Summer is here and although there are fun things in store, it is important to remember to stay safe. Water injuries are indeed serious and can be very painful. Here are some ways to take care of them and prevent water injuries from happening in the future.
Swimming is a great treatment for several sports injuries, however, a competitive swimmer should take precautions when dedicating their time to aquatic activities. An injury like conjunctivitis can occur from chlorine causing inflammation in the eyes as well as gastroenteritis which is an infection in the stomach caused by swallowing water that is contaminated by sewage.
The most common injury in swimming is called “swimmer’s shoulder,” which is caused by an impingement from continuous use of the shoulder joint and muscles indicated by painful arc/rotator cuff rupture. In order to to treat this injury, it is necessary to hold off on exercises that that involve shoulder movement. Strengthening the rotator cuff and altering swimming strokes will be important to the healing process. Ice and anti-inflammatories will also reduce swelling and bruising after an injury has occurred.
Swimmer’s ear is an infection in the canal between the eardrum and outer ear that can be very painful. It is simply caused by constant exposure to the water and chlorine. This injury can be treated by seeking medical advice and the use of antibiotics. To prevent the dreadful ear pain, make sure your ears are completely dry when leaving the pool and wear ear plugs if you need to. If an injury does occur, you may need to stay out of the water until it is healed.
Divers are also prone to ear infections. Signs from this injury include reduced hearing, diving that causes pain in the ear or unusual noises in the ear as well. When this pain occurs, try holding your nose and and blowing out hard with your mouth shut. This will equalize the pressure inside and outside of the ear. Nasal decongestants will also help heal the infection, but try to avoid diving until it is fully healed.
Other injuries to be aware of when diving include neck injuries and wrist sprains, as well. Osgood Sclatter’s disease is one that may affect younger kids on the springboard. This injury causes an inflammation of the bone where the tendon from the knee-cap is attached to the bone. It can be very painful when the knee is bent or when climbing stairs. This injury stops happening when growth settles.
Waterskiing. An adventurous activity with important tips to remember. When waterskiing, always remember to avoid shallow water because it may interfere with the bottom floor. Stay away from other activities going on in the water as well; you would not want to injure someone else in the process. Always make sure there are two people in the boat; one to drive and one to watch you. Wearing a life vest may seem like an annoyance, especially if you are an experienced water skier, but you never know if you will lose consciousness from a fall.
Physical therapy is the main treatment for any sports injuries and can do amazing things for your body. It is a powerful tool because it allows the healing process to happen quicker and gives the athlete more potential to return to the sport safely. Pain is reduced, swelling goes down and muscle movement is restored.