Weekend Warrior Preventable Injuries – by Eliza
Weekend Warrior: Playing It Safe ~ Injuries and How to Prevent Them
With spring now upon us, If you are like me you are getting antsy to get started playing your weekend sports or exercising outdoors. Have you ever been injured playing sports, exercising or in a race on the weekend?
Weekend warrior preventable injuries like ligament and muscle sprains or strains; as well as concussions, are often avoidable.
ARE YOU A WEEKEND WARRIOR?
Are you like me and find it so busy during the week that you tend to exercise or play you favorite sport on weekends?
Weekend sports are a good way for you to not only exercise but also to relax and disconnect from the week’s work of stressors. However, when you only exercise periodically you could actually be causing more harm than good to your body, if you are not careful.
THERE MAY BE SOME HIDDEN RISKS TO YOUR FAVORITE SPORT
Injuries can happen when you have a game of basketball, soccer, slo-pitch game or a round of golf — sports injuries are common in the spring and the summer months, as people tend to go hard and often too fast.
In 2017, according to the National Safety Council (NSC), exercise and the use of exercise equipment led to people reporting 526,000 injuries in basketball followed with about 500,000 injuries in bicycling, with 457,000 injuries and football, with 341,000 injuries.
WHAT CAN CAUSE A SPORTS INJURY?
Most physical activity no matter what kind it is poses a risk for injury. Most sports injuries result from:
- Doing too much too quickly
- Overestimating your level of fitness and ability
- Lack of preparing or poor technique
- Poor equipment or just plain accidents
SO WHAT ARE THE 3 MOST COMMON SPORTS INJURIES?
You have probably already guessed – Sprains, Strains and Concussions.
1. SPRAIN: a sprain is an injury to a ligament usually caused by over stretching or twisting. One of the most common things to sprain is your ankle.
When you “sprain” your ankle or other body part it is usually telling you that you have stressed or overused that body part. A common sprain that happens to many people is you rollover or twist your ankle while doing an activity. When you feel pain it often means you have torn a ligament.
Ligaments are bands of tissue that hold our bones in place. They can be found around your ankle, wrist, knee, neck, shoulder, and elbow.
Symptoms of a sprain may include pain, tenderness and or swelling. You will often get a bruise around the injured part.
2. STRAIN: a strain is an injury to a muscle usually caused by over stretching. Sometimes people refer to a strain as a pulled muscle. Symptoms often include pain and swelling.
3. CONCUSSION: a concussion is a brain injury which usually involves a blow or hit to the head, face, neck or body. This often causes a sudden shaking of your brain that results in your injury.
Some symptoms you might experience when you have a concussion, include difficulty thinking clearly, headaches, dizziness, irritability and balance problems. These symptoms can vary from person to person and the severity of the injury.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT SPORTS INJURIES
No matter what activity you choose it’s important to take the appropriate steps to playing safe.
Here are some tips that can help you reduce the risk of getting hurt:
Be sure to warm up properly by stretching before each exercise. When you warm up your muscles this can help you be more flexible and less likely to tear something!
Slowly increase the intensity and how long you do your activity. It is important to make sure you wear appropriate clothing and protective equipment to match the activity. This can include helmets, shin pads, mouth pieces, face guards, protective cups, and eyewear!
Take some lessons to learn the correct techniques if you are starting a new sport or activity you have never played before.
Make sure you stretch all the different muscle groups you used during that activity!
Do not play if you are in pain.
Take breaks when playing or practicing your sport.
Remember to play safe and avoid things like sliding head first or body checking.
Use spotters where necessary – gymnastics or jumping on a trampoline
HOW TO TREAT INJURIES LIKE STRAINS AND SPRAINS
Sports injuries can vary depending on the type and the severity of the injury.
My rule of thumb is if you feel pain it’s best to stop exercising. If you continue to exercise when you’re injured this may cause further damage and make your recovery time even longer.
Have you heard of R.I.C.E? Strains and sprains can be managed quite nicely with R.I.C.E.
What does R.I.C.E stand for?
R.I.C.E. is a first-aid treatment for strains and sprains or soft tissue injuries. This mnemonic was introduced in 1978 by Gabe Mirkin. It is the acronym for Rest, Ice, Compress and then Elevate.
Rest the injured area for a period of time. Depending on how severe the sprain is you may need to rest it partly or completely and may even need to get crutches.
