With days lasting longer, temperatures rising, and grass, flowers and trees becoming green, everyone agrees that spring has sprung. It’s natural to feel that those of us along the beautiful Jersey Shore can’t wait to get back on the playing field, the golf course, tennis court, track…or whatever sports venue calls out to you.
But, before you leap into action, remember that is has been a long, long winter and many of us are not in tip-top shape. Before you incur an injury that benches you for the rest of the season, review the list of common springtime sports injuries and what you can do to prevent them.
Rotator cuff (Tennis)
Hitting a tennis ball often puts stress on the joints, tendons and muscles of the shoulder. Because tennis players continually use the same joint, there’s a chance that in time they will develop problems associated with shoulder overuse. The most common orthopedic problems stemming from tennis are the rotator cuff injuries.
To prevent rotator cuff as well as other shoulder injuries, take steps to strengthen the muscles in the shoulder junction. Now is the time to start doing strengthening and weightlifting exercises three times per week.
Tendonitis (Power Walking)
This is the time of the year when you are motivated to shed a few pounds. Walking is one of the easiest exercises to improve your overall health. Anyone can walk anywhere, and it doesn’t cost anything! While Achilles tendonitis is commonly associated with running, the condition can also occur when you skip the warm up routine or when you begin a workout program after a long period of inactivity.
To ensure the success of your workout regimen, remember to always warm up before jogging or power walking. Lunges are one of the best exercises to loosen the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles.
Lower back pain (Golf)
The repetitive bending and twisting involved in golfing can place tremendous stress on the lower back. To make sure your back won’t interfere with your golf game, begin performing exercises to strengthen your core now. Here’s a good tip: stretch your lower back – bend over until you can touch your toes with your fingers a few times – before stepping out onto the golf course.
Tennis elbow (Baseball)
Despite its misleading name, tennis elbow is actually an inflammatory condition which affects the tendon that runs up to the side of the arm next to the elbow. The condition is specific to sports that require athletes to swing their arms repeatedly, such as pitching a baseball pitching. Start a regimen of stretching and strengthening exercises to prevent this debilitating condition from placing you on the bench this season.
Plantar fasciitis (Running)
Overtraining, overuse, over-striding and improper footwear are the prevalent reasons why runners end up with plantar fasciitis. Given its causes, the only way to prevent the painful heel condition implies performing exercises that render the overall foot area flexible. If your running shows are worn out, get a proper fitting on a new pair at a good local running store.