Physical Therapy for Common Summer Injuries
With summer on the way, we look forward to getting out again and being active. We want to get our bodies in shape, play basketball, hit the golf course or tennis courts. Unfortunately, sometimes being active has a downfall when we get that unexpected injury. Being inactive during the cold winter can strain our bodies and lead to common injuries. Luckily physical therapy can help with both recovery and prevention of injuries. Find out about the most common summer injuries and how you can help your body with physical therapy before venturing out on that physical activities.
Common summer Injuries
Ankle injuries and, most commonly, sprains are one of the most common injuries suffered by people. Uneven terrains, sudden movement, or inadequate warmups contribute to the risk of ankle sprains. An ankle sprain can be painful and debilitating and leave you, once again, inactive like in wintertime! However, physical therapy can help. Therapists can create a treatment plan to reduce the pain and swelling and design a range of motion exercises to strengthen the joint and get you back on your feet. They can also provide information about the best footwear, bracing, and preventative activities for warmup before exercising to prevent the recurrence of the same problem.
One of the most commonly injured joints in the body is the knee. It is crucial to seek the proper treatment immediately, as avoiding treatment can progress into a torn ACL. The ACL is the ligament that helps connect the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). Injuries to the ACL occur most commonly during sports that involve sudden stops or change of direction, jumping or landing. Many people hear a popping sensation in the knee when an injury occurs. Serious injury can result in surgery if not treated immediately. Seeking help from a physical therapist as soon as possible can solve the problem before it progresses. The therapist can design a treatment plan with strengthening exercises, stretches, stability and more to reduce the risk of an ACL injury.
Shin splints are injuries in the front of your lower leg when the tibia becomes inflamed and painful. The cause is often increasing your activity level too quickly, causing repeated stress on the lower leg. Risk factors for shin splints include inadequate warmup, muscle imbalances in the lower leg, running on hard or inclined surfaces, overuse, or incorrect running shoes. Physical therapy can correct this injury with the correct exercises, stretches and massages to alleviate the condition and get you up and running sooner than you think.
Summer activities like swimming, kayaking, tennis, or golf can put excessive stress on the shoulders. This could result in injuries such as rotator cuff strains, dislocations, shoulder instability or frozen shoulders. Physical therapists employ various techniques in the treatment and prevention of shoulder injuries. They can also advise you about proper exercises, warmups, and posture to alleviate and prevent pain and injuries in the shoulder and improve joint mobility.
Tennis/ Golfer Elbow
Tennis and golfer’s elbow is a form of tendonitis that causes pain and inflammation in the tendons that connect the forearm to the elbow. Tendonitis is caused by overuse of the forearm muscles and tendons, with repetitive minor shock on the affected areas. The difference between tennis and golfer’s elbow is that with tennis elbow, the tendons are damaged on the outside of the elbow, whereas with golfer’s elbow, the tendons on the inside
of the elbow are damaged. These injuries are not necessarily caused by participating in the sport, but any hand, wrist, or forearm movement can lead to strain or damage of the muscles and tendons in that area. For example, repetitive flexing, gripping, or swinging can cause tiny tears or pulls in the tendons. Furthermore, improper throwing, lifting, or hitting, poor conditioning, and too little warmup can contribute to tennis or golfer’s elbow.
Physical therapists are trained to differentiate and diagnose between these two. Then, they will set up an individual training plan, guiding you to heal the tendons with appropriate exercises and correct warmup sessions to avoid repetitive injuries.
After winter’s prolonged inactivity, your body is not accustomed to physical movement such as running, jumping and other strenuous movements. In addition, sudden physical activity increases the risk of strain on back muscles. Therefore, it is imperative to start the season with exercises and stretches that the physical therapists will provide to prevent back injuries and immobilize you for the summer months.
There is always the risk of falling, tripping, or slipping when participating in physical activities like soccer, softball, cycling, hiking, or any other physical activity you participate in during the summer months. This can lead to fractures and sprains that require medical treatment and long rest periods. Fortunately, physical therapists can give you specific exercises, treatments, and stretches to avoid serious injuries or fractures before participating in the activity.
Prevention is better than cure
A physical therapist can help you reach your best in whatever activity you participate in. So, before you start, consult a physical therapist for advice and guidance on activities, movements, stretches, and exercises to help you achieve the optimal this summer.
Physical therapists provide safety exercises that challenge and improve your balance and physical activity. They can help avoid injuries and strengthen the muscles to prevent severe damage and eliminate pain. Stretching and strengthening, according to the instructions of a physical therapist, can only improve your physical activity and mobility.
Where to go? RGV Physical Therapy
At XO Physical Therapy centers in McAllen, Mission, and Weslaco, you can find dedicated staff who fully understand your need or injury to design a customized treatment plan. They are dedicated to helping you to recover and achieve your physical fitness goal. Turn to them for compassionate care and personalized attention. Make an appointment now for help from the best physical Therapy Center.