This was the week you decided to become an endurance bicyclist. You spent thousands on a brand-new road bike, with all the latest gear that the sales guy insisted you couldn’t hit the trail without. You dressed fit to ride, in your day-glow spandex and clip-in cycling shoes with, of course, a light-up helmet.
You were the ideal “weekend warrior,” the perfect picture of form and function -- that was, until you hit that branch lying across the road and found yourself leaning against a tree with the bike on top of you. Your ankle hurt, your knee was bleeding profusely, and you’re pretty sure your shoulder was dislocated. Despite your bruised ego, you realize you might actually need to see a doctor for your injuries.
Sports injuries don’t just happen to athletes. In fact, the weekend warrior is far more prone to this kind of injury than an experienced athlete because most people aren’t able to maintain a fitness level that would minimize those dangers. It’s not uncommon for some to hit the bike trail, ball field, or tennis court in the few free hours on the weekends, and maybe overdo it just a bit. For those who aren’t as physically active on a daily basis, muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and joints aren’t used to activity making them more prone to injury. Intense, forceful movements, such as a quick change in direction while playing basketball could result in any number of acute injuries.
When to see the doctor
Most people experience some sort of soreness after more physical activity than they’re generally used to. But it’s important to recognize the difference between general soreness from that activity and the pain of an injury.
Kyle Ott, MD, a non-surgical sports medicine specialist with Kettering Health Network, offers this bit of advice to the weekend warrior. “One of the best things a weekend warrior can do to prevent injury is exercise for smaller chunks of time during the week as you’re able. Work on strengthening some of the stabilizing muscles you’ll be using and improve the flexibility in a less intense manner.”
“When an injury does occur, some could be more of an acute nature. For example, you might hear a substantial ‘pop’ sound, and you go down and can’t continue. If it swells badly or bruises, those are signs you should see a doctor,” Dr. Ott continued.
Everyone feels pain differently, so you might feel sore, or the muscles feel heavy or fatigued. But when you have a shooting pain or mechanical symptoms like a catching or locking out of a joint, you should have the injury examined by a physician.
The entire sports medicine staff at Kettering Health Network is committed to getting you back to an active, healthy lifestyle. When you come to one of the four Kettering Health Network sports injury clinics, you will receive a full examination and evaluation, consultation and treatment plan from one of our board-certified sports medicine physicians. Our full-service facilities provide X-rays, diagnostic ultrasound, bracing services and physical therapy.
Sports injury treatment is available at the following Kettering Health Network locations: Beavercreek, Centerville, Hamilton, or Kettering. Same-day or next-day, as well as evening appointments typically are available, and some sites have weekend hours.