It’s Hot! How To Keep Your Student-Athlete Cool!

The dog days of August are here. 

 

Are you ready?

 

With temperatures fluctuating between cooler night temps in the 60’s and higher day temps in the 80’s/90’s, it can be difficult to predict how to beat the heat. For student-athletes, morning practices might feel cool while afternoon practices might feel exhaustingly hot.

 

Two of the best ways to counteract the heat is staying properly hydrated and knowing the initial signs of minor heat illness so it doesn’t lead to exertional heat stroke.

 

One of the best resources available is the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Infographic on “Beat The Heat” at https://www.nata.org/sites/default/files/hydration_heat_illness_handout.pdf

 

If you are a coach, parent, or student-athlete, I highly recommend becoming familiar with the first signs of minor heat illness so that you can work with your Certified Athletic Trainer and take action quickly. 

 

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When Should I Use Ice and When Should I Use Heat?

This is one of the most common questions I am asked in my office.

Let’s break it down based on injury type and pain type.

Use ICE for the following:

  • Within the first 72 hours following injury
  • When visible swelling and inflammation are present
  • If pain is sharp, shooting, and/or has a deep ache
  • If you are experiencing pain at night that wakes you up because it is aches deep within your joint

Benefits of ice are:

  • Decrease pain
  • Decrease swelling and inflammation
  • Decrease secondary injury to surrounding tissues of the primary injured area

Use HEAT for the following:

  • After 72 hours if there is NO visible swelling or inflammation or redness present in the area
  • If pain is dull, achy, sore, or stiff
  • If you are experiencing pain at night that wakes you because it feels tight and sore

AVOID heat if:

  • Inflammation and swelling are visible
  • Redness is present
  • Possible infection or you have a visible open wound

Benefits of heat are:

  • Increase blood flow and...
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DIY Series – How to Use a Hot Pack

I rarely see skin burns from hot packs but on occasion I have had patients burn themselves because they did not know how to correctly apply a hot pack.

Skin burns can easily be prevented.

Heat from a hot pack is a great way to reduce general muscle soreness and joint or muscle tension. Heat can also be very relaxing.

In this next video of the DIY Series, you will learn:

  • What happens to your body when heat is applied
  • Why we would want to apply heat
  • When not to use heat
  • How to apply a microwaveable hot pack correctly and reduce your risk of skin burns significantly

Click play to see the video bellow:

I hope I never hear about someone burning themselves from a hot pack again. If you or someone you know uses a hot pack frequently, could you please forward this email to them?

Skin burns can be serious, and I don’t want anyone hurting themselves while trying to help themselves ease soreness and tension.

Enjoy the video and stay safe,

Dr. Jeanette

 

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