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Keeping Summer Safe – Most Preventable Summer Injuries

family bike ride

When summer arrives -  we’re all eager to get outside and get active. From summer sports to yardwork and charity run/walks – there’s plenty to keep us active during a Kansas summer.

Before you dive head first into the pool of summer activities, Dr. Terry Schwab from Ascension Via Christi Hospital's Orthopedic Clinic wants to help you understand the most common summer injuries and how to avoid them.

Sprains, strains and overuse injuries - Most of us are eager to be outside and are ready for that first round of a golf or family softball tournament. While it might be tempting to stay outside playing hours of softball with family and friends, if it’s something you haven’t done in several months, take it easy. Slowly work up to your potential to avoid a muscle strain, sprain or overuse injury. Remember to be mindful of previous injuries so you don’t overwork that body part or reinjure yourself.

Bicycle injuries like broken collarbones and broken wrists can be avoided if you wear protective gear, have situational awareness and make yourself (and your bike) visible to others. Be mindful of risks when you’re on your bike. This includes being aware of other bikers, cars, and pedestrians. Put flashers on your bicycle and wear reflective gear so vehicles can see you. Bright flashing lights on your bicycle can help get a motorists’ attention.

Ligament/tendon tears – Achilles tendon and ACL tears can happen at any age. Your Achilles tendon, located in the back of your heel, helps you jump and push off your foot. If you tore it, it feels like somebody has kicked you in the back of the heel, but no one is around you, and suddenly you have a sharp, shooting pain. Our body usually gives us warning signs before an Achilles tear. If you have constant pain the back of your heel, see a doctor to have it examined to reduce your risk of tear. Unlike Achilles tears, ACL tears are more sudden, and we don’t always have the same warning signs. ACL tears are most common with sports like basketball and soccer. If you’re experiencing severe pain or swelling in your knee, consult your doctor to prevent something from tearing or getting worse.

"Remember, injuries can happen from something as simple as yardwork if it’s an activity you haven’t done in a while," Dr. Schwab says. "Take it easy and listen to your body as you slowly work up to your full potential. Understanding your body’s limitations, being patient with yourself, and taking precautions when possible is the best way to reduce your risk of injury."

If you would like to schedule an appointment regarding your injury, please call the Orthopedic Clinic at 620-235-7594.

About Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy is the Senior Marketing Specialist for Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Ascension Via Christi in Fort Scott and Wamego Health Center. She is a proud wife and mom and loves cooking, camping and spending time outdoors, her dogs and reading.