Common Springtime Injuries
Spring has sprung in Colorado, and the warmer weather has brought a lot of happiness to the area. With the nice weather also comes changes in exercise routines and spring sports. In spring, we see a variety of injuries increase due to these changes and increases in activity. Here are the four most common springtime injuries.
Runners knee, or Patellofemoral Syndrome, is an injury that occurs from overuse. Repetitive or high impact exercise, like running or biking, can cause your knee to feel pain and experience inflammation. You can experience worse pain when walking or running downhill or when squatting down. With the change in weather, many runners and bikers are hitting the streets instead of running on treadmills or using stationary bikes. They might also be extending their exercise duration and distances.
We recommend that you ease into your new outdoor routine. If you do experience pain, be sure to rest, ice, and elevate the area. If pain persists, you should see your doctor. They may recommend that you strengthen the muscles in your legs through physical therapy.
Ankle Sprains occur when you roll, twist, or turn your ankle in an unnatural or awkward position. When you do this, the ligaments that hold your ankle bones together can stretch or tear, causing inflammation, pain, and bruising. Most ankle sprains happen when you’re playing sports like soccer, basketball, or volleyball. They can also occur when running or doing something as simple as stepping off a curb.
Sprains can range from minor to severe and there are 3 different grades of ankle sprains.
- Grade 1: Your ankle is sore and slightly swollen. The ligaments in your ankle are just overstretched.
- Grade 2: You experience prolonged pain and swelling and you may even bruise. The ligaments in your ankle may be partially torn.
- Grade 3: Pain and swelling are severe and you are definitely going to bruise. You may have heard a pop sound when you rolled or twisted your ankle and cannot put weight on it. The ligaments in your ankle are torn and your ankle feels unstable.
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are going to be key in treating your ankle sprain. You can also take over the counter pain medications like ibuprofen. If you experience severe pain, swelling, and bruising, you should see your doctor.
Achilles tendonitis occurs when the thick band that connects your heel to your calf muscle becomes inflamed or irritated. Typically, this injury is the result of overuse and repetitive stress. Often, we see runners experience this injury because they have switched from indoor running on a treadmill to outdoor running on hard surfaces. They also tend to increase their distance and intensity when they transition to outdoor exercise.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain in the heel area or the back of the leg and stiffness. Rest, ice, and over the counter pain medications or anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and naproxen can also help manage pain from the injury. If you ever hear or feel a pop in the area, there is a chance that you have ruptured the tendon and that will require more serious medical attention. See your doctor if pain and swelling persist.
Plantar fasciitis is another common springtime injury. This time of year, people are changing their exercise routines and are changing their footwear. One of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis is the lack of support from worn out shoes. Plantar fasciitis refers to the swelling or inflammation of the thick tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot and connects your toes and your heel. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain along the bottom of your foot or heel that is worse after, not during, exercise.
This injury is common among runners, those who are overweight, and people who are wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support, like flip flops. Treatment of plantar fasciitis includes rest, icing the area, and taking over the counter pain medications like ibuprofen. To reduce the pain from plantar fasciitis, you may also want to consider maintaining a healthy weight, wearing supportive footwear, and switching to low impact exercise like swimming. If pain persists or worsens, see your doctor.
We all want to enjoy the spring weather and get out and exercise. If you are experiencing symptoms of any of these common springtime injuries, the experts at Front Range Orthopedics & Spine are here to help. To schedule an appointment, fill out our online appointment request form or give us a call at 303.772.1600.