Enjoy Outdoor Activities and Avoid Common Injuries - PIH Health

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Published on August 17, 2015

Enjoy Outdoor Activities and Avoid Common Injuries

Outdoor activities and common injuries

Outdoor activities and common injuriesNo one questions the health benefits of regular exercise, but overdoing it can produce sports injuries that hurt bones and soft tissue. Sports injuries can happen because you’re out of shape or maybe because you didn’t warm up or stretch before and after exercise.

Accidents, poor training and improper gear also contribute to getting hurt. Statistics show that those who play on contact sport teams suffer the greatest number of injuries, while those pursuing solo endeavors get the most serious injuries.

About 10 million Americans receive medical care for sports injuries each year, most of which can be self-treated or heal on their own. If you ever feel pain while exercising, stop and learn what to look for.

1. Strains and Sprains. Strains and sprains happen when muscles or tendons that connect muscle to bone or bone to joints become stretched or torn. Common strains include back and hamstring injuries; common sprains are in the ankle and wrist. Twisting or wrenching causes strains and sprains which may happen suddenly or develop over time. While you may hear a pop or feel a tear with a sprain, during either injury you’re likely to experience:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Trouble moving

2. Acute and Chronic Injuries. Acute sports injuries occur suddenly during activity, while chronic or overuse injuries occur over time. Acute injury symptoms include:

  • Sudden, severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Inability to walk
  • Extreme tenderness or weakness
  • Visible bone dislocation

Signs of a chronic injury can include:

  • Dull ache while resting
  • Pain when performing an activity
  • Swelling

3. Knees. The complex structure and weight-bearing capacities of the knee make it the most commonly injured joint. Twisting, improperly landing after a basketball jump or high-impact running can cause ailments including:

  • Runner’s knee
  • Pain or tenderness around the kneecap

More severe injuries include bone bruises or tears to the knee’s four ligaments. Treatment depends on the cause, but may include surgery or even joint replacement.

4. Fractures and Dislocations. Fractures are typically sudden, one-time injuries that can cause clean breaks to bone with little tissue damage. However, repetitive impact injuries, also known as stress fractures, worsen with activity. Bones in joints that become separated or dislocated often occur during contact sports. Stress fractures and dislocated joints require immediate care.

With PIH Health, you’ll have access to a broad array of outpatient and inpatient services from diagnosis through recovery. If you’re feeling left out of the activities you love, take the first step towards recovery and reach out to our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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