Summer will be here before we know it. With the warmer weather comes more time outdoors — and more opportunity for injury. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, emergency departments at hospitals across America see an increase of roughly 20 percent in the number of people coming in with fractures and other injuries during summer months.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a recreational enthusiast, an elite athlete, or a vacationer staying busy outdoors, here are a few important tips to help you have a safe and injury-free summer:
Mind Your Back
No activity, including gardening, should be “back breaking.” Gardeners spend a great deal of time weeding and planting at ground level. If you need to be close to the ground, invest in some quality knee pads. As you’re bent over, lean on one hand and use the other for your task, keeping your back and neck as straight and comfortable as possible. If you need to lift a heavy object, such as a bag of mulch, bend at the knees, not at your waist, and use your legs for leverage.
Ease Into It
Warm weather is energizing and it’s easy to overdo it while you’re outdoors enjoying it. If you’ve been sedentary over the winter months, take the time to ease your way back into things and increase your level of activity over time.
Take Time to Stretch
Everyone who is active is prone to activity-related injuries — even those who have been active over the winter months. As you become more active in the summer months, take the time to stretch before engaging in an activity. You’ll loosen your muscles, joints, and ligaments and reduce the chance that you’ll end up in the emergency room with a sprain or strain — or worse.
Stay Hydrated & Cool
Summer months bring warm weather — and even if you’re not working up a sweat, your body still needs to be well-hydrated. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can creep up on you. To avoid them, be sure to drink plenty of water and spend ample time in the shade to cool down.
Unfortunately, injuries can happen regardless of the safety measures you’re taking. If you suffer any type of activity-related or overuse injury, consult an orthopaedic specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment. If you suffer a sudden injury and are in need of immediate treatment, choose UB OrthoCare.