With the summer months upon us, it’s important to remember the effect of increased heat on our bodies. When we don’t take the proper precautions, we leave ourselves susceptible to serious injuries and complications. At Park Physical Therapy, we don’t want that to happen to you. That is why we’d like to share information on the three most common types of heat injuries a person can suffer from this summer.
The first heat-related injury worth calling out is known as heat cramps. This type of injury consists of painful muscle cramps and spasms that take place during an intense workout or physical activity. When you push your body in the heat of summer, it will begin to increase sweat production to regulate body temperature. If you’re not properly hydrated, it can lead to heat cramps. Some symptoms to watch for include:
- Intense cramps, typically in the legs.
- Flushed skin.
- Excessive sweating.
Heat exhaustion is the second heat injury that you need to be aware of this summer. This condition is much more severe than heat cramps, as it can cause your body to begin to shut down. Heat exhaustion takes place when your body does not replenish fluids and salts lost from excessive sweating fast enough. Severe cramps, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness are all common symptoms of this condition. To help avoid this from happening, our team recommends the following prevention methods:
- Immediately moving to a cool place when you feel the onset of symptoms.
- Place cool cloths on your skin to regulate body temperature.
- Consume drinks that are high in electrolytes.
- Seek medical treatment right away if symptoms persist.
The most severe heat-related injury is heatstroke. Heatstroke occurs when your body completely fails in its ability to regulate your temperature properly. Exposing your body to excessive heat can be life-threatening, which is why you need to seek treatment right away. The best ways to prevent this condition from ever occurring include the below:
- Drink plenty of fluids on days you’re performing vigorous outdoor activities.
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing on hot days.
- Take frequent breaks, especially on hot/humid days.
- Consider spending as much time indoors as possible when the heat reaches extreme levels.
Park Physical Therapy
Here at Park Physical Therapy, we do not want anyone to deal with heat-related injuries this summer. For more information regarding outdoor activity safety, or to schedule an appointment for care, contact us today at 516-798-3789!