WEEKEND WARRIORS: FIVE WAYS TO BATTLE INJURY
Local Physical Therapist Offers Healthy Advice to the Occasional Athlete
Middletown, RI, 8/9/13 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates nearly nine million Americans pack a full week’s worth of exercise into just two days. These occasional athletes, also known as Weekend Warriors, account for the largest population encountering nonprofessional sport-related injuries, which add up to healthcare costs exceeding more than $18 billion per year.
The most common injuries Weekend Warriors face include rotator cuff injuries, Achilles tendonitis, golf or tennis elbow, acute knee pain and ankle sprains.
“Weekend Warriors and recreational athletes suffer from injuries at a rate that far surpasses their everything-in-moderation fitness counterparts,” said Don Levine, DPT, owner of Olympic Physical Therapy and a member of the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (PPS APTA). “Age and physical condition play significant roles in these injuries, as tissue loses its elasticity and are not conditioned properly for rigorous activity. But injuries can be minimized with a dose of common sense prevention.”
Levine recommends starting with a thorough physical exam with a physician to determine overall health and identify any physical limitations, and offers the following steps to minimize injuries:
1. Get the Right Expertise.. There is no one more knowledgeable and well equipped to help you understand your musculo-skeletal system than a physical therapist. A physical therapist will assess strengths and weaknesses from which a comprehensive fitness plan can be tailored to best fit each individual’s needs and goals, including a stair-step of preliminary goals that help achieve end goals.
2. Sport Specific Dynamic Warm-up Programs. Preparing for activity means getting the muscles and nerves ready to participate at a high level. Warm-up programs should have 3 components: a) Big body motions, b) Dynamic stretching and c) sport specific conditioning. This combination will let the athlete compete at top level when the whistle blows and reduces the chance of injury!
3. Stretching. We know that individuals lose flexibility as they age. Stretching at times throughout the day will battle the loss of mobility often seen with our sedentary jobs.
4. Commit to Fitness Throughout the Week. To eliminate muscle shock, introduce physical activity throughout the week that includes cardiovascular activity, stretching and weightlifting for proper strength and conditioning.
5. Rest and Listen to Your Body. Consecutive days of training translate into increased injuries. While many athletes think the more they train, the better they'll play, the truth is, a tired body is more susceptible to muscle strain and other injuries. Consistent pains and strains over time can be a sign of health problems, and are among the most frequent causes that derail a fitness regime.
Levine, PT, DPT, FAFS, is chair of the National Private Practice Section
Marketing and PR Committee and Co-Owner of Olympic Physical Therapy, with five
locations in Rhode Island. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Olympic Physical Therapy
Olympic Physical Therapy and Foot Orthotics was founded in May of 2000 by Don Levine, DPT and Bert Reid, DPT to provide outpatient physical therapy, sports medicine rehabilitation and sports performance programs to the residents of Rhode Island and South Eastern Massachusetts. We combine expertise in biomechanics with knowledge of how the body works as an entire chain to provide the right care to decrease pain and improve function. Our practice was recognized with The Newport Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award in 2007. For more information, visit http://olympicpt-ri.com
About The Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association
Founded in 1956, the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association champions the success of physical therapist-owned businesses. Our members are leaders and innovators in the health care system. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy nationwide. For more information, please visit www.ppsapta.org.