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Edinburgh Weather: Injuries and Tips for Prevention

Its taken me a long time to realise that living in Edinburgh with its ever changing climate: four seasons in one day: predisposes local residents to several Musculoskeletal Injuries.

Spring brings lighter and longer days sparking us into action for the upcoming summer and fitness and losing weight for beach bodies plays with our minds. This and its often training for marathon season we see an increase in tendonopathies in the clinic. The most common are the Achilles, Rotator cuff , Gluteal tendons and Tennis Elbow- this is due to a sudden increase in activity without appropriate recovery time for your tendons to adapt. TIP here is to ensure you use the steady approach to training and gradually build up the repetitions or mileage gently and allow enough time for your tendons to adapt. Ensure you check your footwear in case it needs replaced.

During the Summer months if we only had consistent dry and sunny days we could ration the gardening and do a little every day. However the inconsistent weather means that the rare warm and dry day we do an excessive amount of gardening on the day. As a result we see an increase in low back pain injuries due to the amount of bending and lifting this involves. A TIP to reduce the risk of this ensure that you take breaks every 15/20 minutes and move your back in the opposite direction to bending. Our spines are designed to give us movement but require movement in all directions to keep well nourished discs and constant bending can lead to dehydration.

Autumn interestingly is often a mix of ongoing injuries from Spring and Summer but there is a definite change in posture and a reduction in activity as the nights draw in. An increase in Stress and work pressure can predispose us to Upper back tension and Neck pain/stiffness. Continued sitting at a PC or laptop without moving causes stiffness. A TIP here is to make sure you roll your shoulders backwards regularly during the day before the pain starts and try to keep your shoulders back and down when walking outside in the cooling climate.

Winter is the season of falls and slipping on the ice resulting in broken bones and sprained ligaments. Did you know that every time we grow that our balance needs to be retrained. Also that with advancing years we lose our balance and ability to save ourselves from falling. Also did you know that if you sprain ligaments in your ankle and hip that we need to re-educate them and the balance/proprioception pathways or you are more prone to recurrence?

Can you stand on one leg with your eyes closed and balance for 10 seconds? A TIP to reduce the risk of slipping on the ice is to shorten your stride and widen your stance. Take time when carrying shopping into the house and take more trips rather than overload yourself.

Call us on 0131 447 9990 if you would like to see one of our Expert Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists.

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