Avoid the 4 Injuries that Physical Therapists See Most Often

Avoid the 4 Injuries that Physical Therapists See Most Often

Accidents and injuries happen all the time, and some of the repercussions can be life-changing.

As a physical therapist, the profession sees all kinds of injuries from minor to catastrophic.

Here are some of the most common injuries that physical therapists encounter, and what you can do to avoid them.

Pulled Muscles

Whether it’s sports or work-related, a pulled muscle can be extremely painful. This injury is usually a result of someone not warming up properly before participating in rigorous activity.

When a muscle gets pulled, a severe force stretches the muscle’s fibers well past its normal ability. When this happens, it can be quite painful and can take quite a while to heal.

A pulled hamstring is extremely painful as are pulled calf muscles. Gentle stretching along with ice and medication are the best forms of treatment.

So, how do you avoid a pulled muscle? Warming up before exercise is your best line of defense. You should always stretch before and after you exercise to keep your muscles “conditioned” to deal with any intense activity.

Back Pain

Problems with the back can vary greatly, whether it’s the result of a car accident or just poor posture at work. The muscles in the back can easily become strained, resulting in serious pain and discomfort.

If you’re not used to doing things like jumping or running, your back has a much greater chance of becoming strained or injured. Severe back pain can be debilitating and often causes people to miss work and other regular activities.

A variety of exercises and stretches are recommended to deal with back pain. But the best way to avoid it altogether is to stretch on a daily basis anyway.

Practice good posture and sit up straight with your head up and shoulders back. Consider using an ergonomic desk and chair to keep your body sitting in the right position, particularly if you work in an office all day.

For athletes, regular stretches are the key to avoiding unexpected back pain. Another tip? Avoid lifting heavy items whenever possible and if you must, always use your legs and never use your back.

Tennis Elbow

You don’t have to play tennis to be a victim of tennis elbow, but this is one of the most common injuries that many physical therapists see. This condition is caused by too much strain and pulling of the elbow area, and it can be extremely painful to deal with.

There are several ways you can get tennis elbow, including something as simple as hitting your elbow hard on a solid surface. As the muscles and tendons in the forearm become strained, inflammation and tiny tears can develop in the elbow area.

If the muscles in your forearm are not used to heavy activity, you could also be a victim of tennis elbow. This can result from doing something as simple as repetitive work or gardening.

To prevent this from happening, you should immediately stop doing whatever is causing you pain. Always warm-up before participating in sports or other activities that require repetitive motion.

Make sure you use lightweight racquets if you play tennis, and make sure you choose one with a large grip size. You can also wear a special splint designed to support your arm and prevent tennis elbow.

Work on increasing the strength of your forearms. This can help to prevent tennis elbow, so talk to your physical therapist about the best exercises for your needs.

Sprained Ankles

Sprained ankles are quite common, and they don’t just happen exclusively to athletes. Anyone can incur a sprained ankle from a variety of accidents whether it’s a fall down some stairs or a simple misstep.

If you run, you may notice a sudden, pulsing pain in the ankle. This is a very common, and it can be extremely painful especially if it’s not treated right away.

Physical therapists can come up with a treatment plan to heal and strengthen the ankle. There are tons of exercises that can help to reduce swelling while increasing the range of motion in the ankles.

Just like other injuries, your best form of prevention is to practice good stretching before you plan on any form of exercise. This should be done both before and after any activity to help protect your ankle muscles.

Talk to your physical therapist about special stretching exercises designed just for the ankles. Another common cause of sprained ankles is falling as a result of poor balance.

Work on improving your balance with some simple daily exercises that will give you confidence and a better stride. If you are an athlete, consider wearing a special brace when you jog or run to keep your ankles protected from possible injury.

Use a high-quality athletic tape and wrap your ankle before any long period of strenuous exercise. This will give your ankles the support they need and keep you from dealing with painful sprains.

Avoid These Most Common Injuries

In order to prevent some of these most common injuries, you need to take preventative steps like proper stretching and paying attention to your body. From athletes to workers, it’s important to know how to avoid painful injuries so you can continue to enjoy the activities you love.

To schedule an appointment for physical therapy, visit our website and contact us today, and be sure to read our blog for information on sports injuries and a whole lot more.