Avoiding Strains in Summer Sports
Summer is here, and it’s the perfect time to get out, be active, and play your favorite sport. But, while you’re enjoying the nice weather, it’s important to stay safe. No matter if you are getting back into exercising after a long break or are a professional-level athlete, you are still at risk of developing a strain. Keep reading to learn more about strains, what causes them, their symptoms, and how to prevent them.
What Is a Strain?
Strains are a common type of sports injury. This is the stretching or tearing of a muscle or the tendon which are the fibers connecting the muscles to the bone. Strains can range in severity from minor, overstretched muscles, commonly referred to as pulled muscles, tendon injuries, to serious partial or total tears of the tissue. There are several different factors that can increase risk of developing a strain while playing a sport this summer.
You can strain a muscle or tendon playing almost any sport, including basketball, golf, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, and more. Leg strains, including painful hamstring muscle injuries, occur more frequently for athletes who play sports requiring them to run, jump, or start quickly, like soccer and basketball. Hand strains result from sports that necessitate a strong grip, like tennis and golf. Elbow strains are also fairly common during the summer. This type of strain arises from repetitive arm movement and is especially common among those who play racket sports like tennis and pickleball, and throwing sports, like baseball.
There are a few common symptoms that can indicate a muscle strain. You may experience pain or tenderness in the area where the strain is located. Redness, swelling, and bruising may also accompany the strain. Strains can also limit your range of motion and cause your muscles to become weaker.
Use these tips to be safe and prevent strains while exercising and playing sports this summer. Be sure to always warm-up before working out. This help to gradually get your muscles, joints, mind, heart rate, and circulation ready to move. It also helps to prevent injuries, so always stretch and warm up slowly.
Set realistic exercise goals for yourself. This is especially important if you are getting back into being active after a long break. Don’t push yourself too hard when you’re first starting, otherwise, you will hurt yourself. Instead, begin at a slower speed and gradually increase the duration, intensity, or frequency of your exercise. Make sure you have the proper gear for whatever sport you are playing. Having the right footwear and protective gear will help to prevent strains. Make sure your shoes fit well, your equipment is appropriate for the sport, and everything is in good condition.
At the first sign of injury, stop playing immediately. Don’t try to play through the pain; stop and schedule an appointment with a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta. Let them diagnose the condition. Follow their recommendations so you can heal and get back to playing as soon as possible.
Lastly, give yourself time to rest every week after being active. You may not feel muscle soreness until 24 to 72 hours after playing the sport. Be sure to give yourself enough time to recover after exercising to avoid a strain.
If you develop a strain while playing a sport this summer, be sure to schedule an appointment with us at OrthoAtlanta as soon as you can.