Weekend Warrior Syndrome, as I will call it, refers to those who do an abundant number of things they don’t normally do during the week piled into the weekend. It’s no secret that many patients are crunched for time in today’s world, leading many to cram all their yard work, home improvement projects, exercise, and physical activity into the 48 hours of the weekend. But after a sedentary 40-hour workweek, 18 holes of golf, lifting pavers for your new patio, or an intense weight-lifting session, these things can take a toll on the body. As you may have noticed, as you age, you may need to take extra care or time to properly warm-up and condition your body. Do not take this as not to do those activities, rather be proactive in caring for your body to prevent injuries.
As the body ages, many changes occur: ligaments and tendons begin to lose their elasticity and become stiffer, muscle flexibility tends to be lost, muscle strength and power decline, and bone strength begins to decline. The daily inactivity that happens with most individuals contributes to these physiologic changes. Many of these changes fit the whole “use it or lose it” phenomena. Others will happen regardless as a part of the normal aging process.
Some of the most common injuries that I treat from this population include various lower body muscle pulls, knee pain, rotator cuff injuries, Achilles tendon strains, tears or ruptures, and tennis elbow. Many of these injuries are avoidable as mentioned above, but the individual must be proactive.
Those feelings of tightness or soreness may be an indication of something more significant about to happen. The weird feelings in your joints or muscles several days after may indicate your body needs help. Just because you have always done these activities before does not mean your body will automatically remember all the intricacies of the specific movement patterns. More specifically, your joints and muscles may not be able to handle the strain as easily as when you were younger. The days of jumping out of your parent’s car and into whatever activity you played without warm-up are over. Just watch how the Olympic athletes take the time to warm-up. If high caliber athletes need this, so does the average Joe/Jane Weekend Warrior. Most weekend warriors can avoid many of their injuries, aches and pains by committing to just 25 to 30 minutes of stretching and strengthening a few times during the week. The importance of warming up & cooling down when it finally comes time to kick it into high gear on the weekend. Remember to start slow, give the body time to warm up, and then gradually increase the intensity. A warm up is a simple, yet neglected way to avoid injuries. Eight to ten minutes of walking or light jogging, combined with some light stretching is a great way to prepare your body for progressive exercise intensity and minimize injuries. When you’re finished with your activity, do not come to a sudden stop. Give your muscles a chance to recover by reducing your intensity but keep moving. For example, if you have been running, don’t come to a stop. Walk for the last few minutes. A cool down period helps restore blood circulation and reduce injuries.
Finally, remember that sore muscles are normal after doing something you haven’t for a long time or an intense workout, but if you feel sharp or stabbing pain, stop exercising immediately. Call us if the pain doesn’t go away after a few days.
Concerned about potentially injuring yourself or you think you actually have an injury? Seeking treatment sooner than later is advised. Many of the more serious injuries we see at the clinic start off as something very minor and manageable. Waiting longer to seek treatment often results in greater severity and take much longer to heal when neglected. A solid musculoskeletal screen by someone knowledgeable can help find those areas you may need to address (strength, flexibility, coordination, etc.) before you become injured. If you are injured, we are often the best people to help you recover and learn how to prevent future injury.
We have supplements to help with these injuries and to prevent them. Inflavonoid and Inflavonoid Intensive Care are the same as taking your ibuprofen or Aleve, but they will not hurt your stomach and help heal the inflammation instead of just stopping it. ChondroRelief and ChondroRelief Plus are to help with the lubrication of joints and keeping the ligaments and tendons well maintained, similar to the Glucosamine Sulfate but has some added ingredients to help more. MyoCalm and MyoCalm Plus are a natural muscle relaxant but will not make you drowsy or loopy. And if you really do a good one, we have Acute Phase which is a pre-selected and put into packets that you take for the first three days following an injury (works great!).
Carry on Weekend Warriors!!