It’s time to get out on the beach, the golf course, the practice field, and anywhere else you enjoy the Northeast Florida sunshine. But with summer fun comes the occasional injury, and we’re here to help if you’re suffering from a sprained ankle, bone fracture, or other common summertime sports injury.
We’re fortunate here in the St. Augustine and Jacksonville areas that our climate allows for year-long fun outside. However, we see an uptick in sports injuries during the summer months. With summer sports camps, perfect beach days, and fall sports practices getting started, there is probably more time being spent in the summer running, jumping, and swimming than at any other time during the year.
Here are some of the most common types of injuries we see and some signs that you should seek medical treatment immediately so we can help you get back to doing what you love as soon as possible:
Sprains and strains of the ankle, knee, and other joints
Any sport that involves running, stopping, jumping, and quick directional changes comes with the risk of a sprain or strain. From football to lacrosse and basketball to beach volleyball, anybody who plays team sports will likely have a brush with one of these injuries at some point. The good news is that proper care typically results in a speedy return to the game.
Mild sprains and strains are very common injuries. Often, athletes can start to bounce back with a return to mild activity within a few days.
A sprain is an overstretching or tearing of ligaments. A strain is overstretching or tearing muscles or tendons. Both sprains and strains can be very painful initially as swelling develops around the injured area. Immediate treatment following the RICE protocol is key to easing the pain and beginning the healing process.
Symptoms of sprains or strains include bruising, pain around the joint, swelling, limited mobility, and muscle spasms (in strains).
Do this as soon as the injury occurs:
We can perform an examination including an X-Ray and MRI scan (if necessary) at Anastasia Medical Group to properly diagnose the injury and make a plan for the speediest recovery possible.
Sports-related bone fractures
More severe than the typical sprain or strain, bone fractures unfortunately happen in sports as well. Fractures can occur from an acute trauma or repeated impacts.
Symptoms of a broken bone from a sudden impact include swelling, bruising, a visible deformity, severe pain that’s worse with the area is moved, or lack of mobility. Immediate treatment should include immobilizing the area, stopping any bleeding by applying pressure with a sterile bandage, and applying ice packs to swelling and pain. Medical attention should be sought immediately. An X-ray and physician’s assessment will be needed to properly diagnose the injury.
Stress fractures from overuse are another type of fracture that athletes might experience. These are fine breaks in the bone, especially the small bones of the feet, common in runners who log hours and hours of repetitive impact, especially on hard surfaces like roads and sidewalks. Symptoms include pain in the affected area after long exercise sessions. Some athletes may experience pain that goes away after exercise but returns immediately upon resuming activity.
Fractures of either type may require 6-8 weeks or more of treatment. It’s important to allow the bones time to completely heal before putting them under the strain of bearing weight or repeated impacts.
Surfing, wakeboarding, and other water sports injuries
The water may seem like a less injury-prone environment, but surfers, wakeboarders, and even swimmers can suffer the same types of injuries as land-based athletes. For this reason, it’s important to always enjoy water sports with a friend or a group of people looking out for one another. When an injury occurs in the water, helping the injured person to the safety of a boat, dock, or the shore is the number one priority.
If a joint is painful or swollen, look for signs of bruising, limited mobility, or muscle spasms as described above in the sprains and strains section. Although we see fewer breaks as a result of water sports activities, a deformed limb or swelling and bruising not over a joint can indicate a fracture.
Children’s summer camp injuries
We’re all for kids spending as much time as possible outdoors this summer. Sports or activity-based summer camps offer great opportunities for kids to get out an enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while honing their skills and having fun. But injuries do happen from time to time.
Reputable summer camps will have trained staff ready to respond to and provide immediate care for sprains, strains, breaks, and other sports-related injuries. If you get a call this summer to alert you that your child has been injured, ask if the RICE protocol has been followed. From there, seek medical treatment at a facility like Anastasia Medical Group. We can provide specialized care for sports-related injuries to the soft tissues or bone, in addition to advanced diagnostic tests like an X-Ray or MRI.
Accidents happen, but proper treatment is the key to getting back to the fun fast.
Have fun out there this summer and remember that Anastasia Medical Group in St. Augustine is your full-service treatment center for sports injuries this summer.