Play It Safe - Health Education - Fairview Health Services
 
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Play It Safe - Health Education

Play it safe!

Sprains and strains, heat-related illness, back injuries and concussions—these are some of the most common injuries found among adult athletes and “weekend warriors.”

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But don’t let the risk of injury keep you from partaking in the activities you enjoy! With some simple tips from our providers at Fairview Sports and Orthopedic Care, you can hit the court, field or course knowing you’re in top shape.

Condition and strengthen
Easing in and out of your activity is key. Before you begin an activity, do a proper warm-up and stretch lightly. Once you’re done with your activity, do another light stretch. Avoid overuse injuries by incorporating activities that engage other muscle groups.

Build core strength
Building strong core muscles is essential to your body’s overall stability, power and strength. Aside from just your abs, your activities should engage other areas such as your obliques, pelvic floor muscles and tranversus abdominis (the deepest layer of abdominal muscles). By building core strength, you can help to avoid injury and protect your back.

Drink up
Drink plenty of fluids—water or sports drinks—before, during and after an activity. For activities lasting an hour, water is your best choice, but for activities lasting more than an hour, sports drinks are your best option because of the additional calories and electrolytes they offer. Consuming 20 to 40 ounces of fluids per hour of intense exercise i and avoiding caffeinated beverages is recommended.

Play the game right
Understand the rules of a sport and abide by them. Many injuries can be avoided through the use of proper technique.

Maintain your gear
Make sure you have the proper equipment for your sport and that it’s kept in good condition.

As we age, our bodies become less agile and resilient so it’s important to recognize when your body has reached its limit or when you need to seek medical care for an injury.

Seek immediate medical care if:

  • you can’t or have difficulty walking
  • you suspect you have a concussion or head injury
  • you have symptoms of heat-related illness such as confusion, dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, weakness and vomiting
     

For other sports-related injuries, you can start with self-care treatments such as RICE:Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevate.

  • Rest – Rest until you feel fully recovered and painful symptoms are gone.
  • Ice – For the first 48 hours, ice the injury for 20 minutes at a time every three to four hours to help reduce inflammation.
  • Compression – Apply an elastic bandage snuggly to the injury to help reduce the swelling.
  • Elevate – Elevate the injured area above your head if possible.
     

If your condition doesn’t improve within 48 hours using self-care techniques, seek medical attention.

At Fairview Sports and Orthopedic Care, our sports medicine specialists will not only treat your unique injury, but also coordinate and manage each step of the care process. To request an appointment, call 612-672-7100.

 
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