Injury prevention tips for weekend warriors

Do you engage in strenuous physical activities on the weekends? If so, you might be a weekend warrior. The danger with this designation? Long periods of intense physical activity on weekends are physically demanding. If you’re not well conditioned, you could put yourself at increased risk of injury.

Injuries that weekend warriors typically suffer can be categorized into two types:

Acute injuries: "An acute injury happens when someone falls, trips or gets hit," said Cory Nelson, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and independent member of the HonorHealth Medical Staff who specializes in sports medicine. "These injuries occur suddenly."

Overuse injuries: Overuse injuries can affect muscles, ligaments, tissues and bones and are often seen in the younger population. These injuries are associated with sports-related activities that are repeated so often that areas of the body don’t have enough time to heal between times of play. "Common overuse injuries occur when people focus on the same movement repeatedly," Dr. Nelson said. "It’s normal for muscles to feel sore the next day, but pain that lasts could be a sign of a more serious injury."

What can you do to prevent injuries?

Try these tips to protect your muscles and joints and stay injury-free while being physically active:

  • Gradually allow your body to build endurance.
  • Help loosen up your muscles and joints with warm-up exercises and a good stretching program.
  • Learn the right technique for the activity you're doing and use the right equipment.

How can you treat your injury?

Sprains, strains, fractures and tears are among the most common types of sports-related injuries. While many of these injuries will require medical treatment, there are some things you can try at home if your injury isn't severe.

"Apply ice to muscles to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation," Dr. Nelson said. "Depending on the severity of the injury, anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections and physical therapy may help you get back to doing the activities you enjoy. Other times, surgery may be necessary to repair an injury."

At HonorHealth, orthopedic surgeons offer a variety of treatment options for such injuries as shoulder and knee tendonitis, calf strains, Achilles tendon ruptures, ACL tears and rotator cuff tears.

Your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist will develop a treatment program made with your unique needs in mind to strengthen muscles and promote recovery and healing.

Learn more about orthopedic care at HonorHealth.

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