Summer is here—a great time to play sports and enjoy the outdoors. People go cycling, head out to lakes and rivers to go canoeing and kayaking, flock to the beach to play volleyball, and do many other fun activities.
There’s no doubt that summer sports are exhilarating, but it is worth keeping in mind that they also make you vulnerable to injuries.
At Advanced Bone & Joint, we usually see an uptick in patient visits due to sports injuries during the summer months. With that in mind, we have prepared a short list of tips from our board-certified and fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians to help you prevent sports injuries and stay on top of your game.
Stay well hydrated.
Proper hydration is always imperative when playing sports—all the more so during the summer months. It replenishes the electrolytes lost due to excessive sweating. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals and compounds that help your body do much of its work, such as producing energy, contracting your muscles, and maintaining the optimal performance of your cardiac, digestive, and nervous systems.
To maintain healthy electrolyte balance in your body, drink plenty of water and ensure you have regular drinks breaks during your game.
Always warm up.
Warming up properly before starting any type of physical activity has a number of important benefits. To name a few, it revs up your cardiovascular system and increases blood flow and oxygen to your muscles, thereby enabling them to work efficiently. It also improves mental sharpness, which helps you to be more focused during your game, and reduces your risk of injury by engaging the correct muscle groups.
Also, if you have been out of the game for a while, it helps to take things slowly at first. This allows your body to get used to using different muscle groups, thereby helping reduce your risk of injury. A slow and gradual increase in activity works best.
Make sure to get good quality and quantity of sleep.
Getting good quantity and quality of sleep is essential for overall health and athletic performance, as it allows your body to recover and repair itself. It can also help improve focus and prevent fatigue, which likely leads to injury.
Try not to focus on only one sport.
By playing other types of sports, you will be less likely to experience burnouts. Repetitively placing stress on the same muscle groups and joints can also make you more susceptible to injury.
Know when to stop.
If you are experiencing pain or suspect that you may have sustained an injury, listen to your body and stop. Participating in any form of physical activity with an injury will only make it worse. Give your body time to heal and see one of our sports medicine physicians if you have concerns, such as if:
- You have pain that has lasted for more than a few days.
- You have excessive swelling or bruising.
- You are unable to weight bear on or have reduced function in a joint or limb.
- You have noticed a deformity.
Sports Medicine Physicians in St. Peters and O’Fallon, MO
At Advanced Bone & Joint, our sports medicine physicians provide comprehensive care for the full range of sports injuries and teach our patients strategies to effectively minimize their risk of injuries and boost their athletic performance.