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Be a Good Sport and Don’t Injure Yourself!

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a student out for your favorite sport, it’s important to keep your body in shape to prevent injuries. Now, we’re not saying you need abs of steel to be a great athlete, but you wouldn’t want to sign up for a marathon when you’ve been a couch potato for the last three months!

Unfortunately, sports-related injuries are all too common, as Family Practice Physician Case Everett, MD, knows all too well. Whether it’s lack of a proper warm-up or preparation, injuries are common for those who don’t prep properly. Of course, injuries can happen to even the most conditioned athletes too! No matter what your skill level is, here are some tips on saving yourself from aches and pains down the road:

  • Prepare: Think of the shock you feel if you jump into a cold shower. Imagine that same effect on your body when you go straight into an exercise with no warm-up time! Instead, do a slow warm-up to get your blood pumping and muscles stretched before conquering Mt. Everest or the basketball court, whichever you prefer!
  • Practice: If you haven’t exactly been athlete of the week, month or year, don’t forget to take baby steps. No matter what the activity is, make sure you don’t overdo it on day one and end right back up on the couch with an injury!
  • Don’t Overdo it: Know when to call it quits for the day, fatigued muscles are not known for their stability.

If you do end up with an injury, treat it immediately. Follow these steps to minimize the effects of an injury so you can be back up and running in no time:

  • Rest: Don’t be the tough guy or gal on the team, stop whatever you’re doing and prevent further injury! Take any pressure off the affected area and take a breather.
  • Ice: Apply ice immediately for 20 minutes every one to two hours for the first two days after an injury to help minimize swelling. Don’t use any heat, even though it may seem like a good idea, because it can actually increase inflammation.
  • Compress: Wrap the area with an elastic bandage to help keep the swelling down.
  • Elevate: Whether it’s your arm or ankle, lift the area above your heart and keep the swelling to a minimum.

Most injuries are treatable at home with over-the-counter pain medications. However, keep watch for these symptoms and see your primary care provider:

  • Abnormal looking joints
  • Severe discoloration other than bruising
  • Pain that is not tolerable
  • Inability to put any pressure on the affected limb
  • Extreme swelling

No matter what you’re doing, make sure to take care of your body with proper technique and warm ups so you can keep on keepin on!

Published Apr 27, 2017

Case Everett, MD

Family Practice Physician Case Everett, MD, practices full-time at the MHP Medical Group, providing primary care to all ages and also delivering babies. Dr. Everett is originally from New Sharon and is passionate about serving his home community. Dr. Everett chose Family Practice with obstetrics because he knew there was a need for obstetrical providers in rural Iowa and wanted to provide an all-encompassing medical practice to his patients.

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