Top Ten Summer Sport Injuries
The warm weather means more time outdoors, playing sports and enjoying the sunshine. Unfortunately, it also means more trips to the emergency room. Increased physical activity outdoors inevitably results in more injuries. The following is a list of the ten most injury-prone sports that are associated with the warmer months. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), more than 5.5 million sports-related injuries require medical attention every year, with the bulk of these injuries occurring in the summer. The medical and legal expenses for our "top 10" exceed $84 billion! So this summer, get out there and stay active, but by all means, be careful.
1. Basketball – 1.6 million injuries
When American's are asked to name their favorite sports, basketball is #2, just behind football. And while basketball may be #2 in popularity, it's #1 when it comes to actual participation. That translates into 1.6 million people seeking medical treatment for basketball related injuries every year. Without a doubt, basketball is the #1 source for sports related injuries in the summertime. These injuries are often tendon related, with the knees being particularly at risk. If you play basketball, be sure to strength train your leg muscles in order to better stabilize your tendons. If you have experienced a knee injury in the past, be sure to wear a supportative knee brace to prevent re-injuring yourself.
2. Bicycling – 1.4 million injuries
Basketball may reign supreme when it comes to torn ACLs and sprained ankles, but bicycling also accounts for 1.4 million medically-treated injuries every year. Unfortunately, these injuries are often severe. A shocking number of these injuries are serious head traumas, so always wear a helmet when biking, even if you are just cruising around your neighborhood.
3. Baseball – Half million injuries
America's favorite pastime sends a lot of ball-players to the doctor. Baseball injuries are mostly due to overuse, but players also report sprains and tendon issues. The best defense is being hyper-aware of your body. It you notice faint aches in your joints take action right away. Do not wait for the pain to grow into something significant. There are a number of highly effective orthopedic braces that will help minimize cartilage or ligament degradation.
4. Soccer – Half million injuries
Soccer is infamous for tendon tears, especially the ACL, so – as with basketball – strength training is critical. Target the muscles specifically around the knee. Leg presses, squats and lunges are particularly effective. Also, be sure to thoroughly stretch out before hitting the pitch. Run a lap around the field at slow to medium pace to warm up the muscles... sprinting and kicking on cold muscles is a surefire way to pull a quad.
5. Softball – 400,000 injuries
Like baseball, most softball injuries stem from repetitive movements that result in overuse injuries. Address aches immediately to prevent them from growing into something more significant.
6. In-line & roller skating – 345,000 injuries
Skating is a great workout for the summer. It's fun and the breeze cools you down. It's also an amazing workout for the entire body... targeting your legs, gluts and arms and requiring balance which also activates the core. Again, it doesn't take a genius to know that rolling at high speeds can be dangerous. A fall can easily result in a bone fracture or head injury, so always wear a helmet, knee pads and wrist supports whenever you Rollerblade or skate.
7. Horseback riding – 200,000 injuries
Horseback riding injuries can be extremely severe, even deadly. Head and spinal injuries are serious risks, so always wear a helmet, even when riding western style.
8. Volleyball – 187,000 injuries
Volleyball is responsible for a large number of what medical experts term "movement related injuries". Digging and jumping can lead to scrapes, cuts, bruising and strains. Always wear knee protection and stretch thoroughly before starting a match.
9. Swimming – 150,000
Swimming is best known for overuse shoulder injuries, the result of repeating strokes thousands of times. Serious swimmers can start to develop pain in their early 20's. The best defense is a diversified workout that includes many different types of strokes.
10. Golf – 130,00 injuries
Golf injuries include overuse injuries, especially disc-related back pain and arthritis, as well as accidents such as being hit by a ball, club or cart. Obviously, you want to avoid being hit with anything while out on the course, but it is difficult to account for the random acts of other golfers... especially if alcohol is present. You have more control over overuse injuries. If you golf a lot, consider wearing a wrist brace and always use proper form.
About the Author
About Chris Dillon: Chris Dillon is VP at MMAR Medical Group Inc., a supplier of medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee braces, wrist braces or lumbar braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.
Academy Sports and Outdoors
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Frequently Asked Questions...
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