5 Tips to Avoid Summer Injuries

5 Tips to Avoid Summer Injuries

Claire Shield – Senior Physiotherapist

1.Keep hydrated – Did you know that your body is approximately 60% water, and our muscles contain about 75% water? Being out in warmer and more humid weather can result in loss of water from yourChanges in water percentage of your muscles affects the electrolyte balance which can lead to muscle cramping. You may experience aches and pain in your muscles or joints. Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet. Be careful of drinks which claim they help with rehydration; if they are loaded with sugar, they will have little effect with helping you hydrate.

 

2.Swimming and Upper Body Flexibility – To avoid injury whilst swimming, ensure you have adequate shoulder, neck and thoracic spine range of motion. Tight muscles around your shoulders, neck and rib cage can lead to overloading and compression of joints, and an inefficient swimming technique. Loss of flexibility can easily be addressed with some simple exercises and stretches. The Physiotherapists at Your Health Domain can perform specific swimming screening tests which will measure your joint ranges and muscles lengths, as well as give you injury-prevention exercises ensuring you get the most out of your swimming this summer. 

 

3.Lying on the beach or relaxing in the Sunlounge – Ever wondered why your back gets locked up after lying on your tummy on your towel in the sand? Or perhaps you get pins and needles in your feet, or an ache in your neck after relaxing in the sun lounge? Lying face down, with your elbows propped as you bask in the sun puts your back in a back position that compresses the joints, and ligaments. We also have crucial nerve endings which can be pinched in this end-of range position. And sitting on a sun lounge with your legs out straight puts your spine in a position where you lose your natural spinal curves particularly in the lower back. This in turn puts additional stress on the nerves in your back and down your legs. Your nerves and spinal cord don’t like being held in a stretched and stressed position for too long and will start to give you a warning in the form of pain, numbness and pins and needles. So, ensure you change position regularly, protect your posture and consult a Physiotherapist at YHD if your symptoms persist. And remember to Slip, Slop, Slap!

 

4.Walking on Sand – One of the best feelings of summer is being able to kick off the shoes and go for a barefoot walk or run along theThe muscles and tendons on the bottom of your feet are designed to support the arch of your foot, and when walking in shoes or on a firm surface, this arch is maintained. When you walk on a moveable surface like sand, the arch of your foot flattens out and the muscles and tendons are placed under excessive strain over and over again. You may experience pain in the heel or arch of your foot after your first walk, and if ignored, it can lead to problems like Plantar Fasciitis. If this pain doesn’t go away by the next day or so, give one of the Your Health Domain Physiotherapists a call so we can assess and treat you to get you back on the beach. Bear in mind that you should ease into bare foot beach walking: preferably walk on flat (not sloping) surfaces, try building up the distance gradually or alternate days wearing your running shoes.

 

5.Thongs and footwear – Similarly to walking on sand, thongs, flip flops and sandals provide little arch support for your foot. Walking in thongs can lead to leg and foot pain, and the four main lower leg injuries the Physiotherapists at Your Health Domain see are – Plantar Fasciitis, Shin splints, Achilles tendinopathy and Metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of your foot). Physiotherapist top tips:

      • Save thongs for occasions that don’t require prolonged walking
      • Increase the amount of time you spend in your thongs gradually
      • Purchase thongs with inbuilt arch support i.e. Orthaheel thongs (available at YHD)
      • Watch out for the onset of foot, leg or shin pain and get it checked out ASAP

 

To make an appointment to see a Physiotherapist at Your Health Domain at our Pitt Street or King Street clinics, call 9251 5111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Pitt St. City Practice

Address:
Level 7 60 Pitt Street Sydney 2000
Hours of Operation:
Mon - Fri 7:30am - 6:00pm
Telephone:
(02) 9251-5111

King Street Practice

Address:
Fitness First - The Zone / 94 King Street Sydney 2000
Hours of Operation:
Mon - Fri 7:30am - 6:00pm
Telephone:
(02) 9251-5111