Fall is upon us, the weather is changing, and sports are in full swing. Before long the changing leaves will be replaced with more frigid temperatures and other opportunities for fun. The changing seasons and conditions along with all the physical activities they offer are primed with the possibility of injury. Dr. Jason Andersen, Sports Medicine specialist with CMC Orthopaedics, is breaking down some of the common causes of injury during this most wonderful time of year.
It’s tons of fun until someone gets hurt.
There are so many fun things to do in Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas during the fall and winter months. Horry County offers multiple sporting opportunities and only a few hours away the Blue Ridge mountains have their own bounty of activities. Football, marathons, golf, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing just to name a few. All of these pose a threat for injury whether you are an athlete or just a “weekend warrior.”
“But it’s not just sports-related activities that put you at risk of injury,” said Dr. Andersen. “Autumn has us out in our yards raking leaves and working in our gardens which can cause serious strain to your hips, knees, back, and shoulders. Also, with colder temperatures come icy conditions and slick surroundings that can contribute to sprains, fractures, and dislocations that can result in a visit to the emergency department.”
Some common injuries from these activities are:
Fractures and sprains Even just a minor fall can result in a hand, wrist, shoulder, or leg injury.
Muscle strain This occurs when a muscle is overstretched or torn and commonly occurs in the shoulder, lower back, biceps, and hamstrings.
Dislocation Shoulders are easier to dislocate than you think and it’s very important that you don’t try to put your shoulder back in place yourself. A specialist can help ensure that further damage does not occur and that it is set properly.
Shoulder injuries Repetitive movements, especially ones over the head, can cause shoulder pain, instability, and injuries to the rotator cuff, cartilage, and ligaments.
Knee Injuries Your knees take a pounding with a lot of physical activities. The types of injuries and knee pain that typically occur are meniscus tears, tendonitis, ACL tears, and fractures.
Overuse Injuries These occur when practicing and playing sports or even after deciding to ski down the black diamond trail just one more time after a long weekend on the slopes. Some common overuse injuries are tennis/golfer’s elbow, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, runner’s knee, and shin splints.
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Take care of yourself
There are always risks when participating in the activities we love but there are some things we can do to try to avoid injury when doing them according to Dr. Andersen.
“Not everyone can know an accident is coming before it occurs,” said Dr. Andersen. “However, warming up properly before participating in something particularly strenuous, trying to train for that event, exercising those muscles, and getting them ready for that particular event can go a long way in preventing some injuries.”
There are many things you can do to set yourself up for a successful day of play.
“Stretching and warming up and getting the muscles ready to go is very important,” encourages Dr. Andersen. “Equally important is repeating that type of routine to cool down your body.”
Dr. Andersen stressed that how you do your activities can make a big difference in preventing injury. “Oftentimes avoiding sudden, jerky, ballistic type movements and focusing on more smooth controlled movements with your joints can help reduce the impact and strain. Also, if you know you are going to take a tumble, you can reduce injury by attempting to tuck your arms and rolling instead of trying to catch yourself and risking injury to an arm or hand.”
Taking breaks during your activities, hydrating, and knowing when to throw in the towel can deter injury. “You are more prone to accidents at the end of a long day when you are more tired than you realize and less alert,” explained Dr. Andersen. “Know your limitations, don’t ignore them. Listen to your body and stop when it tells you to.”
Sports Injury and Orthopedic Care in Conway, Myrtle Beach, and Horry County
As you are out and about during these cooler days, take the steps to prepare your body and keep it safe during your activities. But if you find yourself injured or experiencing pain, Dr. Andersen and the experienced specialists at CMC Orthopaedics offer the services and treatment you need to get back to peak performance.