Saturday, May 15, 2021

Stepping Safely Toward Summer: Follow these tips to stay injury-free outdoors

By Dr. Michael Sobolewski

No matter the outdoor activity, it’s easy to become so preoccupied with the fun and warmer weather to realize you might put yourself at risk for getting hurt.

The good news: You can take simple steps to make sure you have a safe and injury-free summer.

Practice proper posture and form

Proper posture can help protect your joints, which can alleviate back pain, neck pain, and even knee pain.

Be sure you’re bending with your knees, not with your back, to avoid back pain or injury. And make sure to use the strong muscles in your legs when you lift heavy objects so you don’t throw out your back.

Warm up and stretch

Before any physical activity outdoors, whether it’s playing with your kids, hopping on a bike, or going for a run, make sure you prep your body. Warm up and then take the time to stretch. Loosening up your muscles, joints, and ligaments can prevent injuries – so you can move right on to the next activity.

Take breaks and drink water

Between the daytime heat and your physical exertion, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water keeps your body temperature normal and your muscles lubricated. And if you’re sweating, drinking water replenishes the fluids lost, preventing muscle cramps.

If you get injured during your time outdoors this summer, Geisinger Orthopaedic Urgent Care can help with in-person or real-time telemedicine appointment options. There are two locations in this area – at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital and at Geisinger Gray’s Woods in Port Matilda. Details and telemedicine are at geisinger.org/ortho-urgent-care.

Michael Sobolewski, DO, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacement surgery and sports medicine. For an appointment, call (717) 242-8124.