Common Summer holiday injuries and how to avoid them
Christmas and New Year may be over, but there’s still plenty of time left in the summer holidays for activities, sports and spending time at home. For Australians that means we are more likely to suffer or exacerbate an injury for any number of different reasons. Statistics show that hospital admissions increase by at least 10% during the holiday period as more people engage in biking, swimming, surfing and trampolining with alcohol consumption related injuries skyrocketing too. Preventing injuries and accidents is essential to getting the most enjoyment out of this holiday season and avoiding a nasty trip to the hospital or limping into your physiotherapist’s office in the New Year.
Some of the most common injuries suffered around this time of year are:
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Knee pain
- Ankle and knee sprains
- Lower back pain
Rule number 1: Don’t stop your injury management program
It may have been a long year and you deserve some rest and relaxation, but if you have a regular routine of exercises or stretches prescribed by your physio to manage an ongoing condition, don’t let that slip during the holiday period. Every January at Lane Cove our physiotherapists see an increase in people with injury “flare-ups” due to taking a rest from their injury management routine too.
Ease into your New Year resolutions
If you weren’t a regular gym goer in 2019, please don’t start 2020 by going too hard too soon. Some of the most common injuries physiotherapists see in January are New Year resolution related. There’s no reason to jump right into the deep end and risk yourself an injury. Physios recommend preparing your body with daily walks progressing in difficulty, ocean swimming and bodyweight exercises if you are just getting started. If you are pregnant, recovering from an injury or suffer osteoarthritis, starting with hydrotherapy or a guided program with a physio in a private gym may be the most prudent place to start.
If you regularly play sports and stop training over the Christmas holidays, it is going to be natural for your body to lose some strength and physical conditioning. This can lead to a higher risk of sports related injuries if you return to your chosen sport and throw yourself in the deep end. Sports physiotherapists recommend easing your way back in after the break and focus on warming up effectively and stretching before returning to full work in order to avoid the sprains, strains and tears associated with too much too soon.
Beware the holiday sports injuries
The summer holidays are a great time for water and racquet based sports, but activities like swimming, surfing, tennis, and beach volleyball rely on the strength of the shoulder and are highly injurable without proper warming up or conditioning. Shoulder, back and knee injuries especially are something that sports physios see more of during the summer holidays. Don’t be afraid to run through a few stretches before playing any sports or going for a swim, your body will thank you in the long run.
- Overuse injuries of the shoulder
Most Australians love a good game of beach or backyard cricket on a summer’s day, a good swim at the beach or in the pool or a game of beach volleyball. However, cricket along with other activities can lead to pain in the shoulder from overuse. There are many shoulder pathologies that can be the source of the pain, overuse injuries is a broad term to cover the injuries that are from repetitive movements such as throwing or swimming.
- Patellofemoral pain
Patellofemoral pain is a broad term used by physios to describe pain at the front of the knee and around the kneecap. Runners and cyclists love summer and going on a long run or ride and with the New Year comes a significant increase in people starting running programs. This sudden increase in high impact activity can cause pain if body isn’t adequately conditioned, leading to a visit to the local sports physio.
- Injuries due to inactivity
Physiotherapists also see an increase in lower back pain this time of year. Not necessarily from too much activity, but a lack of it. People stop their gym routines and spend more time sitting in a slumped position for long periods of time, putting increased pressure on the lower and at increased risk of a disc injury. Our bodies aren’t made to be sitting for too long, so it’s important to get up and move about for at least two minutes every 20-30 minutes, if you’re driving long distances make sure to stop every two hours and walk around. Changing your posture regularly has been shown improve comfort and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
If you haven’t managed to avoid a holiday injury or you have a flare up
If you or a family member becomes a casualty of the holiday season and its festivities, give the team at Lane Cove Physiotherapy a call, or book online.
Our services include Physiotherapy, Sports Physio, Hydrotherapy, Pilates, Dry Needling, Massage and Women’s Health.