Advice for preventing springtime sports injuries

Warmer, spring weather is quickly approaching, and many individuals and athletes are feeling the urge to get back outside and be active after the long, cold winter we had this year.

While getting back in shape is essential, it is important to take it slow and not immediately begin intense exercise, as this can prompt injury.

Practicing the ‘heart rate method’ is a good way to safely retrain your body for spring sports and activities.

By subtracting your age from 220, you will find your maximum heart rate.

Then, try to reach 75 percent of your maximum heart rate for 30 minutes, three to five times a week. It is also important for athletes to get yearly physical exams to check for health conditions that may worsen or become dangerous with physical activity.

With sports such as baseball, women’s soccer, track & field and lacrosse starting up in the spring, common injuries during this time of year include ankle sprains, meniscus injuries in the knee and throwing injuries in the shoulder.

Often, these injuries can be cared for at home by following the “PRICE” acronym:

P – Protection (bracing)
R – Rest
I – Ice (20 minutes, 3-4 times a day)
C – Compression (elastic bandages)
E – Elevation

However, in some cases, these injuries can be serious and need professional medical attention.

If you are unable to bear weight on or use an extremity, experiencing bruising, excessive swelling or pain over a bony prominence, it is time to seek evaluation from a physician.

Our community is fortunate, as Cone Health has an exceptional network of sports medicine specialists and other related healthcare providers dedicated to educating athletes and other individuals about injury prevention, as well as providing the treatment they need when injuries are sustained.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Thomas Thekkekandam is a sports medicine specialist at Cone Health Primary Care & Sports Medicine at MedCenter Kernersville.

Dr. Thekkekandam received his Doctor of Medicine from Ross University School of Medicine in 2009. He completed his residency in family medicine at Cone Health and a sports medicine fellowship at the Cone Health Sports Medicine Center.

Dr. Thekkekandam is board-certified in sports and family medicine.