Heat Injury/Heat Prostration
If you enjoy physical activity, you may take part in some type of sports or other fitness programs. Pleasant temperatures and clear conditions of the summer and early fall can make it the perfect time to enjoy in such activities.
Be aware of the potential dangers posed by warm and humid weather, especially in Florida. The warmth produced by your body, coupled with the heat created by the atmosphere, could lead to a serious, possibly life-hindering health concern called heat prostration.
You may experience heat prostration in several ways. Sometimes, heat injury results in minor, easily correctable issues. In more serious cases, the condition could produce life-threatening problems.
Both warm temperatures and exercise cause you to sweat. When the two are combined, you lose a significant percentage of your body fluids. If these liquids are not quickly replaced, you are at an increased risk of encountering a medical problem known as dehydration. Excessive heat can ultimately raise your body temperature to dangerous levels.
Additionally, heat injury is often brought on or worsened by a host of secondary causes, including:
- DARK CLOTHING. Dark colors soak in larger amounts of heat than light-colored items.
- AIR PRESSURE. Air filled with moisture slows the process by which sweat is evaporated. Over time, this might interfere with your ability to sweat appropriately or cool your body during exercise.
- AGE. Young people are less capable of regulating body heat than adults. This is a significant reason that serious, even fatal, incidents of heat exhaustion impact youths.
- OBESITY. Overweight persons often experience greater difficulty cooling themselves than those whose weight is within a normal range.
- ILLNESS. If you have an underlying illness that causes fever or gastrointestinal problems, your chances of heat-related disorders greatly increase.
- PHYSICAL CONDITIONING. Well-conditioned athletes are better equipped to thrive in hot and humid conditions.
- SUN EXPOSURE. Exercising in direct sunlight raises your body temperature at a far faster rate than in a shaded area.
The symptoms you experience will range in severity depending on your dehydration level and internal body temperature. Mild occurrences typically cause relatively minor problems like muscle cramping. If your case is more severe, you might experience issues like heat syncope. This condition often results in symptoms such as:
- General fatigue.
- Muscle weakness.
- Excessive sweating.
You will often experience heat syncope during the first few days of a new exercise program. Failure to promptly address heat syncope could eventually lead to the most severe heat-related issue – heatstroke.
Heat exhaustion is usually the result of losing too many body fluids and other hydrating nutrients. Symptoms of this condition include:
- Extreme thirst.
- Decreased sweating.
- Generalized fatigue.
- Muscle weakness.
- Elevated body temperature.
The most serious incidents might also produce fainting.
Heatstroke is the most severe form of heat-related illness. During heatstroke, your body temperature rises to life-threateningly dangerous levels and becomes unable to cool itself on its own. Heatstroke can have any of the symptoms of heat exhaustion, plus potentially fatal concerns like organ failure and coma. Heatstroke is an emergency requiring immediate medical attention.
Even minor incidents of heat-associated health issues should not be taken lightly and addressed as soon as possible. Otherwise, they can quickly escalate into more serious problems needing far more aggressive treatment.
Treatment depends on your stage of heat prostration. Mild incidents of cramping can typically be relieved with rest and the intake of hydrating liquids and nutrients.
Heat syncope and heat exhaustion might need additional efforts such as:
- Relocating you to a cool, shaded space.
- Loosening any restrictive clothing.
- Lowering your body temperature using ice and electric fans.
- Administering hydrating liquids and nutrients.
You might need medical intervention if you faint or experience symptoms like nausea and vomiting.
Heatstroke cannot be properly treated without the help of trained physicians or emergency services personnel. Healthcare providers can rapidly lower your body temperature and quickly replenish the lost fluids and nutrients.
The most direct way of avoiding heat-related illnesses is prevention. Precautionary tips doctors and fitness professionals recommend include:
- Engaging in athletics or fitness during more seasonable weather conditions.
- Limiting the time spent in hot and humid conditions.
- Not pushing yourself when you feel tired or hurt.
- Drinking large quantities of water or hydration products during exercise.
- Listening to body signals like cramps or fatigue.
- Guard against sun exposure.
Medical professionals recommend that you to speak with your doctor before beginning any new fitness program. A thorough examination can help identify and address underlying problems that could bring forth or complicate heat-associated health concerns.
It is important to realize that issues like heat should always be respected. Heat-related health issues are one of the leading causes of death in young people. By recognizing the signs and adhering to specific precautions, you or a loved one might avoid becoming such a statistic.
Talk to your Florida Orthopaedic Institute physician today to learn more about Heat Injury/Heat Prostration.
