Tips for Avoiding Common Summer Sports Injuries from Medicine in Motion

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Summertime sports injuries can be a serious concern, particularly for those who haven't kept in shape during the winter months. The sports medicine doctors at Medicine in Motion have tips for avoiding these troublesome issues.

Austin Sports Medicine - Medicine in Motion

Austin Sports Medicine - Medicine in Motion

The weather’s nice, kids are out of school, and everyone is feeling the need for activity. It’s summertime, and, for many, that means it’s time for sports and an increased level of physical fitness. Along with that jump in athleticism, however, comes an increased opportunity for sporting injuries.

"In the winter months, people just tend to be less active," said Dr. Martha Pryon, Austin sports medicine doctor and owner of Medicine in Motion. "Once warmer weather hits, many of us have a strong urge to get outside and be physically active. While I highly encourage that, it doesn’t mean their bodies are ready for the sudden change in activity levels. Without the proper preparations, the average person is very susceptible to injury."

Sports and fitness activities that lead to the most injuries include tennis, golf, bicycling, soccer and running. Common problems resulting from these summer activities include:

  •     Back pain
  •     Sprains
  •     Pulled muscles
  •     Muscle tears
  •     Tendonitis
  •     Rotator cuff (shoulder) injuries
  •     Heat stroke
  •     Muscle cramps

Any of the above issues can cause individuals to be sidelined for the rest of the summer. Some injuries may even require physical therapy in order for patients to fully recover. Prevention is the key to staying healthy and happy this season. Here are some tips to avoid those summer-fun-ending injuries:

1.    Year-round maintenance. Ideally, individuals won’t leave exercise for the warmer months. While this advice may not make a difference this year, it will pay off in spades next summer. If a person lives in colder climates, they may hit the gym or walk an indoor mall to keep up their fitness levels. Any regular efforts will make a big difference when activity levels dramatically increase for the summer since their bodies won’t be starting "cold."

2.    Warm-up and stretch. Stretching before a workout or sport is a good idea for anyone but particularly those who haven’t been active for a while. For those planning to be involved in an especially rigorous event, begin warming up a week in advance by including some cardio with the stretches.

3.    Know one’s limits. As people get older, their bodies simply aren’t capable of what they once were. This is particularly true if they’ve taken off the winter months from physical fitness. Don’t jump right into running that 10K. Start out slow and build up endurance. Take a few power walks, move into jogging and slowly increase the pace and distance.

4.    Treat old injuries. Putting off a sports injury issue because it just didn’t seem too bad? Well it could be getting worse without the person even knowing it. Getting back into a sport may exasperate the problem, as well. Don’t delay – see a sports medicine doctor to get the body in perfect working condition again before attempting any strenuous activity.

5.    Hydrate. Although the elderly and young are most susceptible to extreme heat, everyone should stay hydrated when involved in an outdoor sport in the summer months. Drink lots of water beforehand and compensate for lost levels of electrolytes during the activity by drinking a sports drink. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages before the activity as they increase the rate of dehydration.

6.    Wear a helmet. Brain injuries can not only be season-ending, they can be life-altering. If a person is skateboarding, bicycling or rollerblading, strap on a helmet to prevent head injuries. Helmets should be a comfortable fit, low on the head as possible, and stable enough to support hard impacts.

Medicine in Motion (MIM) specializes in providing top quality sports medicine in Austin, Texas, for athletic individuals of all ages and levels. The doctors at MIM believe active bodies are healthy bodies, therefore it is the office's goal to keep patients energetic and fit. To that end, MIM provides treatment of injuries and illnesses, including the use of physical rehabilitation; promotes healthy living with personal training and nutrition coaching; and offers comprehensive sports medicine evaluations to optimize health, activity level and sports performance. For more information or for questions regarding sports medicine in Austin, contact Medicine in Motion at 512-257-2500 or visit the website at

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Daniel Harvell
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