A Bodily Therapist’s Information to Safely Celebrating July 4th


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A Physical therapist’s Guide to Independence Day

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Whereas this reality could not appear revolutionary, the times surrounding Independence Day yield extra U.S. hospital emergency room visits than every other vacation of the 12 months. Right here’s tips on how to have enjoyable and keep secure!

The Fourth of July. Independence Day. America’s birthday. No matter you name it, July 4th is synonymous with fireworks, enjoyable, household, pals, meals and festivities. Regardless of the celebration, too many Individuals additionally end the night time within the hospital emergency room.

In accordance with findings from the Pew Research Center, greater than 91,000 Individuals maintain severe accidents between July 4-5, the very best two-day complete for hospitalizations all year long.

It ought to come as no shock that fireworks are the highest explanation for accidents. Greater than half of all of the fireworks-related accidents sustained by Individuals annually happen in the course of the first week of July.

In accordance with a 2020 report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 15,600 individuals suffered fireworks-related accidents and had been handled by hospital ERs. Eighteen of these individuals died.

Arms and fingers (30%) are the physique half most incessantly injured by fireworks, as fuses burn sooner than marketed, shortening the time for individuals to maneuver. Accidents sustained from fireworks can embody dislocations, damaged bones, lack of sight and listening to, disfiguration, amputations, and even loss of life. 

In case you are setting off bottle rockets, rockets, sparklers or every other sort of fireworks, all the time train excessive warning. To guard your fingers, learn and comply with all directions, don’t belief the wick, and stand 500 ft away from the launch website.

Except for fireworks, Independence Day affords ample alternative for preventable accidents. July’s excessive temperatures mix with household time, video games, swimming, boating, and parades to create an ideal storm for Individuals.

To really feel your finest whereas celebrating freedom, the bodily remedy and occupational remedy specialists at CORA have compiled some high damage prevention suggestions:

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

As a rule of thumb, by the point you are feeling thirsty, the focus of your blood has already elevated by 2%. Correct hydration is crucial for a broad vary of features, together with rising mind and digestive operate, regulating physique temperature and lubricating joints. Warmth sickness is the enemy of enjoyable, inflicting fatigue, dizziness and muscle cramps.

With out even checking the forecast, it’s secure to imagine that Independence Day will probably be sizzling close to you. Within the warmth, you’ll expel extra fluid by sweat, so it’s extra necessary than ever to gas up on water. In accordance with the U.S. Institute of Medicine, adults can produce as a lot as three or 4 liters of sweat per hour in excessive situations, so hold the bottle helpful and restrict alcohol consumption.

Heat-Up and Stretch Earlier than Yard Sports activities

Earlier than flexing on your loved ones and pals, take a couple of minutes to have interaction in a dynamic warm-up to arrange your muscle tissue and connective tissue.

Warming up earlier than taking part in bodily exercise stimulates blood move, expands respiration and elevates muscle temperature. Most significantly, dynamic warm-ups decrease the chance of sustaining accidents, reminiscent of joint ache and muscle pulls or tears. Think about calmly jogging, doing excessive knees, arm rotations, and leaping jacks to get your blood pumping.

Pair your warm-up with a stretching routine to totally interact ligaments and tendons. The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention gives guidance for stretching, together with holding positions for 10-30 seconds, respiration slowly, staying balanced, and solely pushing your physique to a snug restrict.

Don’t Be A Hero

Whether or not you’re transporting a cooler stuffed with chilled drinks, cornhole boards or garden furnishings, don’t raise alone. Seize a member of the family or good friend that can assist you raise heavy objects, and keep away from shoulder accidents, again ache and lumbar accidents.

In 2001, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that greater than 36% of sick days ensuing from accidents might be attributed to again and shoulder accidents. Improperly lifting and carrying heavy hundreds has a robust correlation to persistent again ache and joint accidents all through the physique.

Earlier than you seize that cooler or heavy object, recruit just a few others to assist share the load. To forestall accidents, all the time bend at your knees as a substitute of the waist, and raise together with your glutes and quads as a substitute of your again and groin.

Thoughts your posture

Sustaining an excellent posture might be difficult throughout instances of rest and celebration, however it has been linked to raised again well being, greater power ranges and elevated lung capability. Unhealthy posture is among the key causes of decrease again ache, which impacts more than 25% of American staff. 

Whereas getting ready meals by the grill, sink or counter, stand as much as your full peak and straighten your again. Hold your knees barely bent to forestall ankle ache and keep away from the chance of fainting. Place your ft shoulder-width aside and distribute your weight extra in the direction of your toes, as a substitute of your heels. 

When you’re sitting to eat, watch fireworks or get pleasure from a parade, place your ft flat on the bottom or a footrest to maintain them from dangling unsupported. All the time hold your knees at hip-level or under and your ankles out in entrance of your knees. Keep away from crossing your legs, chill out your shoulders and make sure that your seat helps your center and decrease again.

The staff at CORA needs you a joyful and secure July 4th! But when you end up strained, sprained or injured on July fifth, don’t fear! Schedule a go to together with your native CORA clinic to get better out of your Independence Day festivities.

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