Spring is finally here. As the weather gets warmer, there will be more opportunities to get outside again. After staying indoors for one of the colder, snowier winters in recent memory, it’s understandable that you may be excited to spend more time outdoors again. You can finally resume many of the outdoor activities that have been put on hold for the last few months. While this is a cause for joy, it must also be tempered with caution. Springtime presents numerous opportunities for orthopedic injuries.
It should come as no surprise that injuries tend to spike in early spring. Many people go from being sedentary during the cold weather to rapidly ramping up activity levels once it’s warm enough to be outside. In addition, the changes in exercise routines during spring mean that many muscle groups are being used consistently for the first time in months, increasing the risk of injury if precautions aren’t taken.
The following orthopedic injuries commonly occur during springtime.
There are 27 bones in your hand and 8 bones in your wrist, along with a complex network of tendons and nerves in the region, making this area of your body highly susceptible to injury in the spring. Whether you are working on your garden, making spring repairs around the house, riding your bike or skateboard, playing basketball or resuming your tennis game, there are many opportunities to injure your hands and wrists.
Common springtime hand and wrist injuries include:
Spring brings the return of golf season, tennis season and baseball season. This is often associated with a rise in elbow tendinitis injuries for individuals participating in these sports:
Tendinitis may be one of the most common spring elbow orthopedic injuries, but it’s not the only one. Elbow fractures and dislocations are also very common in the spring due to falls while skateboarding, riding a bike, or engaging in a variety of other outdoor athletic activities.
Shoulder misuse and overuse injuries are common in the spring. They can be caused by swimming too many laps in the pool, throwing too many pitches in baseball games, or excessive rowing on the river. Shoulder dislocation injuries are common as well, often due to falls on a bike, skateboard, or during some other outside activity. However, the most common springtime shoulder injury is a torn rotator cuff, often caused by heavy use during activities and sports that haven’t been performed in months.
Spring is peak river season in Colorado. If you’re carrying rafts and kayaks to and from the river, it can place tremendous strain on your back and neck. However, boats aren’t the only common heavy lifting done in the spring. It’s common to have to lift and remove dead trees from the yard. If you’re not careful and don’t take the proper precautions to protect your back and neck, these actions can result in serious injuries.
Patellofemoral Syndrome, commonly referred to as runner’s knee, is a common knee injury occurring in the spring. It is caused by engaging in repetitive or high impact exercise, such as running or biking. As the weather gets warm, many people will transition from the treadmill and exercise bike to outdoor running and cycling. This changes the impact on your knees and often extends the duration and distance of your workouts, which can result in inflammation.
To reduce the risk of runner’s knee, you should ease into your outdoor running and biking routines. Start off with shorter distances and gradually build up to longer runs and rides as your body acclimates. If you experience any pain after running or biking, rest and ice your knee right away.
Ankle sprains are common during spring activities. It’s easy to twist or turn your ankle in an awkward manner when playing soccer, basketball or volleyball, or while running. When this occurs, the ligaments in the ankle can stretch or tear.
It’s also common for runners to develop Achilles tendinitis when switching from winter treadmill workouts to spring outdoor running on hard surfaces. This injury occurs when the thick band connecting your calf muscle to your heel becomes inflamed.
As the weather gets warmer in spring, it’s also common for people to start transitioning to flip flops and other summer footwear that provides less support. This can result in plantar fasciitis, an inflammation in the thick tissue running along the bottom of your foot. It’s also common for runners to develop this injury, particularly if they’re using old, worn out running shoes as they start ramping up outdoor distances.
Even if you take the proper precautions as you transition to spring activities, it’s always possible for an injury to occur. If you suffer a springtime orthopedics injury, Colorado Advanced Orthopedics can help. We offer comprehensive orthopedics and sports medicine services to address just about any injury you may develop.
You’ll benefit from a team of highly experienced board-certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons. Our doctors have diverse specializations, ensuring you will receive the best possible treatment for just about any injury you may suffer. In addition, our in-house physical therapy team can provide the exceptional quality rehab you need to get back to your favorite activities as soon as possible.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker and throughout the White River Valley.
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