Written by Laura Ham

Tips to Avoid Common Summer Holiday Injuries

Holidays injuries are common during the holiday season when we tend to get relax more than usual or get more active than usual – both triggers for some of the common injuries below. Learn the signs and find out how to avoid them.


Aching Feet

Awesome – time off work means getting out of the work shoes and slipping your feet in to some thongs right? What about getting rid of the shoes altogether and going for a barefoot run along the beach? While it feels great to re-discover some minimalist shoe combinations, this can often cause issues due to the sudden change in foot biomechanics. Common foot injuries can include plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis or even ankle sprains!

Tips: Get some sandals with a bit of support around arches and ankle if you’re looking for the minimalist shoe option this summer.  If you’re going for a barefoot beach run, try to make it short and sharp – don’t try to run your usual distance. Beach sprints or intervals may work well to keep the distance down and still give you a good workout!

Shoulder Bursitis

Swimming, surfing, tennis, beach volleyball – the summer holidays are a great time for water and racquet based sports. These sports rely on the strength of the shoulder and are highly repetitive in nature. Unfortunately, even mild weaknesses can be exposed in these cases and cause an injury called ‘subacromial bursitis.’ Symptoms can include loss of strength and pain when lifting the arm, and can take a few weeks to resolve!

Tips: Try to avoid long sessions in the surf or the pool, especially if you’re not a regular swimmer or surfer. If your shoulder starts to hurt playing tennis, try to stop overhead serving and keep your shots to forehand or backhand or take a good rest and try again if the pain settles. If you’ve ever wondered what a ‘correct’ swimming technique looks like, check out our video for some further info!

Knee Pain

As the sun comes out, so too does the urge to be out riding and running. Physiotherapists often notice an increased incidence of knee pain during this season as people come out of their winter hibernation periods and start moving again. Knee pain can be caused by a variety of reasons such as quads or glute weakness, patellar maltracking or rapid loading.

Tips: Moderate your load early on. If you’re prone to knee pain already, get yourself a foam roller and roll out your ITB regularly. Here’s a video showing you how!

Back Pain Due To Inactivity

We all feel it at some stage – the exhaustion that sets in just as you get through to the end of the year. Perhaps surprisingly, we can see an increase in lower back pain as people stop their gym routines and settle in for some solid movie/TV watching sessions on the couch for days on end in an attempt to replenish some energy from the year. Long periods of sitting in a slumped position can put our backs at increased risk of a disc injury. Our bodies are made to move! They will complain if we are sedentary for too long.

Tips: Try to do at least something active every day – even if it’s just a walk, youtube yoga or a swim to beat the heat! If you’re sitting down for long periods, try to find a chair that has good back support and doesn’t allow too much slump of the lower back. If your back is feeling stiff, try these stretches to free it up!