Wear and tear injuries are exactly as one would expect. Nothing sudden, they happen over the course of time as constant stress or strain is placed on a certain part of the body, usually tendons, joints, and muscles. While many of these injuries are sports-related – exercises or our favorite sports just start to wear us down – some wear and tear injuries come from our occupations or simply the everyday trials and tribulations of keeping up with a daily routine. Whether your wear and tear comes from a life-long love of playing pick-up basketball, or picking up your toddler over the course of a few years, it’s important to take precautions to stop these injuries mid-course or, better yet, prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some easy ways to reduce your risk of wear and tear injuries.
Don’t Forego Stretches and Warm-Ups
No matter the activity, stretching and warm ups are important to reduce your risk of injuries. That’s because they help loosen and stretch your muscles, tendons and ligaments. When any body part is tight or “cold,” your chances of wear and tear injuries are sky high. Not only do these activities “warm” you up, they also strengthen, and a weak muscle or tendon is more likely to be injured than a strong one. Your body needs time to gradually transition to your activity. Stretching and warm-ups will allow your body that transition period.
Listen to Your Body
How many times have you heard “no pain no gain?” Sure, this may serve to motivate you to break through barriers to achieve a goal, but what if injury is involved? If you are injured, there is a good chance the only gain you will have is being sidelined to heal. Listen to your body. Not just the snap-crackle-pops we all experience, but the chronic aches and pains that are trying to send us a message. Perhaps you are overdoing it; perhaps you are doing something wrong. Either way, you should never ] ignore the signs your body is giving you. Pain is a clear indicator that something is wrong and you need to stop and evaluate whatever you are doing. Not sure where to start? Consult an orthopedist, physical therapist or technique coach to provide an evaluation to get you back on track. Training with bad habits means playing with bad habits. Ignoring your body’s messages could lead to serious like injury.
Get Enough Rest
When you take part in strenuous activities or workouts, make sure to give your body the rest it needs and deserves. This means taking a day or two off occasionally, getting enough sleep every night, and ensuring you balance your active lifestyle with enough relaxation. When you work out consistently, your body builds up inflammation and puts a strain on your body. If you feel extra tired or sore after a session, take it easy on the next one or mix it up with an alternate workout. Maintaining a consistent sleep cycle ensures you develop a smooth rhythm between day and night. An erratic sleep schedule throws the body off and can impact the immune and musculoskeletal systems. If your body is already run down, your risk of injury will be significantly increased.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
RSI is the medical term that describes the damage and pain that impacts muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons caused by overuse or improper technique from performing tasks that involve repetitive motion. The most common RSIs include carpal tunnel syndrome, edema, cubital tunnel syndrome, tennis and golfer’s elbow, radial tunnel syndrome, each of which can be traced back to performing long-term, repetitive tasks that involve forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, or awkward or improper motions. There are many ways to prevent RSIs, most commonly they are to ask for workplace modifications such as periodic breaks to stretch out, wearing protective devices such as braces, or to be evaluated to make sure you are performing your task correctly.
If you are starting to feel the effects of your work, or life in general, you will want to make sure your small aches and pains don’t evolve into something debilitating. The experts at Advanced Bone & Joint specialize in musculoskeletal care and have focus on personalized attention and innovative treatment to promote wellness. If you’re experiencing any musculoskeletal issues from wear and tear to repetitive strain, they would love to help you! Call (636) 229-4222 or request an appointment online today.