Weekend Warriors: Avoiding battle scars
After a long workweek sitting at your desk, it’s tempting to pack your weekends with as many outdoor activities as possible. If you’re planning on bicycling, joining a community sports league, or taking part in one of Cincinnati’s 5k runs/walks  this summer, keep a few things in mind to stay injury-free.
Warm-up to avoid injury
“Many sports injuries can be prevented,” according to Marc Schneider, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon with The Christ Hospital Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Associates. “At least half of the problems we see are reoccurrences of previously untreated issues.”
Making physical activity a regular part of your lifestyle can lessen your chances of getting hurt when you hit the bike trails on Saturdays. Walk the dog a little while longer during the week, play tag with your kids, or take an evening stroll around your neighborhood. Keeping your muscles conditioned and your joints flexible will help you perform well in just about any outdoor activity you take up.
Taking 10-15 minutes to warm up before you start your activity can also help prevent injury. Performing “dynamic stretches” like jumping jacks or running in place, helps warm your body up, increases blood flow to your muscles and increases your heart rate.
I’m hurt! Now what?
Even if you’ve warmed up and are used to physical activity, injuries can and do happen. Mild sprains and strains can be treated at home using the PRICE method:
If, after a couple of days, the injury doesn’t improve or worsens, you may need medical attention. The Christ Hospital Urgent Care Center on Red Bank Expressway  is a great way to get treated without having to wait as long as you might in an emergency room setting. The physicians there can treat some sports injuries using their on-site imaging and lab services.
More severe injuries such as rotator cuff and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are actually some of the most common sports injuries weekend warriors suffer. Minimally invasive arthroscopic knee and shoulder surgeries and cartilage repair treatments at The Christ Hospital reduce recovery time, which means you can get back in the game faster. “We can repair the injuries with less trauma to the muscle and soft tissue surrounding the joint,” Dr. Schneider says. Orthopaedic surgeons like Dr. Schneider also counsel patients on progressive non-surgical options to treat soft tissue and tendon injuries.
Following any injury, Dr. Schneider says the key to making it a full recovery is gradually working back into a routine. “Don’t overdo it,” he says. “When you start being active again, slowly build up and take time to rest.”
Find a sports medicine specialist by calling 877-904-4YOU or learn more about The Christ Hospital’s new Urgent Care Center at www.TheChristHospital.com/UrgentCare