The following Florida Orthopaedic Institute physicians specialize in Heat Injury/Heat Prostration:
- AC Joint Injuries
- Achilles Tendinitis - Achilles Insertional Calcific Tendinopathy (ACIT)
- Achilles Tendon Rupture
- Achilles Tendonitis
- ACL Injuries
- Ankle Fracture Surgery
- Ankle Fractures (Broken Ankle)
- Ankle Fusion Surgery
- Anterior Cervical Corpectomy & Discectomy
- Arthritis & Adult Reconstruction Surgery
- Arthroscopic Articular Cartilage Repair
- Arthroscopic Chondroplasty
- Arthroscopic Debridement of the Elbow
- Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
- Arthroscopy Of the Ankle
- Articular Cartilage Restoration
- Artificial Disk Replacement (ADR)
- Aspiration of the Olecranon Bursa
- Atraumatic Shoulder Instability
- Avascular Necrosis (Osteonecrosis)
- Bankart Repair
- Basal Joint Surgery
- Bicep Tendon Tear
- Bicep Tenodesis
- Bioinductive Implant
- Bone Cement Injection
- Bone Growth Stimulation
- Bone Health Clinic
- Broken Collarbone
- Bursitis of the Shoulder (Subacromial Bursitis)
- Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Charcot Joint
- Clavicle Fractures
- Colles’ Fractures (Broken Wrist)
- Common Foot Fractures in Athletes
- Community Outreach
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
- Degenerative Disk Disease
- Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH)
- Discitis Treatment & Information
- Dislocated Shoulder
- Dupuytren’s Disease
- Elbow Bursitis
- Elbow Injuries in Throwing Athletes
- Epidural Injections for Spinal Pain
- Finger Dislocation
- Flexor Tendonitis
- Foot Stress Fractures
- Foot, Ankle & Lower Leg
- Fractured Fingers
- Fractures Of The Shoulder Blade (Scapula)
- Fractures Of The Tibial Spine
- Functional Nerve Transfers of The Hand
- Ganglion Cysts
- General Orthopedics
- Glenoid Labrum Tear
- Golfer's Elbow
- Groin Strains and Pulls
- Growth Plate Injuries Of The Elbow
- Hallux Rigidus Surgery - Cheilectomy
- Hammer Toe
- Hamstring Injuries
- Hand & Finger Replantation
- Hand & Wrist
- Hand Nerve Decompression
- Hand Skin Grafts
- Hand, Wrist, Elbow & Shoulder
- Heat Injury/Heat Prostration
- High Ankle Sprain (Syndesmosis Ligament Injury)
- Hip & Thigh
- Hip Arthroscopy
- Hip Dislocation
- Hip Flexor Strains
- Hip Fractures
- Hip Hemiarthroplasty
- Hip Impingement Labral Tears
- Hip Muscle Strains
- Hip Pointers and Trochanteric Bursitis
- Hyperextension Injury of the Elbow
- Iliopsoas Tenotomy
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome
- Impingement Syndrome of the Shoulder
- Interlaminar Implants
- Interlaminar Lumbar Instrumental Fusion: ILIF
- Interventional Pain Management
- Interventional Spine
- Intraarticular Calcaneal Fracture
- Knee & Leg
- Kyphoplasty (Balloon Vertebroplasty)
- Labral Tears Of The Hip (Acetabular Labrum Tears)
- Laminectomy: Decompression Surgery
- Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Injuries
- Lisfranc Injuries
- Little League Shoulder
- LITTLE LEAGUER'S ELBOW (MEDIAL APOPHYSITIS)
- Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
- Lumbar Interbody Fusion (IBF)
- Mallet, Hammer & Claw Toes
- Medial Collateral Ligament Injuries
- Meniscus Tears
- Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Muscle Spasms
- Nerve Pain
- Neuromas (Foot)
- Olecranon Stress Fractures
- Orthopaedic Total Wellness
- Orthopedic Physician Or A Podiatrist?
- Orthopedic Trauma
- Osteoarthritis of the Hip
- Outpatient Spine Surgery
- Partial Knee Replacement
- Patellar Fracture
- Pelvic Ring Fractures
- Peripheral Nerve Surgery (Hand) Revision
- Pinched Nerve
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Primary Care Sports Medicine
- Quadriceps Tendon Tear
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome (Entrapment of the Radial Nerve)
- Revascularization of the Hand
- Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) of the Shoulder
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Hand
- Rotator Cuff Tears
- Runner's Knee
- Sacroiliac Joint Pain
- Senior Strong
- Shin Splints
- Shoulder Arthritis
- Shoulder Arthroscopy
- Shoulder Injury: Pain In The Overhead Athlete
- Shoulder Replacement
- Shoulder Separations
- Shoulder Socket Fracture (Glenoid Fracture)
- SLAP Tears & Repairs
- Spinal Fusion
- Spondylolisthesis and Spondylolysis
- Sports Foot Injuries
- Sports Hernias (Athletic Pubalgia)
- Sports Medicine
- Sports Wrist and Hand Injuries
- Sprained Ankle
- Sprained Wrist Symptoms and Treatment
- Subacromial Decompression
- Sudden (Acute) Finger, Hand & Wrist Injuries
- Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR)
- Tendon Transfers of The Hand
- Tennis Elbow
- Thigh Fractures
- Thigh Muscle Strains
- Thumb Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries
- Total Ankle Replacement
- Total Hip Arthroplasty
- Total Hip Replacement - Anterior Approach
- Total Knee Replacement Surgery
- Trapezius Strain (Muscle Strain of The Upper Back)
- Traumatic Shoulder Instability
- Triceps Tendonitis
- Trigger Finger
- Turf Toe
- UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) Injuries
- Ulnar Neuritis
- Valgus Extension Overload
- WALANT (Wide Awake Local Anesthesia No Tourniquet)
- Whiplash and Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)
- Wound Care
- Wrist Arthroscopy
- Wrist Fractures
- Wrist Tendonitis
- Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
- Physical Therapy
- Primary Care Sports Medicine
- PROMs (Patient-Reported Outcome Measures)
- Same-Day Orthopaedic Appointments Now Available
- Sports Medicine
- Sports-Related Concussion Treatment
- Telehealth Page
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- Workers' Compensation Dispensary