Even though this year’s summer is very hot, there are still a lot of ways to have fun and enjoy the great outdoors – and suffer from summer sports injuries as well. It can be easy to ignore symptoms or believe that you’re beyond getting injured, but knowing the signs and symptoms can help keep you healthy.
We’ve discussed several other types of summer sports injuries in a previous post, and we’ll finish the list today in discussing:
Shin splints occur in the lower legs below the knee and often happen to runners, cyclists, dancers, and other athletes. They are typically caused when exercise or exertion is ramped up too much too quickly, such as beginning to run at too hard of a pace.
Shin Splint Symptoms
Shin splints tend to be characterized by muscle pain in the shins on either side of the shin bones. There can also be shooting pains, swelling or tenderness in the area, so some numbness and weakness in the feet.
Shin Splint At-Home Treatment
The most effective at home treatment for shin splints is the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate). Getting rest, icing the area, using compression bandages, and elevating your shins will help your recovery greatly. You will need to take time from your physical activity to allow your legs some time to heal. Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can be used to deal with the pain.
Preventing Shin Splints
To prevent shin splints, make sure to use good shoes with cushioned insoles. Avoid ramping up your intensity during your workout too quickly, going at a pace that you can keep up with. Warm up before exercising and don’t try to work through the pain.
Lower Back Pain (Sciatica)
Sciatic occurs in the lower back, above the hips. It is caused by other injuries to your sciatic nerve or area surrounding the sciatic nerve that connects the lower back, hips, buttocks, and upper legs.
Lower Back Pain (Sciatica) Symptoms
Sciatica symptoms are most typically known by shooting pains in the lower back that travel through the buttocks and into the legs. You may also experience numbness and weakness in your legs and feet, a pins and needles sensation in your legs and feet, or pain that increases with movement.
Lower Back Pain (Sciatica) At-Home Treatment
A doctor will need to diagnose your sciatica condition, but at home you can alternate hot and cold therapy to both ease the inflammation of the area and promote healing. Stretching the lower back muscles, taking over the counter pain medication like aspirin or ibuprofen, and low impact exercise will help you body begin to heal as well. If the exercise starts to hurt your lower back, stop or rest from that motion. If at-home treatments fail to help, your doctor will prescribe physical therapy or more drastic measures for your back.
Preventing Lower Back Pain (Sciatica)
Some people are more genetically predisposed to suffering from sciatica, but there are methods you can take to prevent possible injury. Exercising regularly and often can help ensure that your lower back muscles are strong and maintaining good posture and lifting form will help prevent you from injuring your back.
An ACL injury is an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, one of the four ligaments that stabilizes the knee. Injuries to the ACL occur when the knee straightens or hyperextends while pivoting, and is typically suffered by athletes while running or changing direction.
ACL Injury Symptoms
Injuries to the ACL are typically caused while in motion. Many people who have injured their ACL have experienced a “popping” sound or feeling in the knee when the injury occurs. Severe pain, loss of range of motion, and a feeling of instability in the leg are typical with ACL injuries. Swelling should also start within a few hours of injury. It is advisable that you see your primary care physician if you suspect an ACL injury.
ACL Injury At-Home Care
Your primary care physician may take some scans and x-rays of your leg to see the extent of the damage done. The RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevate) will be very effective at helping the injury heal at home. Talk to your doctor about stretches and exercises that will help your leg recovery from the trauma it received.
Preventing ACL Injuries
There is no definitive method for preventing an ACL injury, but thorough training on how to pivot properly can help. Ensuring that you are aware of your movements as you exercise or play sports and don’t over do it when it comes to your knee.
Bursitis is the inflammation or injury of the fluid filled sacs (or bursae) that surround and cushion the motion of the knee. It is caused by repetitive motion, sports injury, infection, or staying on your knees for long amounts of time.
Pain and swelling are typical symptoms of bursitis as the sacs become inflamed. You may also experience redness in the knee and increased difficulty in bending your leg.
Bursitis At-Home Treatment
You may need to see your primary care physician in order to properly diagnose your bursitis. At-home treatment is possible – rest your knee, use anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, and ice the area to bring down the swelling. If these options don’t work, contact your doctor as antibiotics and other medications might be needed.
If your bursitis is caused by repetitive motion, lessen or stop the amount that you make that motion. Using kneeling pads if you’re required to kneel often, and be sure to warm up before exercising. Exercise often to strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints.
Contact your Raleigh primary care physician today
If you suffer from sports injuries, contact Med One Medical Center today to see what we can do to ensure that your injuries are not chronic. Call us at 919-850-1300 or fill out our contact form.