling you you’re pushing too far. If you want to increase your chances of avoiding injury, make sure to listen to your body. Knowing when to stop is critical in pain management.
Tip #4 – Do a Proper Cool-Down
Much the same way you don’t want to engage in physical activity too quickly, you also don’t want to stop physical activity too abruptly. At the end of a workout, your heart rate is going to be higher than normal. Rather than completely crashing at the end of your workout, allow yourself to slip back into repose gradually.
One great method of cooling down is by briskly walking for 5 to 10 minutes, which will allow your heart rate to go down at a more natural pace. Another great method of cooling down is by going for a swim. It’s both low-impact and will get your body’s core temperature down.
Contact the Team at Mid-America Orthopedics for Workout-Related Injuries
Even when taking the proper precautions, sports and workout-related injuries can still happen. In the event that you are suffering from joint pain, a tear (ACL, labral, etc.), or other sports related injury such as tennis elbow, you can always count on the team at Mid-America Orthopedics. We have the best orthopedic surgeons and pain management doctors in the area. Our team of orthopedic doctors has years of experience in dealing with joint problems, lower back pain, and other injuries that have been incurred through physical activity.
There’s no reason to suffer with an injury or sore joints. If you are experiencing pain, the best course of action is to get in touch with Mid-America Orthopedics to schedule an examination. Once you have been evaluated, we can put you on a treatment plan that gets to the root cause of your issue. We can even provide you with physical therapy if your condition requires it.
Take the first step towards pain relief today by booking an examination with Mid-America Orthopedics. For the convenience of our patients, we can typically schedule same-day or next-day appointments.