An update on COVID-19
Sport is back on! That’s the latest from the federal and state governing bodies.
In the wake of the unprecedented pandemic, Australia has been a world leader in flattening the curve. Nationwide, less than 30 new cases per day were reported for the entire month of May (reference). Whilst 74 Victorians are still recovering from the virus (reference), Ballarat has had no new cases in over 2 weeks (reference).
Australians should all feel proud of our quick and decisive healthcare actions.
This means we are fortunate and privileged to be in a position where we can get back to sports and exercise. By the time this article has published, public playgrounds and parks will have re-opened. You may have even begun seeing friends and family again in outdoor groups of up to 20. By 22 June, indoor sports venues and gyms will resume (reference). However, when returning to physical activity it is important to do so safely.
Public Health Precautions
Although we are doing very well, the pandemic is far from over. Hospitals and healthcare services remain primed and prepared should there be a COVID-19 “second wave”.(reference)
- Wash your hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds)
- Physical distancing 1.5m apart
- Do not share drink bottles, towels or personal equipment
- If you have any flu-like symptoms (cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath or fever) #stayathome
Overuse injuries are common and occur when people return to sport too much, too quickly. Although your body may have been used to a certain level of activity before, it may not tolerate it again immediately. If unaddressed, overuse injuries may take longer to recover and become more difficult to treat.
- Start low – test the waters at an easier level
- Go slow – gradually build training volume and intensity
- Don’t let it go – do not ignore persistent discomfort or pain that does not improve with rest
Local club and social sports are a fantastic way to mingle and stay fit. Unfortunately, accidents happen. Minor sprains and strains are most common, but muscle tears, tendon damage and even fractures can be subtle and oftentimes missed. Concussions are another well-known injury that can have serious long-term effects if treatment is delayed.
- POLICE for acute injuries – Protect, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compress, Elevate
- If you cannot use the body part normally, seek medical attention early
- Put weight through your foot
- Grip things with your hand
- Take deep breaths after torso injury
- After major head and/or neck injury, seek medical attentional early
Sports and exercise are a healthy, rewarding and fun part of life. Diet and movement are the best medicine for prevention of chronic disease. The benefits of physical activity far outweigh any risk. If you would like advice about returning to sport or are in need of medical assessment, please contact us at https://www.ballaratosm.com.au/ or call us on (03) 5332 2969.
Dr James Ooi MBBS (Hons), GDipSurgAnat is a Sports & Exercise Medicine Registrar at BallaratOSM. He has worked as Trauma Registrar at The Alfred Hospital and Team Doctor for the Western Bulldogs VFL and VFLW.