Watch Out for These Summer Injuries

When you think of summer injuries, you probably think of things like bee stings, blisters, or barbecue burns. There are other, less-obvious injuries you also need to watch out for. Here are the details from Good Housekeeping. For example:

  • Let’s say you grabbed your suitcase off the top shelf of the closet to pack for your vacation and now your shoulder hurts. You probably injured your rotator cuff – which is the small network of muscles and tendons that connects your upper arm to your shoulder. What can you do? Until the pain lessens – which could be several weeks - avoid lifting heavy objects and doing activities that require raising your arm, but DON’T immobilize your shoulder. Joints need to move to stay healthy. That’s according to Dr. Kimberly Templeton, a professor of orthopedic surgery. Also, see a doctor if you felt severe pain when you injured your shoulder and it’s very weak – you may have torn a tendon.
  • You spent hours sitting in the car on a road trip, and now your knees hurt. Keeping your legs bent at a 90-degree angle for an extended period puts pressure on the knee-joint cartilage, which can lead to swelling and pain. The fix? To take the pressure off your knees, you should strengthen your thigh muscles by doing daily leg lifts: Lie on the floor – keeping your knees straight, but not locked – and raise your right leg as high as you can. Then, lower it slowly. Repeat this on your left, doing about 10 lifts on each side twice a day. When you ARE sitting, straighten your knees as often as possible. See a doctor if you feel any funny sensations in your knee – like if you feel it locking or catching.
  • You went for a jog in the nice weather, and now you can barely walk. If the pain is in the front of your lower legs, you probably have shin splints – which are the result of an overload on the shin bone and connective tissues. The fix? When you’re in bed, keep the foot of your painful leg – or legs – elevated above your heart and avoid hard-impact activities until the pain is gone. If you’re still in pain after 6 weeks – or the problem comes back after you start doing activities again – see your doctor.  

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