It’s that time of year again! With the warm weather and longer days, Summer is upon us and with it comes warmer weather, tempting us all to venture on solo expeditions, children’s sporting events, backyard barbecues, and limitless outdoor activities with friends and family. Whether it be strolls in the park, adventurous hikes, or trips to the beach, we all try to soak up some much needed Vitamin D. As these warmer, sunnier days approach, it is important to make time to keep our bodies safe and healthy! While it’s easy to want to adventure outside, activities like hiking, sports, and even walking on the beach can cause common injuries like ankle sprains, shin splints, foot pain, and other lower leg issues. After these long winters, our bodies are not always ready for the constant uneven terrain, increased mileage on our feet, or unexpected rocks/divots that we may accidentally step on. But don’t worry! Here at JPT, we’ve got your back. Before journeying outside for whatever activity you chose, remember these five tips!
- Warm-up: before activity can keep the joints loose and prepare the muscles for action
- Cool-down: after activity can prevent soreness and overuse injury
- Exercise/rehab: train the correct muscle groups to prepare you for adventures
- Proper footwear: can help give you the extra support your body needs
- Consistency: a little bit everyday goes a long way
Unsure what these 5 tips mean or how to complete them? Come in for an evaluation with any questions about prevention, lingering issues, or potential new injuries and we can help you learn how to prehab and protect your body. We will work with you to find out areas and muscles where you may be most vulnerable, create a plan for prevention by teaching you exercises that can help strengthen the correct muscles in the most appropriate way, educate you on proper warmup and cooldowns best fit for you, and guidance on choosing the most appropriate footwear.
While these are great tips to help prevent these lower leg injuries from occurring, sometimes, things happen! In the unfortunate case this happens to you, we at JPT are here and ready to help. We provide different treatments and modalities that can help you recover from pain or injury caused by overuse or traumatic incidents. Our Physical Therapists are trained to provide manual therapy techniques that can decrease pain, improve body aches and stiffness, and enhance muscle function/control. From there we prescribe a personalized fitness program that you can complete in our gym with the guidance of our therapists and qualified aides. We also provide modalities for pain relief such as hot packs, cold packs, and E-stim, as well as taping techniques that may be suited for you. Our goal is not only to improve your symptoms of pain/discomfort, but to provide you with the proper education and confidence you may need to continue your adventures in the long term. Not only will we work with you to decrease any discomfort, but we will also provide you with the proper education you may want to know in order to provide you with the confidence you need to make sure you are doing the right things. No matter what your summer brings, we will always be here to help you enjoy every second of those long, sunny summer days!
Dr. Shaun Sterner, PT, DPT, Milltown/East Brunswick office