It’s not just extreme sports enthusiasts who sustain injuries during the spring. Sprains and strains from shoveling and cleaning off vehicles, along with slipping and falling on wet floors are all dangers with which a physical therapist can help.
One of the best strategies for avoiding typical spring injuries is by warming up with stretches to help prevent strained and sprained muscles and tendons. Spring cleaning begins with pushing it instead of lifting. Don’t twist and bend at the same time when cleaning to avoid placing extra stress on the spine.
It may seem like a lot more work, but it's not a good idea to wait until a significant amount of leaves have piled up before shoveling. Moving heavy weights while bending and twisting can lead to a back injury.
Reducing Risk with Physical Therapy
Proper footwear with good tread is indispensable for the season. Slippers and house shoes don’t provide sufficient grip on the ground to prevent a fall. Remaining hydrated is an often overlooked part of spring work or play. The body must have water to transport nutrients throughout the body, including the muscles. People who fail to remain hydrated often experience muscle cramps. Well-fitting protective gear for specific recreational activities is critical for avoiding concussions and broken bones.
Taking the proper precautions when moving, dressing for the weather and performing activities during the spring will significantly reduce the potential for injuries, but physical therapy provides the means to prepare the entire body for the specific challenges of the season.
Physical therapy benefits for the spring include:
Better balance and coordination
Increased muscle strength and endurance
Better overall fitness level
Reduce the need for prescription pain medication
Avoid surgery if an injury does occur
People use different muscle sets during the spring than they do in the summer and even those who regularly work out at the gym are at increased risk when it rains. Individuals often over-estimate their fitness level for managing spring challenges. Soccer and baseball require entirely different muscle usage than summer golfing, kayaking and swimming.
Don't Let Spring Slow You Down
One of the first things that your physical therapist will do is align your spine to prepare you for the spring It reduces pressure on nerves and joints that can easily be damaged. Spinal injuries are a major concern during the spring due to falls and the contortions people go through trying to catch themselves if they slip or fall on wet floors.
Your physical therapist has multiple treatments to get you in shape for spring, and associated recreational activities. Customized exercise programs are beneficial for keeping you limber, flexible and strengthening the muscles you’ll be using.
Clinical Pilates and hydrotherapy are techniques that can be employed to build core strength that improves balance, coordination and endurance. Therapeutic massage is effective for keeping muscles, tendons and joints relaxed to reduce the risk of serious injury if an accident occurs.
Your physical therapist has the extensive knowledge and training needed to help you prepare your body for the many challenges and unanticipated situations that are regular parts of the spring season. Physical therapy isn’t just for treating and rehabilitating injuries after they occur. It’s an effective means of reducing the risk of an accident before it happens for fun and safe spring season.