October 31, 2015 08:16
Sports-related illnesses are on the rise as more and more people spend time outdoors over the weekend.
In 2010, just over 89,000 people visited clinics due to swollen fascia or plantar fasciitis. But after the five-day workweek was introduced in 2011, cases more than doubled to 180,000 last year.
Lee Jin-woo at Severance Hospital said that increased sports and outdoor activities have resulted in a spike in the number of people who put too much stress on the soles of their feet.
After the introduction of the five-day workweek, the number of patients suffering from injuries to the joints or ligaments also increased significantly.
The number of patients with Achilles tendon injury, largely associated with sports like soccer and basketball, rose from 12,000 in 2010 to 15,000 last year. The number of people suffering from an inflamed Achilles tendon also increased by 20 percent to 120,000 over the period.
Sports involving movement of the upper part of the body, like golf and tennis, are not an exception. The number of patients with an inflammation or injury to shoulder ligaments grew from 100,000 in 2010 to 150,000 last year. Also, about 260,000 people visit clinics a year to get treatment for inflammations or injuries to the elbow and joints around it.
While people pay much attention to what to wear for sports or outdoor activities, many of them do not properly warm up before exercise, said orthopedic surgeon Suh Dong-won. In that case, the muscles remain rigid, leading to injuries to ligaments. He advised people to understand their physical strength and adjust their workout accordingly.
Eun Seung-pyo, another orthopedic surgeon, said, "If people want to continue to enjoy sports until later in life, they should make it a habit of enjoying them safely and not causing stress to the body."
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