Wrap the injured area in an ice bag or pack, that can be covered with a thin damp cloth and apply it to the injured area for about 20 minutes at a time.
Repeat this at least four times a day for the first 48 hours after you’ve injured yourself.
You may also want to try an ice slush bath. The ice can help decrease your pain, bruising and swelling. You may need to ice it longer if the swelling continues.
If there is swelling apply an elastic bandage to the injured area this can be particularly helpful in things like ankle sprains.
Try to take that injured area and elevate it so that it is higher than your heart. You might want to keep you ankle elevated for about 2 – 3 hours per day if possible depending on how severe the injury is.
After applying rice if you still feel a lot of pain you might want to check with your physician. Some people may even need to consult a physiotherapist. Sometimes physiotherapists can give you advice that will help you heal faster and prevent injuries in the future.
I also like to use essential oils when I have pain or inflammation due to injury or overdoing exercising. Essential oils are a great option for you to give a try. They are often used to help ease not only your pain and inflammation of sprains and strains but may help swelling too.
The following essential oils can be used separately or you can combine them to create your own personal blend:
- Lavender oil – One of my favorites, Lavender is prized for its ability to help you be calm and to relax. It also relieves pain and inflammation.
- Eucalyptus oil – My GOTO oil for just about everything Eucalyptus has a cooling effect when applied to your muscles and may reduce pain and inflammation.
- Roman and German chamomile oils – Two popular oils that can alleviate pain and inflammation. They may also help soothe muscle tense muscles and reduce may help with those spasms.
- Rosemary oil – Rosemary is reported to possible aid in easing pain and inflammation.
- Yarrow oil – Yarrow is another essential oil that is sometimes thought to be useful in reducing pain and inflammation.
HOW TO TREAT A CONCUSSION
Anyone who experiences a head injury should be seeking medical attention right away. Once you’ve been cleared by the hospital or emergency room to go home you can then focus on recovering from your head injury. Concussions healing time can vary from person to person. Most people recover fully but it can take some time. Your symptoms can last for days weeks or even longer depending on how severe your injury was.
Some Tips if You Have Suffered a Concussion:
After you start to feel better you can usually slowly return to your normal routines and activities. Do not try to do too much while you were recovering. You want to rest your brain and allow it to heal.
- Avoid activities that are physically demanding such as sports, house cleaning, exercise or those activities that require a lot of concentration like working on a computer
- Check with your doctor as to when it is safe to drive a car, ride a bike, or operate heavy equipment
- You will also want to check with your doctor to see when it’s safe to go back to work
- It is suggested that you should not drink alcohol during your recovery
WHEN DO YOU SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION?
- It is always important to see a physician if you experience a head injury
- If you break a bone or dislocation a joint, these typically require urgent medical treatment or help
- When the pain and swelling is significant, doesn’t get better in a couple of weeks, or gets worse after you’ve tried some treatment like R.I.C.E.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS…
So for those of you who like to be Weekend warriors, it’s a good idea to play it safe when you are exercising or playing sports in the great ‘outdoors’. Remember those weekend warrior preventable injuries like ligament and muscle sprains or strains, as well as concussions are often avoidable.
I think the benefits of physical activity typically outweigh the small risk of getting injured.
Just remember to take a little extra time to warm up and stretch and learn the correct form. Don’t forget to wear that protective equipment and most of all have some fun!
I hope the tips in my article will help you maximize the benefit of your physical activity and minimize the risk of injury.
If you found my article helpful I would love it if you shared it with your friends or family and on social media.
Quote: Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. by Jim Ryin
Affirmation: I look forward to biking on the weekend.
Until next time,
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Disclaimer Essential Oils:
Please Remember: If you are currently taking any prescribed medication speak to your doctor or other healthcare professional before using essential oils.
Information found on my site is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health and wellness decisions based upon your own research and in conjunction with your physician or other healthcare professional.
Essential Oils are potent and considered ‘complementary and alternative’ medicine. if you are concerned about allergies, you may want to perform a patch test on your skin.
Some essential oils like lemon and grapefruit are considered to be phototoxic. This means that you should avoid the sun or cover up as necessary when using these oils.I
If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician or healthcare provider before using these products.
Statements and products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Just a reminder keep in mind essential oils are absorbed through your skin so special attention should be taken when mixing your cleaning products.