Learn How to Prevent and Treat the Most Common Summer Sport Injuries
From team sports like soccer, to casual games of beach volleyball or pickleball with friends, sports play an essential role in many of our summers.
While summer sports are an excellent way to spend time with friends, stay active, and perfect a new skill, they also come with risk of injury.
In some cases, these risks are made even worse by the hot Florida summer, which can leave people feeling dizzy or weak and put them at risk for conditions like heatstroke and heat exhaustion.
So how can you stay safe while playing summer sports? And what steps should you take if an injury does occur? Look no further than this article for a practical guide to summer sports injuries.
3 Common Summer Sports Injuries
Sometimes injuries may vary depending on the sport you play, but many of the most common sports injuries can affect anyone.
Keep in mind that these injuries are difficult to diagnose without a professional opinion, so it’s important to seek out medical care as soon as you start experiencing symptoms.
A Pembroke Pines sport chiropractor can help you figure out what injury you’re dealing with and how to best treat it.
In general, these are three of the most common categories of summer sports injuries:
- Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are incredibly common for athletes, making up 41.4% of all sports injuries. But this doesn’t mean that you should just ignore your pain and keep playing if you’re experiencing symptoms of a sprain or strain.
A strain happens when a muscle or a tendon (the tissue connecting a muscle to bone) is stretched or begins to tear. A sprain is when that stretching or tearing happens to a ligament (the tissue connecting two bones together).
These injuries can be serious, and they also have similar symptoms to even more acute injuries like tears.
A chiropractor can help determine if the pain you’re experiencing is because of a sprain, a strain, or something else entirely. They’ll also let you know how soon you can get back to playing your sport, and they may even be able to help you heal faster with chiropractic treatment.
- Sunburn and Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion and sunburn are unfortunately very common in the hot Florida summer, so it’s important to know how to respond when symptoms arise.
Sunburn is usually preventable with frequent sunscreen re-applications, protective clothing, and time spent in the shade, but more than 1 in 3 Americans end up experiencing sunburn every year.
If you have sunburn, consider taking a cool (not cold) bath or applying cool water to the skin. You should also make sure to add moisture back to the skin with aloe gel or lotion. Sunburn will typically heal on its own, but make sure to stay out of the sun while you’re healing and don’t pop any blisters that appear.
Heat exhaustion is a little harder to recognize and sometimes difficult to prevent, but there are some common symptoms to watch out for. This condition happens when the body loses too much water and sodium — typically because of sweating and dehydration.
If you’ve been spending time in the heat and start noticing these symptoms, you may be experiencing heat exhaustion:
- Elevated body temperature
- Decreased urine output
- Heavy sweating
In more serious cases, a person may also experience heat stroke, which puts you at dangerous risk for disability or even death. Don’t hesitate to act if you or someone you know starts experiencing these symptoms while playing sports, and make sure to seek out medical care right away.
Concussions occur when your brain collides with the inner wall of your skull — maybe from a fall or a particularly hard collision in a contact sport. These conditions are dangerous and should be taken seriously.
If you start experiencing symptoms of a concussion, visit a doctor right away, and don’t try to play through the pain.
A medical expert can let you know when it’s safe to return to your sport, but doing so before you’re ready can lead to further injury or brain damage.
Common symptoms of a concussion include moderate or severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.
Treating Summer Sports Injuries
If you’re experiencing symptoms of any of these sports injuries, you should not try to deal with them on your own.
However, there are certain things you can do to aid in your healing journey or find some relief before your appointment with a medical expert.
For many injuries, the acronym RICE is helpful to remember:
You should also make sure to drink plenty of fluids, as your body needs to be hydrated in order to heal itself more effectively.
Chiropractic Care for Summer Sports Injuries
When you visit a chiropractor or other medical expert, they can diagnose your condition by examining the affected areas, asking you questions about the injury, and performing tests or taking images if needed.
From there, they’ll provide you with a treatment plan, which could include things like medication, rehabilitation exercises, chiropractic treatments, and surgery.
At Rush Chiropractic, we’re often able to treat summer sports injuries without medication or surgery, but we’re also willing to make referrals if those interventions are needed.
How to Prevent Summer Sports Injuries
Not all sports injuries are avoidable, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk of injury. In general, make sure to:
- Thoroughly stretch and warm up before a game or practice
- Wear the recommended protective gear for your sport
- Make sure you have the proper training and conditioning to play your sport safely
- Avoid overexertion and rest when you need to
- Stay hydrated before, during, and after a sporting event
And if you’re experiencing a sports injury in the Pembroke Pines area, don’t wait to give Dr. Rush a call! He can help you build a treatment plan that fits your needs so you can start feeling better faster. Call us today at 954-432-5006 to learn more.
Dr. Rush is a 1994 graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Sports Science and Wellness.
Dr. Rush earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Life University in 2000 where he was honored with magna cum laude. Dr. Rush was born and raised in South Florida where he returned after graduation. He currently practices in Pembroke Pines where he owns and operates Rush Chiropractic and Rehab.