When you hear the phrase "repetitive stress injury," chances are your first thought is the danger of carpal tunnel syndrome from spending too much time on the computer. However, anyone can suffer from a repetitive stress injury if they continue to overuse the same tendons, muscles, and nerves, even when playing sports. If you're a sports-loving family, here are a few tips to help kids and adults alike avoid repetitive stress injuries.
Get a Physical
Before you enroll your child in a school-related sport or if you are concerned the adults in your family are susceptible to repetitive stress injuries, don't hesitate to schedule each person a physical. In addition to checking on the family member's general health, the doctor will be able to pinpoint any conditions or abnormalities that could leave a person susceptible to repetitive stress injuries.
For example, if your family is genetically prone to tendon, muscle, or nerve disorders, or if any of your family members have underlying conditions or the beginning symptoms of a repetitive stress injury, such as pain or inflammation, it could leave them vulnerable to sports-related injuries.
If the doctor notices an underlying muscle, tendon, or nerve disorder, they will likely refer you or your child to a sports medicine physician at a medical facility like Advanced Physical Therapy. This physician can help your family member strengthen their body and treat or prevent any repetitive stress injuries in the future.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Your child's coach or your personal trainer have probably emphasized the importance or warming up before you play sports, or cooling down after the game or practice. If you've typically skipped these vital steps, it's important to begin making them both a regular part of playing sports.
The easiest way to prevent repetitive stress injuries while enjoying your favorite sport is to stretch your muscles, both before and after the game. For example, simply lifting your arms over your body and touching your fingers to your toes several times are simple ways you can stretch your muscles.
Taking a few moments before and after enjoying a favorite sport is a simple and effective way to both prevent and treat repetitive stress injuries.
Change It Up
If you're a football fanatic or your little ones can't get enough of tennis, it's important to introduce other sports and activities into everyone's life. Playing one sport exclusively can help you master the game. However, because you are constantly using the same muscles and tendons, you are actually leaving yourself vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries.
The simplest way to prevent injury is to simply get into several sports or other physical activities. For example, if you love golf, don't play it several days in a row. Instead, take a break from golf once in a while and instead, play a game of basketball, take a walk, or enjoy a game of backyard football with your kids.
In addition to introducing you and your family to an activity everyone will love, playing a variety of sports or enjoying different physical activities can help strengthen the various muscles and tendons throughout your body, which will help prevent repetitive stress injuries in the future.
Preventing Repetitive Stress Injuries in Everyday Life
Finally, don't forget that off the field, your body is still susceptible to repetitive stress disorders. Luckily, there are several simple ways to protect yourself, both at work or school and at home. For example, if you and the kids are constantly on the computer, make sure to take breaks every hour. Additionally, wearing wrist guards while writing or typing can also help prevent injury.
From maintaining good posture, both while sitting and standing, to taking periodic breaks from repetitive activities or motions and working with a sports medicine physician, there are several ways you can prevent injuries in your everyday life.
According to eMedicine Health, tendonitis and bursitis are two of the most common types of repetitive stress injuries. If you and your family can't get enough of sports, simply follow these above-mentioned tips to help ensure that you don't suffer from tendonitis, bursitis, or any other type of repetitive stress injury.