With the weather getting warmer, it is starting to seem like it is “that” time of year again. People will start to spend most of their free-time enjoying the beautiful spring and summer weather. Along with the weather they will also start to enjoy bike rides, hiking, playing baseball, softball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, and the list can go on and on. It truly is a great time of year.
However, along with the fun and games come aches, pains, bruises and scrapes. These are often those minor sports injuries that will eventually happen to anyone who plays. Most of the time you do as the old saying goes, “rub some dirt on it,” and you’re back to the game.
Then, there are those more serious injuries that include sprains, tears, fractures and breaks. These can happen in all types of sports and to all different severities. Some are much more serious than others. In some cases you might need to just take it easy for a while. In other cases, you may need surgery. It really depends on the type of injury.
When dealing with a sports related injury, your physician will often refer you to an Orthopedist that specializes in sports medicine. This way you will be able to get the best possible examination and advice on your injury.
If it is an injury that has to do with a bone, they will typically have an x-ray ordered to determine if there is a break or fracture. If there is a joint or ligament injury they will often order an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), as an x-ray is not able to read the body’s ligaments and joints. A CT Scan (computerized tomography) is often performed when there is any type of head injury.
After the extent of the injury is determined, the orthopedist will decide if the injury will require surgery and/or physical therapy. It is extremely important to adhere to your orthopedist advice, as they are the professionals and understand what treatment is best for you.
Although sports injuries usually happen in an instant without any prior signs, there are a few things that you can do to possibly prevent an injury from happening.
• Develop a warm-up program – Most warm-up programs involve stretching, while also getting the heart rate up. This is so that your body has more flexibility, which can prevent the body from tightening up and creating a serious injury. The program you develop is something that you should feel comfortable with. Make adjustments as needed. Use your program before and after activity.
• Get geared up – Often injuries can be avoided by wearing the proper equipment. Pads, helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and/or eyewear are all things that can be worn to prevent the body from being injured. Be careful and make sure that your equipment fits properly to ensure you are as safe as possible.
• Strength/Conditioning – Strengthening and conditioning muscles can greatly reduce your risk of a serious sports injury.
• Rest – That’s right, rest! The truth is that without resting your body becomes weak and therefore, it puts you at a greater risk of sustaining an injury. Try to take at least one day off a week to allow your body to regain its strength.