Tweed physiotherapist George Melit treats Scott Watson after he tore his calf muscle while running in sand. People have been warned to take care after statistics revealed the dangers associated with heading to the beach.
Tweed physiotherapist George Melit treats Scott Watson after he tore his calf muscle while running in sand. People have been warned to take care after statistics revealed the dangers associated with heading to the beach. Blainey Woodham

Beach-goers beware back injuires

BEACH-goers have been warned that a dip in the surf or a run on the sand this summer could result in serious injury.

A health conference in Byron Bay recently revealed that nine per cent of spinal injuries in Australian each year were caused in shallow surf or pools, or while surfing.

Of this group, 75 per cent were suffered by males less than 35 years of age.

Salt Village Physiotherapist George Melit said they were worrying statistics.

“Every summer I treat dozens of people who have been dumped in the surf and have seriously injured themselves,” he said.

Mr Melit said the financial cost of such injuries could at times be as painful as the physical price.

“Some of these people are so badly hurt they have been forced to take months off work without pay,” he said.

“In the worst-case scenario people have broken their backs and become paralysed. People need to be mindful of their actions on their beach,” he said.

Mr Melit said painful calf muscle strains were another common injury suffered by beach goers.

“These usually happen from people playing cricket, kicking the footy or running on the beach,” he said.

“Because when we walk or run on the beach our heel drops lower than our toes. This changes the whole mechanics of the foot and creates a lot of imbalance.”

Tweed holiday maker Scott Watson said he knew too well the dangers hidden in the sands.

“I tore my calf muscle this week kicking a footy,” he said.

“I jumped into the air and when I came down I landed with my heel right in the sand.”

Mr Watson said ripping his calf muscle was almost as painful as giving birth.

“Not that I would have anything to compare it too but a woman I know did the same thing and she said it was more painful,” he said.

Mr Melit offered beach-goers some words of wisdom for the remainder of summer.

“Read the surf conditions and avoid rough surf; enjoy your swim but don’t try and show off in front of your mates and do some simple stretches before you swim and play,” he said.

He also encouraged folks to drink lots of water.

“Many injuries occur when we are dehydrated,” he said.



Playing tricks on yourself to get healthy

Playing tricks on yourself to get healthy

Living Naturally with Olwen Anderson

Behind enemy lines: digger looks back on secret unit

Behind enemy lines: digger looks back on secret unit

Pottsville's Jim Banks will be the guest of honour at Anzac service

Holidaying at Fingal in 1913

Holidaying at Fingal in 1913

Talking History: Early photographers who capture spirit of the Tweed

Local Partners