Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Don't Get Sidelined by Summer Sports Injuries

How To Stay in The Game

By Dr. Scott Weiss

Dr. Scott Weiss
Summer typically means crowds at the beach, but it can also mean crowds in the emergency room.  Whether you're training for a marathon or playing golf on the weekends, summer activities bring an increase in sports injuries.   

In order to prevent chronic pain and recurring health problems, I urge individuals to seek immediate treatment should an injury occur.   With over 10 million sports injuries each year, prevention is vital.  Sports injuries can result from improper training, lack of conditioning, insufficient warming-up and stretching or unsafe use of equipment.

While some accidents aren't preventable, there are things you can do to decrease your chances of ending up in the doctor's office or emergency room due to a sports injury this summer.  Here are some suggestions to help reduce your risk of getting hurt doing summer's popular activities so you can stay in the game:

The longer days of summer are ideal for avid runners.  However, injuries are an unfortunate part of a runner's life. Most running injuries happen when you push yourself too hard.   Adding distance or speed to your running routine, running up hills, and interval training are just some of the reasons running injuries occur.  Running is a great way to stay in shape. But it can take a toll on your muscles and joints. To avoid running injuries, it's all about prehab - strengthening areas that are prone to injury.  

Common Injury: Runner's knee is a common overuse injury and due to the kneecap being out of alignment.  Over time, the cartilage on the kneecap can wear down. 

How to Avoid: There seems to be a threshold for runner's knee which is different for each person. Some people can run a marathon without any issues; other people can run 3 miles and experience pain. Women are more prone to develop runner's knee because women generally have wider pelvises, increasing the angle at which the bones in the knee joint connect. 

I recommend the following prehab:
·      Proper running shoes with adequate support.  Inappropriate footwear is a leading cause of runner's knee.
· When running, vary your running surfaces. Repetitive stress often causes runner's knee. If your body absorbs the shocks of running from different surfaces, your knee will receive the impact differently.
·    You need to run with proper form - poor posture and uneven gait might cause knee troubles.
· Strengthening the core muscles of the body (abdominals, gluts) also helps to prevent anterior knee pain.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
SUP (aka stand-up paddle boarding) is the latest fitness craze – even celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Rachel Bilson and Matt Damon are getting on board. It's a great way to build up your balance and flexibility. Stand-up paddle boarding gives your whole body a serious workout.  From strong arm strokes that power up through your core to the balance and strength training your ankles, legs, and thighs receive, SUP is a new form of cross-training, in part because it's so low impact. 

Common Injury: Whether it's a past injury that nags you, the wrong size paddle, bad technique, or a combination of each, shoulder injuries are one of the top five most common injuries in paddle boarding.  The shoulder's ability to move freely in so many directions makes it super-functional.  Unfortunately, where there is much movement available in the body, there is a higher risk of injury. The action of paddling strengthens the larger muscles around the shoulder. These muscles when strong tend to apply upward force/pressure on the ball of the arm bone. The rotator cuff muscles when strong will apply a downward force/pressure on the ball of the arm bone.  Because of regular paddling, we tend to become strong in the muscles that apply this upward force/pressure and relatively weak in the rotator cuff muscles that apply downward force/pressure. This can result in the ball of the arm bone sliding upwards in the shoulder joint compressing the space between the bones above. This places direct pressure on the rotator cuff tendons that sit in this space.  If this pressure is allowed to go on for an extended period of time it can cause small tears in the rotator cuff tendons, reduce blood supply and important nutrition to the shoulder joint. Over time this leads to chronic inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons. 

How to Avoid: The key to preventing a shoulder injury - like most injuries in paddle boarding is keeping your body and joints in proper alignment. You'll see a lot of these types of injuries in baseball players as well, and it goes back to that motion of swinging your shoulder over your body and forcing your arm out of alignment.   At Bodhizone, we treat the injury, we approach more than just the rotator cuff; we look at the whole body and try and strengthen other parts as well to keep everything aligned. We'll put a lot of focus on strengthening your core and getting you into a proper posture. That's a huge part of the rehab.

Not Always Smooth Sailing
Sailing has become a popular activity and competitive sport among people of all ages and genders.  It's the ultimate in aerobic exercises and strength training; and the best part about sailing is that it can be pursued as an individual sport or a team sport. However, a day on the water isn't always smooth sailing. Injuries may result from a lack of general fitness, overuse or overtraining. Many actions in sailing are sudden and sporadic, placing muscles at high risk by performing explosive, powerful moves, often when they are not warmed up.  

