We’re usually more active during the summertime doing activities like softball tennis and golf. All these can lead to joint injuries. Orthopedic surgeon, Charles Orth, DO,  was on our Fox 4 Live Healthy segment talking about preventing those injuries.

Prevent Injuries

Data shows that 30% of all musculoskeletal injuries show up in a physician’s office. The top things that Dr. Orth tells his patients about preventing injuries are:

  • Wear the proper clothing. That includes protective gear that goes with the sport. Wear the right shoes for the sport because your shoes are the foundation that supports the ankles the knees and the hips above.
  • Hydrate when you’re doing physical activity in the summer. It’s a lot hotter so don’t forget before you go to bed the night before, take an extra glass of water. That builds your fluids up in your body and you’re ready the next day. Avoid caffeine the day that you’re going to exercise. Caffeine will deplete your water.
  • Warm up. With throwing sports or racquet sports be sure to work those shoulder muscles to get them a little bit looser. If you’re walking or jogging, stretch the leg muscles to make them stronger.
  • Bonus: Dr. Orth says the best thing everybody can do with all sports is work on your abdomen and your core muscles. This gives you a great sense of balance; a great foundation so your body might be able to respond better to an injury. Those exercises would include planks or sit ups.

Getting Started

If you’re thinking about starting physical activity you should first remember the 10% rule. Dr. Orth tells people whether it’s tennis, walking, jogging or running – don’t increase that activity by more than 10% a week. That may be 10% more distance or 10% more time exercising, but use the 10% rule.

If you don’t know what kind of shape your body is in and you’re just starting out, see your primary care physician. They can give you a physical and go over any questions you have.

Pushing It

If you’ve gone over the 10% rule or find you’ve suffered an injury, the first thing Dr. Orth recommends is asses the severity. If it’s a contact injury and you definitely have a problem, make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist for a consultation. However, for the majority of injuries he reminds us to use the acronym: RICE.

RICE stands for:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compress and wrap
  • Elevate

If you’ve done the rice technique for a good three days and you don’t see any improvement whatsoever, it is probably time to make that appointment.

To learn more about orthopedic services available at North Kansas City Hospital visit nkch.org/ortho