What are the FIVE TOP injuries for you fathers out there?  And how do you avoid these injuries?

Fatherhood is NOT for the weak. The rewards are what make it worthwhile. In celebration of this coming Father’s day, here is a list of common Dad injuries to be aware of and some precautions you can take to stay #1 in their eyes.

Father with his young daughter playing in a field.

The top 5 injuries are:

1.       Back strain

2.       Knee meniscal strains and tears

3.       Rotator cuff problems- shoulder

4.       Plantar fasciitis

5.       Groin strains

Read on for the details and prevention tips for each…..

1.       Back strain:

This is easily the most common and frequent of all “Dad injuries”. From piggybacks to hunched over tea parties. It can be simple acts like leaning over the crib, picking up and carrying a wiggling child, or sitting for hours on the floor with them can be a recipe for disaster. The overall root cause is postural issues due to long term sitting and bending without compensatory actions. This is especially seen in desk jobs that lead to tight hips and quads.

How to prevent this? Move OFTEN and lay on your stomach on your elbows. This puts your back into extension (the opposite of sitting down) which is the BEST position to counter sitting and bending. So give this a try and try not sit or bend for TOO long periods of time!

Man rubbing his low back.

2.       Knee meniscal strains and tears

These injuries in the knee are commonly from: running, jumping, and squatting. We forget that our KID’S KNEES are more resilient to injury but we adults are more susceptible to degenerative meniscus tears as we age. It usually happens over time and then the major symptoms start with a “twisting” of the knee or a fall.

For prevention, you still HAVE FUN with your children and show an interest in what they like to do. However, be kind to your body and treat problems as they arise. If you start running, jumping, or doing other activities, START SLOWLY and work up to doing more with your kids. Do not push yourself too hard too fast.

Man gripping his knee.

3.       Rotator cuff problems- shoulder

Have you been throwing frisbees, baseballs, softballs, basketballs?  This is a classic “weekend” injury for Dads. You try to do too much with the kids without training or moving your shoulder throughout the week!  Over time, tissues that connect muscle to tendon in the shoulder wear away and become more prone to tearing.

Preventing these problems in the shoulder require: you to USE the shoulder often. You should be working shoulder mobility and shoulder strength throughout the week and over time. The preparation in STRENGTH for the shoulder will keep it better prepared to deal with the throwing and other activities.

Man stretching his shoulder.

4.       Plantar fasciitis

The most common cause is walking around: Disney, Sea World, the zoo: anywhere for several of the longest days ever. You’ll realize you have this when you step out of bed in the morning and feel like you are walking on glass. This can be miserable even if it only bothers you early in the morning.

Prevention for this includes: using your feet often!  This means foot and ankle strength, balance training, and walking for periods of time BEFORE you do long days of walking. Plantar fasciitis can be difficult to treat, so please get to work stretching, strengthening, and walking as soon as you can!

Man stretching his foot and leg.

5.       Groin strains

Many of you Dads will be trying to catch your falling kid. Or chase your child. Or help them learn how slide in sports. In other words, you might be moving quickly and in weird ways that your body is NOT used to.

Waking up with a groin strain would be VERY unfortunate. So, for this, work typical lower body workouts!  Work all of the typical machines for quads, hamstrings, abductors, adductors and work on squats, deadlifts, and calf raises. This should also include core strength exercises!

Man holding barbell with weights.

  I hope these TIPS AND TRICKS help you busy fathers this month and get you thinking how to stay healthy to take of your kids and grandkids!

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