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|Summer Brings Workout Routines to the Beach Along with Increased Risk of Orthopaedic Injury|
|Written by Administrator|
As beach season gets underway, many people bring their workout regiment with them to the shore. And that means running along the beach, in the sand.It is commonly thought that soft sand better cushions the joints, making running on the beach more beneficial. However, Michael Ciccotti, M.D., chief of Sports Medicine at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and head team physician to the Philadelphia Phillies, warns why beach runners should beware.
As the beach season gets underway, many people will bring their workout regiment with them to the shore. And that means running along the beach, in the sand. It is commonly thought that the soft sand better cushions the lower extremity joints, making running on the beach even more beneficial. However an orthopaedic specialist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital warns this may actually put more strain on your muscles and joints.
“Though running is an extremely common activity, it is not one performed perfectly at all times. As the summer months begin, running outside, particularly while on vacation at the shore or on the beach, remains one of the most popular activities. But running on the beach comes with risks,” says Michael Ciccotti, M.D., chief of Sports Medicine at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and head team physician for the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Joseph’s University.
Rarely consistently smooth and flat, the beach surface changes drastically from extremely soft to hard. In addition, the beach often slopes dramatically as it approaches the water. “Running on this sloped surface can especially predispose an individual to injury,” warns Dr. Ciccotti.
“As you run on an irregular, inconsistent surface like sand, the forces that go through the feet, ankles, knees and hips vary dramatically and can predispose an athlete to injury in any one of these body parts.” He advises, “The ideal surface to run on is a relatively flat, smooth, resilient and reasonably soft surface such as a track or jogging trail.”
Common Injuries from Running in Sand
Preventative Measures to Avoid Injuries:
Simple measures such as decreasing or stopping running, icing the affected area for five to ten minutes at a time, two to three times a day for several days, taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory such as an aspirin or ibuprofen (if your medical history allows) and even local compression such as with an ace wrap can help.
If symptoms progress and interfere with sleep, appetite or performance of daily, routine activities, then seek evaluation by your primary care physician or sports medicine specialist.
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