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Top 5 Summer injuries and how to prevent them

It’s been a brilliant summer and the Met office promises more sunshine yet! If  you’ve enjoyed a chilled glass of rosé, weekend bbq’s and sunny adventures exploring new places, well then, you’ve found good company!

Summer fun times can however often cast a painful shadow on the unsuspecting, so here are some handy hints to help you get the most of you long summer days:

 1. Gardening injuries

Gardening injuries are common in the summer. Extended pruning time, using inappropriate tools, and heavy lifting with a poor technique are often the biggest culprits.

Try the following to keep your love for gardening alive: 

  • Warm up by taking a brisk walk to get your heart rate up, prior to starting 
  • Sit on a stool or kneel on foam pads to help prevent knee and back pain when planting or weeding. 
  • Long handle tools will reduce the work and prevent you from over stretching. 
  • Impose a 15minute limit especially if you’re a gardening novice.  

2. Neck strains

If catching some rays on your back is a priority this summer, be sure to set a timer or get someone to wake you. Apart from the obvious perils of turning into a lobster and the pain associated with it, getting a stiff neck from lying prone (on your tummy) on the beach will certainly put a damper on your holiday. Reading for long periods on a sun lounger can also cause a crick in the neck, so be sure to do a few neck stretches every so often to keep your neck mobile. Here are some useful neck stretches to try. 

  • Tilt your head to one side and hold for 15-20 sec and then to the other side. 
  • Roll your shoulders forwards 5 times and then backwards. 

 

3. Running shin splits 

Trying to get beach-fit quickly? Trying to run away those extra pounds? Sudden increase in running thresholds (especially if you’ve never run) is one of the biggest single causes of shin splints. This, together with wearing inappropriate footwear, a higher BMI and  flat feet are among the top factors that can result in shin splits.  Try switching to swimming or cycling instead and seek physiotherapy advice before hitting the pavement again.  

 

4. Plantar faciitis: 

In warmer weather, we tend you swap our more supportive shoes for flip flops, pumps and sandals. Whilst increasing the air flow helps us feel cooler, our feet have to work a lot harder to help us move. This can cause aching burning feet at the end of the day. The intrinsic foot muscles may have deconditioned over the long winter and therefore be subject to strain and fatigue. If you suffer from burning feet, try doing the following: 

Place a bottle of water in the freezer for an hour or so. Place it under you foot to act as a ice roller- trust me, it will absolutely hit the spot to relieve your burning feet! 

 

 

5. Cycling injuries 

Fair weather cyclists the world over can all relate to a “dead pinky” or lower back pain after getting into the saddle. Bike set up is crucial to your cycling comfort and can also contribute to the work of cycling. Your pre-bike fitness however will set you up to ensure you’re recruiting the correct muscles for your pedal power and avoid injury. Weak gluts are sometimes responsible for overworking the lumbar spine or hamstrings. A simple bridge exercise is a useful hip mobility and strength exercise particularly for cyclists as it replicates the action of the downward force of pedalling and isolates glut muscles.  

 

We hope that these few simple golden nuggets will help keep those summer injuries at bay and that you have a wonderful and long summer! 

Usain Bolt – a biomechanical perspective on a sprinters’ foot

That’s it, we won’t have the delight of seeing Usain Bolt competing ever again. And despite his disappointing result at the 2017 World Championships here in London he is still the man to beat with an incredible World Record set at 9.58secs. We at Vitality Physiotherapy wish him very well after his injury in the 4x100m.

In his television interview on the BBC a couple of years ago, Usain said that he was less hard working than his younger teammate, Yohan Blake (who incidentally thanked his physiotherapist when he won Silver in the 100m men’s final in 2012). Bolt, however attributes much of his success to his talent!

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