In my work as an orthopedic surgeon, I work collaboratively with individuals that are considered to be weekend warriors. But what does that really mean? Weekend warriors engage in irregular patterns of physical activity (one to two days each week), do so more than 2.5 hours each week and participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity.
We find that weekend warriors are both men and women, generally in their 30s and up. They enjoy team sports, racquet sports, distance running and obstacle course. Many times, they usually are fulfilling a competitive urge.
There are common injuries that we see in weekend warriors, such as hamstring strains, IT (iliotibial) band syndrome, trochanteric bursitis, knee sprains, meniscus tears, Achilles ruptures, ankle sprains, low back pain, shoulder injuries and elbow injuries.
What can be done to prevent these injuries? Develop a consistent physical activity routine, plan to cross train and avoid overuse injuries, eat a balanced diet (weight loss leads to less stress across joints and muscles), supplement with Vitamin D, get the gear (proper shoes, fit and technology), and start nice and slow.
If an injury does occur, there are various treatment options like home treatment (RICE - rest, ice, compression, elevation), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy.
When should you see an orthopedic surgeon? For shoulders, pain that continues with rest or at night, and the inability to raise arm due to weakness. For elbows, failure of all physical therapy and steroid injections. And, for low back, pain/numbness radiating down the leg that doesn’t improve and leg weakness.
During a recent Know & Go presentation on this topic, other questions arose.
- Does Agnesian HealthCare offer dry needling therapy? Yes, this new treatment method helps individuals who are experiencing muscle tension and spasms. It is offered through by physical therapists at Agnesian HealthCare’s Sports & Spine Center in Fond du Lac, Ripon and Waupun. Dry needling is used effectively to treat muscle pain and spasms, which commonly accompany conditions such as arthritis, acute/chronic injuries, headaches, neck/back pain, tendinitis, muscle spasms, sciatica, hip/knee pain, muscular strain, fibromyalgia, ligament strains and herniated discs, as well as a variety of other bone and muscle pain.
- How long after expiration dates on products, like Advil, can I continue to use? It’s best to not use after expiration dates because each medication varies in how long it remains effective after expiring. If you’re concerned about it, buy a new bottle.
- What is your opinion on stretching before or after dynamic stretching? Dynamic stretching can have benefits above and beyond static stretching but it does take more focus and training on how to do it properly. It’s a good idea during a vigorous activity that you try to get some amount of stretching included in your workout.