weekend warriorA weekend warrior is like a superhero on the weekends, right? Wrong! A weekend warrior is someone who does not exercise until the weekend, and then he or she overdoes it, quite often leading to injury. In fact, this is such a common thing, doctors call it the “weekend warrior syndrome.” Luckily, the providers at Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine are well versed in dealing with the weekend warrior, and have just the right training and experience to deal with these common “Weekend Warrior Injuries.”

Achilles Tendon Rupture
The Achilles Tendon powers the foot to push off the ground. Weekend warriors who sit all week and then tackle strenuous sports activities on the weekend may easily rupture this important tendon. It feels like being kicked in the back of the ankle, and when it happens, it may make a popping sound. How is this treated? Some doctors decide to use braces or casts. Others decide to operate. An operation may result in a more complete healing process, which allows the patient to participate in athletic activities again.

Shin Splints
Overworked muscles and tendons in the legs can lead to pain and tenderness along the tibia bone, and it may also cause swelling in the lower leg. Shin splints can often be treated at home with over the counter pain medication, ice, and rest. If this self care doesn’t help, see a doctor.

ACL Tear
“ACL” stands for anterior cruciate ligament, which is a major ligament in the knee. Tearing this ligament may sound and feel like a sudden pop, and then result in swelling and pain in the knee. The weekend warrior with this injury will feel unable to continue exercising, and may feel unable to put weight on that leg. Treatments range from rest and rehabilitation exercises to surgery.

Tennis Elbow
Not just tennis players get tennis elbow. This painful condition is caused by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. The weekend warrior who strains elbow tendons and muscles will feel tenderness, pain, and weakness doing normal activities like holding a cup and turning a doorknob. Often, these symptoms can be relieved with rest and pain medication, but sometimes, in more severe cases, your doctor may suggest surgery.

Ankle Sprain
Probably the most common weekend warrior injury, an ankle sprain happens when the ankle ligaments get stretched or torn due to an awkward foot position. This results in pain, swelling, and weakness. It’s a good idea to get an ankle sprain checked out by a doctor because a severe sprain may actually be torn ligaments or broken bones. Less severe sprains can often be healed with ice, rest, and pain medication.

How to Avoid Weekend Warrior Injuries
Stretch and warm-up! Also, take time to use your muscles during the week, even if it means taking the stairs instead of the elevator or lifting hand weights during lunch. Keep your body hydrated with plenty of water before and after exercise. And treat your feet to new shoes! These tips can prevent you from the common injuries of the weekend warrior syndrome. Want more information on how to avoid these injuries? Feel free to contact us at (757) 873-1554. Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine welcomes your questions and our providers are always available to educate our patients on the best way to get and stay on your feet.