Spring has finally arrived and it has been welcomed with open arms by most of us. With the warm weather, people who have been dormant for most of the cold winter days, look forward to spending time outside, whether it is playing sports or enjoying hobbies such as gardening. However, as innocent as it sounds, this may lead to unexpected injuries if you are deconditioned or physically unhealthy.
There are numerous factors that may predispose one to unwanted injuries early in the summer season. A common factor is not fully recovering from any (what might seem minor) past or lingering injuries. Research shows that if the human body is not physiologically healthy and unwanted stress and strain is being put upon it, then injury will occur (1).
Athletes and active adults are prone to certain injuries depending on the stress put upon one’s body during activity. Golfers generally experience elbow or low back injuries. Gardeners are prone to hip and knee injuries.
As a physiotherapist, I commonly see abnormal motor patterns that may be caused by muscle weakness, muscle inhibition (muscle fibers not firing properly), scar tissue or pain from a previous injury. For example, runners frequently suffer from chronic hamstring strains that may not be properly addressed. Typically, the underlying problem is due to a muscle imbalance between the over dominant hamstring and weaker gluteus muscles causing the hamstring to work extra hard, predisposing it to strain. Other factors that may lead to early injury in the season include developing bad habits such as not stretching, improper (or lack thereof) warm up and cool downs. Also, some people adapt the weekend warrior syndrome and do too much activity too soon.
Injury is unnecessary. Prevention is key. Without proper care and healing, complications can arise. At SEMI, we have a variety of options such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, naturopathy and podiatry that will meet your specific needs and assist you in safely returning to your summer sports or activities. Give us a call at our clinic and book an appointment to make sure you enjoy this summer season injury free!
Garrett W., Postgrad Med. 1983 Mar; 73(3): 200-9