Common Injury: Lower back injuries are one of the most common types of injuries suffered by sailors. Pulling ropes, hiking, trapezing, wrestling the keel, and other job-specific roles on a sailboat can place a great deal of repetitive stress on the lower back. The limited, often awkward, space on the sailboat and the speed and intensity at which the sailor performs his or her various roles frequently contributes to lower back strains.  

How to Avoid: Stretching is one of the most under-utilized techniques for improving athletic performance, preventing sports injury and properly rehabilitating sprain and strain injury. Don't make the mistake of thinking that something as simple as stretching won't be effective. 

Other summer sports, such as tennis and golf, can cause repetitive motion injuries. For example, 'tennis elbow' is common among individuals who play tennis.  One of the main causes of this injury is a result of inflammation in the elbow's tendons due to improper motion while swinging the racket. The same injury can also affect golfers who improperly swing their clubs.     Repetitive motion injuries can be especially painful and difficult to treat.  These summer sports injuries may occur slowly over time, until one day the pain becomes simply too great to manage. 

You Don't Have To Be An Olympic Athlete To Be Treated Like One
Established over 20 years ago, Bodhizone is dedicated to mending and promoting the mind, body and spirit through the use of integrative physical therapy, exercise science and sports specific applications while incorporating a balance from the healing and martial arts of the Far East.   With four locations in the New York City area, Bodhizone's highly trained team of therapists and staff are committed to providing patients with an atmosphere that is friendly, caring and accessible.  Bodhizone will accomplish patients' rehabilitation goals and improve their quality of life.  At Bodhizone, each patient will receive a thorough evaluation and one-on-one hands on care. A comprehensive treatment plan will be designed to meet a patient's individual goals.  Most importantly, with Bodhizone therapy comes education.  Patients will be educated about the specifics of their condition and the course of action to correct and hopefully prevent it.

About Dr. Scott Weiss, D.P.T., A.T., CSCS.
Dr. Scott Weiss is a licensed physical therapist and board certified athletic trainer in the state of New York.  He is also a registered exercise physiologist, strength and conditioning specialist and advanced personal trainer with over fifteen years of experience. Scott possesses both a bachelor's and master's degree in exercise physiology and a doctorate in physical therapy.  His affiliations and certifications with all the major certifying bodies domestically and internationally like the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), American Society of Exercise Physiologist (ASEP), allows him to be a consultant to collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes as well as a trainer to the stars.  Throughout his career he had the pleasure and good fortune to work with some of the world's elite athletes. These include several United States Olympic Teams, National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and the New York Liberty-WNBA.   In 2012, Scott was selected to be a member of the USOC's sports medical team for the Olympic Games in London where he provided emergency medical and physical therapy services to all our U.S. athletes.  He also served in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games.
Scott's emphasis of research and area of expertise in physical therapy is rehabilitation of the knee and shoulder.  As a registered exercise physiologist, his interests are in biomechanics of movement and cardiac rehabilitation. As an author and lecturer, Dr. Weiss has written a myriad of articles and has lectured in almost every university in greater New York. His lectures and articles are on the prevention of exercise injures, flexibility, weight-loss and integrative medicine. Many of these articles can be seen on this website.

His clinical experience over the years fostered his ideas into research so far that he has been published in peer reviewed medical journals. Scott also lectures for both profit and non-profit organizations on exercise, nutrition, public health, safety and first aid. Dr. Weiss is involved with charitable organizations and gives his time freely to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Boomer Esiasion Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, NY Road Runners Club (NYC Marathon), Long Island Transplant Organization and many high-schools and colleges in New York State.

Scott is presently the owner and clinical director of Bodhizone for Human Performance & Sports Physical Therapy, PC. He has four offices in New York City, midtown east, upper east side, down in gramercy and in Astoria, Queens.  A physical therapy or fitness session at Bodhizone is guaranteed to be unique and effective each and every time. Scott and his staff combine yoga, martial arts, sports, physical therapy and functional strength training into many of the workouts, enabling you the patient, to heal while improving your overall health and fitness level.  Bodhizone specializes in creating sport specific workouts for all sports and customizing physical and fitness training sessions to meet your rehabilitation goals and needs of your body.

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