Camaraderie and competitiveness make just about any sport a fun exercise option for adults. And taking steps to avoid sports injuries can keep you in the game. Robert Berry, D.O., an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano specializing in sports medicine, offers these tips for adult athletes.
Stay in shape. Squeeze some conditioning and stretching in during the week so you’re ready for the weekends. “People don’t work out all week, they don’t stretch, they don’t prepare and then they go 110 percent,” Dr. Berry says. Bursitis, or irritation to a sac that cushions the tendons, and pulled muscles are common weekend-warrior injuries.
Learn proper technique. Injuries such as tennis elbow and golfers’ elbow are common in people who are swinging incorrectly, often trying to hit the ball too hard.
Know your limits. “If you’re 40 don’t play in an under 30 league—that’s where you see people getting hurt,” says Dr. Berry. Take a break when you need to. Tired muscles cannot absorb energy as well as rested muscles. “You’re putting yourself in harm’s way if you push yourself too far,” he adds.
Get help if you get hurt. “If the injury is affecting your activities of daily living for more than three days, there’s probably something going on and you should have it checked. If a sprain or strain goes away in a day or two you’re probably OK,” Dr. Berry says.
To learn more about symptoms, risk factors, prevention and treating sports injuries, visit BaylorHealth.com/PlanoOrtho. Call 1.800.4Baylor or visit BaylorHealth.com/PlanoOrtho for a referral to an orthopedic surgeon specialized in sports medicine.
Keeping Girls in the Game
Female athletes, especially those who play sports with twists and jumps such as soccer, basketball and volleyball, are three to four times more likely than men to tear the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in their knees. But women can learn ways to reduce their risk, says Dr. Berry.
The physical medicine and rehabilitation department at Baylor Plano offers a six-week ACL Injury Prevention program for girls and women ages 13 and above. The program helps athletes improve overall, focusing on performance, agility, strength, speed and power.
To learn more, call 1.800.4Baylor or visit baylorhealth.com/Plano.