SOURCE: Wellness Professionals

June 20, 2008 05:30 ET

Wellness Professionals™ Aids in Finding Relief From Injuries Caused by Outdoor Sports

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - June 20, 2008) - Broken bones and sprains are sending active people to the hospital in droves -- nearly 213,000 annually. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the top three outdoor activities resulting in injury are: snowboarding (26 percent), sledding (11 percent), and hiking (6 percent).

For individuals injured while participating in one of these sports, completing an integrated wellness program can significantly relieve the pain associated with muscle, bone, and joint conditions according to Wellness Professionals™, the leading musculoskeletal pain relief company.

Integrated wellness programs, like those offered from Wellness Professionals™, combine education, exercise, supplements, and professional treatment, resulting in musculoskeletal pain relief. Typical programs range in duration and intensity based on the severity of injury and the overall fitness level of the participant.

Snowboarding, the most injury-prone sport according to the CDC report, can result in a number of musculoskeletal injuries. Rotator cuff strains and shoulder sprains are two common snowboarding injuries. Treatment programs for shoulder injuries typically focus on pain relief; reducing inflammation; and restoring strength, flexibility, and mobility to the shoulder. It is also important to strengthen the uninjured muscles and tendons of the shoulder in order to compensate for the injured ones.

Neck injuries such as neck sprains are also common in snowboarders. Mild to moderate neck injuries are usually relieved using conservative treatments including ice and moist heat in a matter of weeks. Finding neck pain relief is crucial to the healing process; it is important to rest the neck and avoid activities that cause discomfort or pain.

Another sport that racks up its fair share of injuries is sledding. Flying down snow-covered hills can result in a number of injuries affecting multiple body parts including various strains and sprains. Back sprains, a type of soft tissue sprain, are quite common. An injury or trauma to soft tissue can result in bruising, pain, and swelling. Initial treatment after such an injury usually consists of P.R.I.C.E. (protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation) to decrease both pain and swelling.

Other conservative treatments for soft tissue pain or minor strain/sprains include:

--  Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help
    reduce pain and relieve inflammation.
    
--  Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can design a specialized
    program to prevent stiffness, improve range of motion, restore flexibility,
    and increase strength.
    
--  Chiropractic Treatment: Chiropractic care has been shown to relieve
    pain in some patients with acute soft tissue pain.
    
--  Massage Therapy: Deep tissue massage can help ease muscle tension
    caused by soft tissue injury.
    
--  Acupuncture: Working with an acupuncturist experienced in treating
    musculoskeletal injuries can help speed recovery from injury.
    

In both winter and summer, hikers are also at risk for various injuries including ankle sprains and twisted knees. Ankle sprains are common hiking injuries that do not always require medical attention. However, certain symptoms may warrant a visit to the doctor's office or emergency room, including a deformed foot or ankle, uncontrolled pain, or the inability to walk normally. Generally, if pain or swelling persists for five to seven days, a doctor's appointment is in order.

Dr. Doug McKeag, a founding father of Primary Care Sports Medicine, past president and founder of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, and member of the Wellness Professionals™ Advisory Board, offers the following insight: "Inappropriately, or even worse, incompletely rehabilitated injuries resulting from outdoor activities account for many, if not most, chronically symptomatic musculoskeletal conditions. Shoulder pain, ankle pain, and knee pain that lingers after acute injury is most likely the result of poor rehabilitation of that particular joint. If you want to avoid these after-effects, address the injury and make sure proper rehab is part of the treatment plan."

Participating in outdoor recreational activities is a great way to stay in shape and enjoy nature. Here are a few simple tips to stay injury-free:

--  Equipment check: Proper footwear and equipment is essential for top
    performance and staying injury-free.
    
--  Start slow: Stretching and warming up prior to strenuous exercise can
    prevent injury as well as decrease the likelihood of joint and muscle pain.
    
--  Pay attention: From snow to surf to turf to trail, being mindful of
    surroundings can help with avoiding injury.
    

For additional information on integrated wellness solutions for musculoskeletal conditions, injury recovery, or prevention, visit http://www.wellnessprofessionals.com

About Wellness Professionals™:

Our mission is to help people prevent, solve and relieve musculoskeletal pain. We offer an integrated set of resources (health information, diagrams & pictures, lifestyle, products, supplements, exercises, and online community) targeted to 100 common musculoskeletal conditions.

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