Stay Active and Safe: Orthopedic Advice for an Injury-Free Summer

School’s out, and the sun is shining. What better way to spend the day than outside? While the summer months include relaxation, travel, and fun with both friends and family, unexpected injuries may still occur. At Orthopedic ONE, our goal is to keep the emergency room off your summer travel list with helpful tips to ensure injury-free fun this season.


Before enjoying your favorite outdoor activities, it’s important to always warm up—regardless of your experience. A short 10 minutes of running, walking, or stretching prior to activity allows your muscles to become flexible and receptive to movement. When muscles and joints are tight, you become more prone to injury and a warm-up is a quick and fun form of prevention. Warming up prior to activity also circulates blood and oxygen to your muscles, minimizing recovery time and soreness. Don’t forget—your cooldown is just as important as your warm-up! While it may be tempting to rest right after exercise, a light walk and some stretching will promote mobility while preventing joint stiffness.

Maintaining proper form while staying active outside will also prevent injury. Taking a practice course in any new activities can prevent complications such as sprains or fractures. Trying a new warm-weather activity like swimming or golf is exciting, but be sure to bring an experienced friend along or schedule a private lesson beforehand.

Using proper equipment that is fitted correctly for your body measurements will prevent strain on your muscles. This includes a helmet when biking and knee pads and wrist guards for activities such as skateboarding, which provide you with an extra layer of support and protection from sprains and fractures. For any activity, a pair of properly fitted athletic shoes will prevent uneven tension on your hips, knees, and ankles. Even a short walk in ill-fitting shoes is enough to cause joint pain, which can become a more significant issue later on. The best practice is to visit an athletic shoe store like our trusted partner, Columbus Running Company. At CRC, an experienced salesperson can help you find footwear that supports your body and activities.

When minor injuries do occur, such as a pulled muscle, using home recovery techniques can provide relief until you’re able to see an orthopedic specialist. Using the RICE method (rest, ice, compress, elevate), you’ll be on your way to a full recovery in no time! Simply rest the injured area to prevent further pain or complications, apply ice or a compression sleeve, such as an ACE bandage, to reduce inflammation, and elevate the injured area to decrease swelling.


If you experience an acute injury, it can often be difficult to determine your best course of action. While the RICE method can aid in recovery during the short-term, work- and sport-related injuries such as fractures, sprains, strains, and concussions will likely require specialist intervention. But where should you go first?

  • Start with a specialist: If you experience a suspected fracture, sprain or strain, request an appointment with one of our Musculoskeletal Physicians at Orthopedic ONE—no referral required. Our schedulers will be sure to take into account the severity of your situation and get you in to see a physician as soon as possible—typically within 24-48 hours. In the interim, take care to practice home management techniques. If you suspect you’ve suffered a concussion, begin “brain rest” immediately: avoid using screens, reading, studying, and exercising. For more information on concussions, visit our concussion fact sheet.
  • Nonemergency situations: When you’re not able to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or specialist physician for the same or next day, consider a visit to your local Urgent Care Center for immediate support. These centers are typically open in the evenings and on weekends, making them convenient for injuries that occur outside of regular business hours but need immediate attention. If you experience a minor cut or wound that requires stitches, an urgent care center is the place to go.
  • Emergency situations: Should a life- or limb-threatening injury occur, call 911 immediately or visit your nearest emergency room. Such injuries include serious head trauma or worsening of concussion symptoms, major wounds requiring stitches, severe bleeding, or fractures where a bone is protruding.


If you’re experiencing an injury or condition this summer, schedule an appointment with Orthopedic ONE to design a plan that gets you back to the activities you love—no referral required.

Coaches, families, and athletes associated with any of our partner sports clubs or organizations can also benefit from our unique Sports Medicine Hotline. This no-cost service includes a consultation with an Orthopedic ONE Certified Athletic Trainer, 7 days a week. Should you require an appointment with a physician, your athletic trainer can schedule a session with one of our doctors so you can get back to activities you love most this summer!

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as professional medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for professional advice, diagnoses, or treatment.


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