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“Weekend Warriors”: tips to avoid injuries

 

We all like to stay active and healthy as we age. The problem is that other obligations often get in the way of regular physical activity, so we are relegated to being sedentary during the work week, and active on weekends — a recipe for disaster. Here are some tips to avoid injury if you’re a “weekend warrior”.

Warm up, cool down.

Warmed muscles and tendons are ready for activity, more elastic, and are less susceptible to injury. Warm up and cool down should become part of every workout.

Light stretching.

People often skip stretching altogether, or sometimes overstretch. Routine light stretching helps warm muscles up and increases range of motion. Any questions on how to do so we are here to help. A physical therapist can show you an excellent stretching/warm up routine.

Try to stay active throughout the week; don’t “shock” your body on weekends.

To eliminate muscle shock, introduce even small amounts (5-10 minute walk at lunchtime) of physical activity throughout the week. This is one of the most important tips.

Rest and listen to your body.

Consecutive days of activity often cause injuries. While many athletes think the more they train, the better they’ll play, the truth is, a tired body is more susceptible to muscle strain and other injuries. Consistent pains and strains over time can be a sign of underlying tissue injury and if left unchecked can turn into a more serious injury. Make sure you allow time for recovery, especially if sore!

Pay attention to new aches and pains and don’t workout if something hurts. This is common sense advice but many weekend athletes do not follow this simple rule, and injuries worsen while ignored. Get new aches and pains check early, before they become worse.

Hydrate.

A 3-5% loss of body water content can affect your physical abilities dramatically.

Dehydration starts before you’re working out, as some of us aren’t drinking enough water throughout the day. That means it’s likely you’re already at a disadvantage when you begin your athletics at night or on the weekend.

Bring water or an electrolyte drink to your sporting event, but also drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Once you feel parched, you’re already dehydrated. AVOID sugary sports drinks, as they’re a source of hidden calories and are probably harmful unless you’re an extreme endurance athlete.

Weight train.

Strengthening muscles also strengthens tendons, ligaments and joints. 1-2x/week weight workouts decreases risk of sprains, strains, muscle tears, and tendon ruptures. Use light weights and higher repetitions and avoid extreme positions.

 

 

In selected patients, exercise as good as surgery for low back pain.

Interesting randomized study half the patients treated with cognitive therapy and exercise and the other half had fusion surgery. Take home message — before thinking about surgery for your back pain, make sure you’ve tried an extended, intensive period of nonsurgical management as it will likely be effective.

 

“Conclusions Long-term improvement was not better after instrumented transpedicular fusion compared with cognitive intervention and exercises.”

EXERCISE vs SURGERY IN LOW BACK PAIN RANDOMIZED TRIAL

Expert trauma care for broken forearm

This is a 50 year old patient in a severe car crash. Her right forearm was badly broken.

Severe fracture of both forearm bones

 

And surgery performed carefully and with great attention to detail, the result:

Two plates used to stabilize the forearm and allow immediate range of motion exercises. This patient regained near-full motion within 2 weeks postop and her fractures healed uneventfully.

 

 

Endoscopic carpal tunnel release, what is it?

Q&A with Dr. Jeffrey Brooks, Hand Surgeon and Partner at OSSM:

Q: How do I know if I have carpal tunnel syndrome?

A: The signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (a pinched nerve in the wrist/hand) can be varied: wrist pain, burning, numbness and tingling. The diagnosis can usually be made in a short office visit with minimal testing.

Q: How do I know if I need surgery?

A: Most cases do not require surgery and can be treated with splinting, medications, and sometimes cortisone injections. If conservative therapy fails, surgery is usually offered.

Q: If I need surgery, what are my options?

A: If you do need surgery, the least-invasive surgical treatment (“endoscopic” release) offers a much faster recovery than traditional “open” methods with less pain and faster return to sports and work activities.

Q: How long is the recovery after endoscopic release surgery?

A: While this result is unusual, we have seen electricians and other tradespeople return to work within 3 days after endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery (as opposed to 4-6 weeks with open release). Most people are better off than before the surgery by week 3-4 after endoscopic release compared with 6-7 weeks after open release.

Q: If the surgery is minimally invasive, isn’t it more dangerous since the surgeon can’t see as well as with a wide-open incision?

A: Many studies have shown endoscopic release is actually safer than open release. The surgeon can see much better as a camera is used thru a small incision in the wrist (rather than in the sensitive palm) and the images are projected on an ultra high-definition video monitor, magnified >50 times. It’s critical, however, that endoscopic release is performed by an experienced hand surgeon. Dr. Brooks has performed nearly 1,000 of these procedures safely and effectively.

 

video description of endoscopic carpal tunnel release is below: