New tips recently published by the New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) offer help for those who want to enjoy the season with athletics. The following tips were compiled by Dr. William Levine, chief of sports medicine at NYP/Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Andre Panagos, assistant professor of rehabilitation at NYP/Weill Cornell Medical Center:
- Start slow. Your best bet is to prevent injuries before they happen. If you push yourself too hard, too soon, that minor soreness could turn into something more serious.
- Don't forget to warm up. Although you may feel warm in good weather, you still have to give your muscles a chance to go through the motions and get blood pumping to all the necessary areas.
- Gentle stretching before finishing your activity will help those hardworking muscles retain and improve flexibility.
- Treat injuries. For tennis elbow, runner's knee and similar injuries, try R.I.C.E.-- rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- Take frequent breaks.
- Pay attention to your body. Don't ignore the little aches and pains in the joints and muscles. They are early signals that could help you prevent more serious injuries.