The warmer months are finally upon us. And with their arrival, people are often called to the outdoors for some serious sporting and fitness training. But how many of them come out of the weekend with injuries? Remember that marathon that your group all agreed to after a few too many beers? Or how about all those odd jobs around the home that never seem to get finished – bluestone retaining wall, anyone?
At Radius Osteopathic, we hold a lot of empathy for the weekend warriors among our patients. We’ve all been there to witness firsthand, the agonies of overestimating our enthusiasm for a spontaneous weekend outdoor activity. Having fallen into this same trap myself, and trying to relive my glory days of youth playing football with my son – I only ended up nursing swollen knees. There’s plenty of ways a person could overexert themselves, and we have definitely seen our fair share of sore muscles and tennis elbows in our practice. If you are planning on intentionally moving one too many garden pavers on an afternoon this weekend, then it’s probably best to get that done without the aches and sore muscles.
These types of injuries are also commonly seen in the clinic. They usually manifest as soft tissue injuries caused by the injured tissue being overloaded and fatigued.
The most commonly seen types of ‘weekend warrior’ injuries are:
If either of these listed injuries are something you worry about, then read on to find out what you can do to prevent them from getting in the way of your weekends. Listed below are 5 tips that could save you the frustration of having to work through these injuries, and avoid the weekend warrior trap.
- Warm up – Begin your activity with a whole body warm up. It always helps to perform a kinder and gentler version of the actual activity you have in mind (i.e. walk before running).
- Load management – Soft tissue injuries are linked to training loads. Load management is one of the best strategies that are effective in preventing injuries. Start any new activity gradually, and increase the duration by 10% weekly.
- Be realistic about what you can achieve. Especially if it involves starting a new activity. Also maintain perspective, especially if you are naturally competitive during sporting situations.
- Learn proper technique – many injuries can be traced back to improper technique. Take the time to perform your activity properly.
- Keep hydrated, and get plenty of rest.
With all that in mind, you should be better able to enjoy you weekend adventures with fewer concerns about suffering injuries afterward. Always remember to warm up and take care of yourself, no matter what your weekend holds in store for you. Enjoy the warmer weather, and stay injury free!