Tips to Avoid Holiday Sports Injuries

by HSS on the Move
Throwing football

We hope you had a great Thanksgiving! How many of you are suffering from post-Thanksgiving aches and pains from that touch football game you played? Did you know that more sports related injuries happen during the holidays? People are gathered watching football with family and friends and often decide to head outside and play a game, too. “But after a big meal, a celebratory glass of wine, and not realizing that you might not be quite as nimble as you used to be, people tend to injure themselves more,” explains Dr. Stephen Fealy, Orthopedic Surgeon. Dr. Fealy has some tips to avoid injury this holiday season.

1. Don’t overthrow. People will often watch the big game, go outside, and try to launch a big pass like they just saw on TV. Most people aren’t accustomed to throwing a professional size football. Only throw short or medium passes to avoid a shoulder injury.

2. Make sure you’re wearing the correct sneakers on the correct turf. Wearing running or casual sneakers on grass is not recommended—they’re meant for running on pavement. You don’t have to go buy cleats, but wear cross-training or basketball sneakers that lace-up higher to prevent a rolled ankle.

3. Don’t backpedal when running. If you’re playing defense, make sure to run parallel, alongside the receiver. Backpedaling is a classic way to pull a hamstring muscle in your leg.

4. Don’t hold on to clothes when grabbing for a flag. If you’re playing flag football and grab for the flag, but mistakenly grab onto someone’s clothes, the clothes can pull your finger while your target is running away from you. People commonly pull a tendon in their finger or hand this way.

5. Alcohol can affect your muscles. Drinking alcohol can make you more dehydrated, which causes your muscles and tendons to be less elastic; therefore, more easily damaged. Refrain from overindulging in alcohol if you want to be active.

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The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.

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