Spring Sports: Being Aware and Preventing Common Injuries

After another long (and extended) Michigan winter, people are ready to get active again following the prolonged months spent mostly indoors.

But with an eager and energized return to outdoor activity can bring the risk and susceptibility of acute and chronic injuries.

The more serious of the two, acute injuries are suffered after a fall, a blow, or when a joint twists or strains, such as bone breaks, fracture, dislocations.

Chronic injuries, though perhaps less severe, can result from overuse, and linger and delay a return to activity. Those injuries include muscle strains and shin splints.

The best chance at avoiding these and other injuries is to have a comprehensive warm-up routine that achieves two main objectives:

  • Gently increases the heart rate
  • Stretches and warms up the muscles

This could includes doing some jumping jacks to build up to the intensity that comes with a run or jog before spending a few minutes stretching to further warm up the muscles.

Stretch again after any activity as part of a cool down. Following the same example, after a run, spend a few minutes walking to allow the body some time to recover.

And while it is impossible to avoid all injuries, the initial management of an any injury plays an important role in how it ultimately rebounds and recovers.

When an injury occurs, protect the affected area:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compress
  • Elevate

If the injury worsens despite these initial treatments (especially if the pain becomes more intense and the injury cannot bear weight), seek further guidance from a health care provider.