Are You An Accident Waiting to Happen? What to Do about These Common Injuries for Men
Posted 7/4/2016 by UHBlog
For the unprepared weekend warrior, the excitement of getting out for some much-needed physical activity can quickly end with a “pulled muscle” or a sprained knee or ankle. Strains and sprains are among the most common sports injuries men suffer. Proper warm-up and preparation before participating in athletics can reduce your chances of becoming part of that statistic.
“The two categories of injuries we see most often in men in the Emergency Room are sports injuries among the younger to middle-aged weekend warriors, and falls among senior men,” says emergency medicine specialist Anthony Daher, MD.
According to Dr. Daher, the most common sports injuries include:
- Sprained ankles
- Sprained knees
- Sprained wrists
- Sprains and other injuries to the shoulder
A sprain occurs when a ligament – a band that connects bones in a joint – is over-stretched or torn. Strains are similar, except they involve a stretch –sometimes called a “pull” – or a tear in a muscle or a tendon that connects a muscle to a bone.
“The best way to reduce your chances of these types of injuries is to prepare and be in shape,” he says. “They're common among men who go out on the weekend and do sports and physical activities when they aren’t in the greatest shape, or haven’t been very active during the previous six months. Always be sure to stretch out and warm-up before doing physical activities. And get plenty of exercise to stay in shape year round.”
If you do suffer an injury, how do you know if you need immediate medical attention? Dr. Daher recommends seeing a doctor if:
- You can see an obvious deformity resulting from the injury
- You can’t move the injured body part
- The injured body part can’t bear weight
- You experience numbness or tingling
- The area surrounding the injury shows a change in color
“From an emergency standpoint, we want to be sure there is good blood circulation in the injured extremity,” he says.
Some guys, he says, prefer to avoid an ER or urgent care visit after an injury. However, if swelling, pain and other symptoms don’t improve within 48 hours, he recommends having have your injury looked at by a doctor. In the meantime, treat the sprain, strain or other injury at home with rest, ice, elevating the affected extremity and wrapping/compression to provide extra support.
Anthony Daher, MD is the EMS medical director at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center. You can request an appointment with any University Hospitals doctor online.