There is good reason why weekend athletes may be referred to as ‘weekend warriors.’ Injuries sustained from weekend activities are very common and can cause excruciating pain. It may have felt awesome to play those 18 holes of golf or a decent game of tennis or to run the bases after a line drive shot up the middle. But why is it that after finally having the chance to be active and feel so good doing it, your ankle, leg, knee, shoulder, etc. is throbbing? Injury was sustained from overuse in a short period.
A progressive workout may prevent the most common weekend warrior injuries. The good news is that everything in life is a lesson and Northeast Spine & Wellness Center is here to help!
It is difficult to fit in exercise when our week is filled with work, kids and other responsibilities so many people tend to squeeze it in on the weekends. We think that we are doing our body good by getting out there and throwing ourselves into the activity. Our spirit is lifted and the endorphins are flowing. Exercise offers a long list of benefits from weight management and cardio health to improving our mood. But, overdoing it on the weekend may leave you a wounded warrior. Until you can be seen by our office, we recommend the PRICE method:
• P – protect form further injury
• R — restrict activity
Restricting activity will prevent worsening of the injury.
• I — apply ice
Apply ice immediately after a common sports injury. Ice is the miracle drug” for sports injuries. It’s an anti-inflammatory, without many side effects. Use ice for 20 minutes every one to two hours for the first 48 hours after the injury. Don’t use heat during this time — it encourages swelling and inflammation.
• C — apply compression
Compression with an elastic bandage will help reduce swelling.
• E — elevate the injured area
Elevating the injured area above the heart will also reduce swelling.
Lesson learned here is that you need to do a progressive warm up and stretching prior to the ‘big game.’ If you run, try a slow jog. The American Council on Exercise suggests stretching or flexibility exercises to increase muscle elasticity. To prevent Achilles tendon injuries specifically — more common during basketball, tennis or football — give your calf muscle a good stretch (feel a pull, not pain). Taking a few minutes can help you burn calories more efficiently, lessen fatigue, improve range of motion and protect from injury.
Eat Carbs and Protein
Carbs and protein is a good mix a good mix for before and after your workout. Carbs are the fuel your engine needs and protein helps rebuild and repair, as well as, make amino acids available to your muscles. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests to eat a few hours before your workout, then snack within 15 or 20 minutes after.