Weekend warriors – aka, “those who engage in (physically) demanding sporting activities on weekends despite minimal physical activity during the (work) week” – have a tendency to sustain certain injuries at a higher rate than other athletes. This is due, in large part, to the fact that they’re “hitting it hard” on the weekend and this repetitive process of suddenly taking part in intermittent strenuous activity can increase risk of injury…especially certain types of injuries, such as:
Achilles Tendon Rupture. The Achilles tendon is one of the biggest tendons in the body and it’s also one of the most frequently injured. The Achilles tendon is the tough band of connective tissue at the back of the ankle, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Athletic endeavors are the number one cause of an Achilles tendon rupture, affecting men more often than women. There are both surgical and non-surgical treatments available, both of which are something that your orthopaedic surgeon or podiatrist would most certainly discuss with you.
Plantar Fasciitis. When it comes to heel pain, plantar fasciitis is one of the most common sources, affecting roughly 10% of the US population. Plantar fasciitis doesn’t discriminate between the sedentary and non-sedentary, affecting people across all activity-level-demographics. Often times the pain is worse in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time and (temporarily) gets better after walking for a bit. Treatment includes rest, ice, and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (like Advil), as well as certain stretching exercises, night splints, and shoe inserts/orthotics.
Tennis Elbow. Tennis Elbow (aka, lateral epicondylitis) is one of the most common sources of elbow pain and is caused by repetitive movements that breakdown the tendons that run along the outside of the elbow. Although “tennis elbow” can most certainly be caused by playing tennis, there are plenty of other activities that it can result from as well.
Ankle Sprains. Did you know that ankle sprains are one of the most common ankle injuries seen in Emergency Departments across the United States? It’s true! Ankle sprains occur when the foot twists, turns, or rolls beyond its normal range of motion, overly stretching – and sometimes tearing – the ligaments found in the ankle joint. Ankle fractures can often mimic sprains, so having a doctor take a peek (via x-ray) is a great way to rule out a break. And, it should be noted that once an ankle sprain has occurred, future sprains are much more likely due to the damage that was caused. Ensuring proper footwear and being mindful of where and how your exercising are great ways to help avoid future ankle injuries.
Shin Splints. Shin splints, which are common amongst runners and dancers, refer to pain that runs up the shins (along the tibia). Swelling and tenderness are telltale signs, and shouldn’t be ignored. Shin splints can be incredibly painful and can often sideline someone for quite a while.
Regardless of whether you’re a weekend warrior, and avid athlete, or anywhere else on the activity spectrum, the above afflictions – along with many other injuries – are lurking pretty much everywhere. If you’re experiencing pain or think you may be suffering from an overuse injury – regardless of the cause – a visit to Prairie Orthopaedic and Plastic Surgery certainly can’t hurt…and will most assuredly help!!!