Tips for Safe Summer Sports


Summer Sports Blog

With Memorial Day upon us, summer is a great time for outdoor sports as long as you take certain precautions to avoid injury and illness. With the increase in temperatures, proper hydration is a must. Intense exercise that causes you to sweat is usually a good reminder to drink water, but you can become dehydrated simply taking a walk or playing ball with your child during hot weather. Swimmers, who don’t notice their perspiration and tend to feel cooler because they are exercising in water, need to remember to replace fluids on a regular basis, too.

Generally, it takes the body about 10 days to adapt to the heat. Even if you’ve stayed conditioned throughout the winter, it’s important to start your outdoor exercise slowly, gradually increasing in time and intensity until your body has fully acclimated. Whenever possible, exercise in the cooler parts of the day such as morning and evening.

Similarly, if you haven’t played a sport since the fall, such as golf and tennis, don’t expect to just pick up your game where you left off. Back sprains, tennis or golfers elbow and wrist problems can pop up if you haven’t taken the time to develop the muscles that are important for your specific sport. Knee injuries such as meniscus tears and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures are common when the knee is unstable and if there is an imbalance in the hip and leg muscles. A sudden pivot or twist while running or jumping could derail your active summer by requiring surgery and rehabilitation. Relatively short strengthening programs can have a significant impact on reducing the risk of ACL injuries and anterior knee pain.

It’s also important to protect your skin from the sun. At the very least, use a waterproof sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 – 45 that is designed for sports. Be sure to apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you go outside, even if the day is overcast, and reapply every two to three hours.

ONS Sponsors KicIt

Spin to Win game helps to learn about ortho/neuro and physical therapy.
Spin to Win game helps to learn about ortho/neuro and physical therapy.

The organization has 2 emergency shelters that provide a safe, healing environment for up to 20 children every day. The services are free and available to anyone. Last year Kids in Crisis helped over 6,000 children.

As a part of the Greenwich and Stamford communities, ONS selects opportunities to help  local athletes and non-profit causes. This past weekend, ONS sponsored the Stamford Kic It Triathlon which benefits Kids in Crisis.

Founded in 1978, Kids in Crisis works to help children and parents that are experiencing any kind of crisis, such as abuse, fights, family issues and more.

ONSbagsEach year, Kids in Crisis holds several events to raise support for the cause. There are three main events, Cards for Kids, Kic It Triathlon and a golf tournament. This past Sunday, June 28th, the 6th Annual KIC IT Triathlon was held at Mill River Park. ONS has been a sponsor of the event for 3 years. We are thrilled to help out such a great cause. The ONS booth featured fun, educational games like “Spin to Win”, to test your orthopedic/neurosurgical and physical therapy knowledge, and “Lil Bones,” an iPad educational game for all ages! Event-goers left our booth with ONS goodie bags that included educational literature, hot/cold packs, beach balls and other fun items. The proceeds from the triathlon and the other events help support Kids in Crisis and all they do for the children in our area.

Jason Solomon, PA-C
Jason Solomon, PA-C

This year we were proud to cheer on one of our own in the race. Jason Salomon, PA-C competed and said that although the roads were wet with rain water, the race is always a good race for any triathlete. Congratulations Jason on a great race!

ONS Sports Medicine Specialist, Gloria Cohen, MD on Cycling Injuries

GloriaCohenbikingWEB_SMLike all activities engaged in regularly, cycling has its share of common ailments and injuries.  Many of the overuse injuries result from attempting to do too much, too soon. Poor riding technique, and improper frame fit for the individual may also cause injuries. Riding too many miles or tackling too many hills in too high a gear will stress the musculoskeletal system, especially at the start of the cycling season.

Knee pain is the most common complaint and is usually related to the tracking of the kneecap, or “patella” in the mid-groove of the thigh bone or “femur.”  The symptoms of “biker’s knee,” also known as “patellofemoral pain syndrome,” usually result from a combination of malalignment of the extensor mechanism of the knee, muscle imbalance, and improper set-up on the bike.  Each cyclist presents with differences in biomechanics (flat pronated feet, bow legs, etc.) and muscle conditioning (strength and flexibility) that can predispose to this condition.  It is important to avoid riding with high pedal resistance at a low cadence as this puts excessive pressure across the knee joint. The rule of the road is “if the knees hurt gear down.”

Some common riding errors are riding with the saddle too low or too far forward and poor foot position or improper cleat adjustment.  This can lead to other musculoskeletal injuries such as neck problems, or Achilles tendinitis.

We must not forget that traumatic injuries can occur when we least expect it. Wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times while cycling. Remember to replace your helmet if you are involved in a bike crash while wearing it. It will likely not perform for you the second time.

Gloria Cohen, MD is a specialist in non-operative sports medicine. She is a primary care team physician for the Columbia University varsity athletic teams and lecturer in the Department of Orthopaedics at Columbia University and served as team physician to the Canadian National Olympic Cycling Team for 14 years and was a member of the Canadian Medical Team for the Olympic Games in Seoul, Atlanta, and Sydney. She travels regularly with the Columbia University varsity football team, the Lions and is recognized as an authority in sports medicine in the United States and Canada.

Dr. Cohen believes in taking an integrative approach to medical management by considering a patients’ bio-mechanics, cardio-vascular and pulmonary function as it relates to athletic performance. Dr. Cohen is a successful competitive runner who has qualified twice for the New York Marathon. She is also an off-road and road cyclist and will be a featured speaker at Cycle Strong! A Sports Conditioning and Injury Prevention Workshop for Cycling Enthusiasts! This event is presented by ONS Foundation for Clinical Research, Inc. and sponsored by the North Castle Library, Armonk. For more information visit the ONS Foundation website.

Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery Specialists, PC (ONS) physicians provide expertise in the full spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries, sports medicine, minimally invasive orthopedic, spine and brain surgery, joint replacement and trauma. The main office is located at 6 Greenwich Office Park on Valley Road, Greenwich, CT. For more information, visit or call 203.869.1145.