Physical Therapy for Weekend Warriors
The “weekend warrior” has been keeping physical therapy and chiropractic practices busy for years!
Since so many jobs revolve around sitting at a desk all day, the average working class man or woman leads a life that is way too sedentary. After 40 hours of desk sitting, plus another 10 hours of car, bus or train sitting, isn’t it smart to get out and play as much sports as we can on the weekend?
Not so fast.
Humans were designed to run, jump and play – yes, but we were not designed to go from completely inactive mode to professional sports hero mode in an instant.
Exercise intensity must be increased gradually in order to avoid injury. This is especially true for those of us who are not in tip-top shape.
If you sit all week and then attempt to run all weekend – plan for injury. Common injuries include joint inflammation, muscle tears, and ligament sprains. Most injuries can be treated with physical therapy after the acute symptoms have subsided, but you will likely be side-lined for a couple of weeks or more.
Weekend Warriors – Do’s and Dont’s
Weekend warriors must be realistic. Don’t expect your body to adapt right away to intense activities after being inactive all week. If you haven’t exercised in a while get some professional help. Talk to your doctor, personal trainer or physical therapist before an injury.
Warm up and Cool Down
A warm up is a simple, yet commonly bypassed way to avoid injuries. March in place or jog for eight to ten minutes to warm up your body. Then follow with some light stretching to prepare your body for progressive exercise and minimize injuries. Continuing warming up with progressive intensity.
When you’re finished with your activity, cool down. Reduce your workout intensity until your breathing becomes normalized, then finish with a repeat of the light stretching. A cool down period helps restore normal blood flow, oxygen and reduce injuries.
Being realistic and planning ahead is important. For best results, get some regular exercise every day. This allows your body to adapt and prepare for your favorite weekend activities.
If you have already become a victim of the dreadful “weekend warrior syndrome” here are a few ways that a physical therapist can help:
Assessment of Your Body Mechanics/Movements – Identifying how your body functions with regular activities is an important first step in recovering from and preventing injury.
Home Exercise Programs – Once pain is under control a proper home exercise program can begin, that will be designed to be progressive over time.
Physical therapy techniques – Physical therapy techniques include stretching, strengthening, joint mobilization, hot and cold packs, ultrasound, massage, and much more to deal with different types of injuries.
Regardless of your current state of health, age or activity level, physical therapy can you to prevent injuries and recover quickly if you have already pushed your body too far. Call or consult your physical therapist today.