How can my family stay active and avoid injury
Grant Padley, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist on staff at Banner Estrella Medical Center.
Question: With baseball season around the corner, so too is the season for outdoor sports and activities. How can my family stay active while avoiding injury?
Answer: Sporting events and activities are a great source of fun, while promoting exercise and a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, physical activities also cause millions of injuries every year. Since no one wants to be sidelined from joining in on the fun, it's important to take a few basic precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Thanks to technology and innovation, protective equipment continues to become more and more effective in preventing injuries. The importance of preventing head injuries by wearing helmets while biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, riding recreational vehicles and playing contact sports cannot be overstated. The same can be said about the importance of elbow, knee and shoulder pads. Wearing mouth guards, protective eyewear, gloves, braces, proper footwear, and other safety gear is also necessary.
Warming up and stretching can do wonders in saving you from injury. Prepping your body by loosening up the joints and muscles can reduce the risk of strains, sprains, pulls and tears. Additionally, using proper technique - whether you're running, throwing, kicking, jumping, lifting or repeatedly moving any part of your body - can decrease the chances of sudden injury, as well as repetitive stress injuries. Preseason conditioning and focusing on core body strengthening can help allow for an injury-free season.
If you do happen to suffer an injury or feel pain with activity, pay attention to your body and allow yourself time to heal. Should your injury be serious enough for medical care, always follow your doctor's advice in treating and resting your injury. Returning to activity before your body has had time to recover may significantly increase the risk of further injury, and more time sitting on the sideline.