According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, injuries are a leading cause of disability for people of all ages, and they are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. While those statistics include injuries that are not orthopedic in nature, the risk of disability from musculoskeletal injuries is real and has many causes, including unintentional falls, sports-related injuries and overexertion. In honor of National Safety Month (which occurs every year in June), we compiled a list of five steps everyone can take to reduce the risk of orthopedic injury at home, at work and on the field:
1. Stay active
Exercise helps improve balance and coordination, as well as stabilize the core, which in turn decreases the chance of falling. In addition to regular physical activity, it is important to properly warm up, stretch and cool down before and after exercise to prevent injury from overexertion and/or muscle fatigue.
2. Set appropriate limits on physical activity
When people gradually build up their activity levels, they reduce the risk of bone, muscle and joint injury. This is especially important during summer months, when temperatures are at their highest. The following symptoms often occur when our bodies exceed their limits and serve as signs that it’s time to take a break:
- Dizziness or fatigue
3. Clear stairs and walkways
Keeping stairs and walkways clear of clutter lowers the risk of accidental falls. Loose mats and rugs can also be dangerous. Be sure to clean up spilled liquids and other greasy materials that may result in slippery surfaces, as they can increase the chance of injury due to falling.
4. No bare feet
Whether inside or outside, supportive, closed-toe shoes help prevent tripping-related injuries to knees, feet and ankles. It’s important to avoid or discourage the use of slippers, flip-flops or socks that may limit traction, increasing the risk of falling. Shoes with slip-resistant soles may offer added stability.
5. Wear protective gear
It is important for athletes to have the right safety gear, such as helmets, knee pads and shin guards when engaging in contact sports or other sports-related activities. Inspect equipment to ensure it fits properly and check athletic guidelines to make sure all equipment is appropriate for the sport. Similarly, it is important for employees to use proper safety equipment, such as hard hats, steel toe shoes and protective gloves to avoid work-related injuries.
Regardless of the type of orthopedic injury, early medical intervention is key to avoiding permanent damage and loss of function. The board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians at Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics specialize in treating a variety of orthopedic injuries, including sports-related injuries, orthopedic trauma and workers’ compensation cases. Depending on your condition, nonsurgical treatment may be an option. For patients who need it, our specialists perform orthopedic surgery, including arthroscopy and joint replacement surgery.
To learn more about care and treatment for orthopedic injuries at Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics, please make an appointment by calling 913-319-7600.
The medical information contained in the Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics website is provided to increase your knowledge and understanding of orthopedic conditions. This information should not be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific medical or surgical treatment plan. As each patient may have specific symptoms or associated problems, the treatment regimen for a specific patient may not be the proper treatment for another.
Gaining knowledge and understanding of a particular problem or condition is the first step in any medical treatment plan. We believe the information presented on our website will be helpful for those individuals experiencing orthopedic injuries or other related problems. However, this information is not intended to replace the advice of your family physician. You are encouraged to consult with your physician to discuss any course of treatment presented or suggested.