Are you someone who tends to be more active when the weather gets warmer? Well, you’re not alone, especially after the winter that we’ve had here in the Mid-Atlantic. And between the summer time sports mishaps and the sandals snafus, this heavily anticipated change in weather is the time when we tend to see large increases in orthopedic injuries.
The majority of individuals attempt to go from being completely sedentary over the winter months to no holds barred, full throttle spring and summer activities. This trend has all the makings of accident or injury.
Spring and summer season injuries and conditions can arise from an array of different traumas or repetitive activities. List below are several examples:
- Ankle sprain and knee tendonitis or cartilage/meniscus injury due multiple reasons, from twisting the foot or leg, falling, sports injuries and even wearing unstable footwear such as flip-flops or clogs.
- Plantar fasciitis and stress fractures of the foot from high-impact activities like jumping, track, basketball, etc; all while wearing improper and/or unsupportive footwear.
- Golfer’s and tennis elbow, which are repetitive-stressor based activities.
- Shoulder tendinopathy due to overuse while completing household activities such as gardening, mulching, painting, digging, hammering, etc.
- Wrist, arm and shoulder fractures from various falls.
If you or your loved ones do end up taking a fall or experiencing pain after a warm weather activity, I suggest you do the following:
- Immediately stop the provoking activity, and do not attempt to play or work through the pain.
- Follow protocols consistent with the pneumonic PRICE – “protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation.”
- If 36-48 hours pass and the pain has not improved, schedule a visit to see a physician.
There are several specific warning signs that are good indicators that you may need immediate care – obvious deformity, joint instability, decreased range of motion and persistent joint swelling.
With all of this in mind, hop off of the couch and start enjoying this nice weather. It is long overdue!