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Physical Therapy Tips on Avoiding Injury During Wyoming Outdoor Activities

April 4, 2016

Chances are if you live in Wyoming, you love the great outdoors. As spring approaches you probably can’t wait to get some hiking, fishing, and outdoor fun in. The professionals at North Platte Physical Therapy encourage you to live a healthy, active lifestyle but warn that lack of preparation can lead to injury, or re-injury. They help treat those with sports and recreational related injuries every day and as much as they appreciate their patients, if they would like to help you stay healthy. The following are some tips to enjoy warm weather activities without inviting injury:

Tips for everyone
  • Heed posted warnings.
  • Stay abreast of weather forecasts and be prepared for rapidly changing conditions.
  • Wear recommended safety equipment including safety harnesses, flotation devices, or helmets.
  • Stay hydrated and always carry an adequate water supply.
  • Do not go out of boundaries that have been set for your safety by the authorities.
Tips for hikers
  • Wear appropriate boots with good ankle protection to prevent twists and sprains.
  • Carry a hiking stick or some type of stabilizing device, especially if you will be hiking on uneven surfaces. Switch your grip often and use wrist loops to avoid blisters.
  • If you are prone to ankle sprains, carry a brace with you so that if you twist your ankle you still may be able to make it back to your vehicle.
  • Don’t hesitate to wait for someone to summon help if going forward could mean the risk of making the injury worse.
  • Avoid cramping by drinking plenty of water, even if the weather is a little chilly and you don’t feel particularly thirsty. Remember, if you’re feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
  • Stretch out before a hike paying particular attention to your calf, foot, and leg muscles.
  • Be realistic about how heavy a load you can carry and be sure it is in a balanced pack that uses your hips to distribute the weight, not just shoulders. Heaviest items should be toward the bottom of your pack and ride close to your body.
  • Hiking burns a tremendous amount of calories. Be sure to eat and bring along calorie-dense foods to keep energy levels up.
Tips for fisherman
  • Gripping the rod too tightly causes muscle tension which can lead to nerve compression, and pain in the hands.
  • Vary your casting style to avoid overuse injuries.
  • If you’re a fly fisherman, using a weighted fly can cause wrist, shoulder, and elbow pain so avoiding sinking flies can reduce your risk of injury.
  • Use the lightest rod possible to guard against wrist and shoulder injury.
  • During the off season, do weight exercises to strengthen your rotator cuff, upper arms, and forearms.
  • Before beginning your day stretch by bending over and swinging your arms slowly in a pendulum motion.
  • Keep your tackle box off to the side to avoid a tripping hazard.
  • Wear a floatation device if fishing from a boat or while wading.
  • If you will be fishing while in the water explore the lake or stream bottom with a stick ahead of you to detect any rocks, holes, or other hazards.
  • For other exercises for anglers and tips for Pain Free Fishing, check out In-Fisherman’s article.
We hope you enjoy a fun and injury free outdoor sport season! If an old injury is still bothering you and preventing you from enjoying the things you love, contact North Platte Physical Therapy today. We can help!