Spring is now in motion and, especially with us in quarantine, we are all moving around more at home. Whether it's diving into spring cleaning, running or biking, or driving balls, this invigorating time can also coincide with an increase in injuries.
Unless you’ve been very active all winter, we encourage you to start your spring activity slowly and deliberately over the course of several days. Let your body adapt to the increase in movement and work. Your muscles and joints will not cooperate if you jump in cold turkey at high intensity and for long periods, and this makes the perfect recipe for an injury.
To avoid injury, here are some tips for you to consider as you become more active this spring:
For spring cleaning
Start with light objects earlier in the day to warm up. Let your body get used to walking, squatting repetitively and lifting. Your muscles and joints will loosen up and will be able to take on bigger tasks and loads as the day progresses—without the risk of overuse or sudden injury.
When the weather warms up, the pavement dries out and the birds start singing. It’s as if you’ve been given a natural invitation to start running! But if you start too quickly and go too far, you will set yourself up for shin splints, knee pain, calf and achilles tendonitis. The best way to avoid these injuries is to alternate between walking and running, and to keep your distance low for the first few weeks. Walking 2 minutes and running 30 seconds is a very good way to getting accustomed to your “new” running legs. Over the following three weeks, you can increase the running time and decrease the walking time.
When you start riding your bike in the spring—whether it’s a road, mountain or upright bike— the first miles will result in generalized soreness to your neck, shoulders and back. At the beginning of your season, avoid hills, get used to a regular cadence, and only ramp up the distance travelled once your body is well adjusted.
When springtime arrives, there’s a strong pull to get to the golf course to swing some clubs. Having good game when it comes to golf means consistency: same velocity, same angles, same technique, same arc of swing. But this consistency can lead to overuse injuries. So before you jump onto the course, make sure your lower extremities are flexible or else your low back spine will take the torque and stress at the end of your swing. Also, for the first few weeks of play, avoid your full swing. You need to make sure you build up your functional range before pushing the depth of your swing.
An ounce of prevention goes a long way to ensure a long and enjoyable lifestyle for the spring and summer seasons. If you do find yourself injured or sore, try abiding by RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). If pain persists or gets worse, however don't delay. Promptly call us to schedule an appointment, and let us get you back on track as quickly as possible!