By Dr. Virginia Nsitem
The annual Toronto Caribbean Carnival is just around the corner, so it is important to pay attention to some tips on how to keep your joints and muscles pain-free, so that you can participate in as many Carnival activities as possible.
Waving, Jumping, Walking, and Dancing:
Waving a towel, flag, or your hand can also lead to neck, shoulder, and arm injuries, such as rotator cuff injuries, muscle strains, and tendonitis at the elbow and wrist.
Hip, knee, leg, and ankle injuries can occur after one move or because of repeated jumping, long periods of walking, and moving your body while dancing. Some common injuries include ankle and foot fractures, shin splints, hip and knee tendonitis, and muscle strains.
Signs of an injury include:
- Pain and difficulty with walking, jumping, or dancing
- Stiffness and decreased flexibility
- Tight muscles and joints
- Swelling or bruising
Tips to stay healthy:
- Stretch your muscles and joints: Stretching may help to loosen up the muscles, improve your flexibility, and may reduce the risk of injury.
- Wear proper shoes: proper footwear can help maintain proper foot mechanics and reduce the stress on the foot, knee, and hip joints.
- Take frequent breaks to rest. A short break (5 to 10 minutes) will allow your joints and muscles to relax and recover from the intense jumping and dancing.
- Stay hydrated: Taking a few sips of water every 15 to 30 minutes is important to replace the fluids you lose when you sweat. Staying hydrated also helps to prevent muscle cramps and muscle fatigue associated with intense physical activity.
- Be mindful of your limits and don’t push yourself too fast, too far, or too long!
It is also important to recognize the signs of Heat Exhaustion, including fatigue, dizziness, heart racing, breathing fast, headache, nausea, cramping, excessive sweating, heat rash, and feeling thirsty. If you notice any of these symptoms, find a cool place to rest, drink cold water, and cool your body with a cold wet towel placed over your neck or under your
armpits. You should start to feel better after 30 minutes. If your symptoms worsen or do not improve, seek medical attention.
And don’t forget the sunblock to protect your skin!
Dr. Virginia Nsitem is a chiropractor specializing in laser therapy for muscle, joint, and nerve injuries, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences in Canada. She may be reached at (905) 275-4993, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop the Pain … Before the Pain Stops You!