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How to Prevent Summer Spine Injuries Prompted By Outdoor Sports

sports-injuries

Now that the summer is in full gear, we’re spending more and more time being active outside. For many, this means enjoying a wide variety of summer sports such as tennis, golf, running, jogging, baseball, and football. Unfortunately, summer sports can wreak havoc on the spine and prompt herniated discs, spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis, fractures, and a variety of other spinal injuries.

At Pacific Spine, we make it a priority to educate our patients on summer sport injury prevention so that you can safely participate in summer sports without suffering from pain and discomfort. Read on to learn what you can do to prevent a sports spinal injury and enjoy your summer injury-free.

Know Your Limits

All too often, spinal injuries occur because someone is pressured to take on a challenge that is beyond their limits. While it’s thrilling to try new sports and take on new activities, if you know that you’re physically incapable of doing something, don’t do it. It’s important to understand that not every activity is right for you.

Practice Good Form

Improper form can easily trigger a spinal injury. When participating in a summer sport outdoors, be sure to be mindful of your form at all times. While muscle soreness can occur when trying a new sport, sharp, tingling pain is a sign that you’re form is off and something went wrong.

Vary Your Routine

Although you may have a favorite sport that you play on a regular basis in the summer months, it’s important to vary your routine and try to alternate between different sports. By sticking to one sport and playing it too often, you will repeatedly use the same muscles and joints and may suffer from a strain or injury as a result.

Don’t Forget to Warm Up

Prior to playing any sport, you must remember to warm up. A proper warm up that includes stretching exercises can improve the flexibility of the ligaments and muscles while increasing blood circulation. In addition to preventing spinal injuries, warming up also enhances athletic performance.

Use Proper Equipment

Shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, and shin pads, helmets, mouthpieces, eye wear, neck rolls, face guards, and other protective equipment should be worn to lower the risk of injury to the spine. Investing in and remembering to wear protective equipment is an easy way to protect your body parts from serious injuries in the future.

Stay Hydrated

Believe it or not, many spinal injuries occur because of excessive physical activity in scorching hot temperatures. To avoid injuries sparked by the heat, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sport. If it’s unbearably hot outside, avoid playing a sport and save it for a day or time period with cooler temperatures.

Visit Pacific Spine for Relief From Spinal Injuries

If you experience a sports spine injury that does not improve with conservative treatments such as rest, ice packs, and over-the-counter pain medications, contact Pacific Spine. Dr. Keenen will evaluate your condition and design an individualized treatment plan that will put you on track to achieving the relief you deserve.

 

  • Oregon Medical Association
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Scoliosis Research Society
  • North American Spine Society