Walking a leashed dog linked to traumatic brain injury among adults

Credit: Andriyko Podilnyk/Unsplash.

In a new study, researchers from Johns Hopkins University wanted to learn more about the injuries people can get while walking their dogs.

They looked at data from emergency rooms across the United States from 2001 to 2020 and found that more than 422,000 adults sought treatment for injuries related to leash-dependent dog walking.

The researchers discovered that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) were the second most common injury among adults who were injured while walking their dogs.

Women and adults over 65 years old were more likely to get serious injuries like fractures and TBIs than people in other age groups.

The study was published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Dog ownership is very popular in the United States, with nearly 53% of households owning at least one dog. But with that popularity comes an increased risk of injuries while walking dogs.

The researchers wanted to learn more about these incidents and found that most injuries occurred because the person was pulled by, tangled in, or tripped by the leash connected to the dog they were walking.

Finger fractures, TBIs, and shoulder sprains or strains were the three most common injuries among all adults. TBIs and hip fractures were the two most common injuries among adults over 65 years old.

Women were more likely than men to get a fracture, and older dog walkers were more likely to fall, get a fracture, or sustain a TBI than younger dog walkers.

The researchers think that the increasing trend of injuries related to leash-dependent dog walking may be due to rising dog ownership rates and the promotion of dog walking to improve fitness.

They hope their findings will encourage clinicians to discuss the potential risks of leash-dependent dog walking with their patients and promote safe dog walking practices.

In conclusion, walking your dog is a great way to get exercise and spend time with your furry friend, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and take precautions to avoid injuries.

Be sure to leash your dog wherever it is legally required, and talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have.

How to prevent traumatic brain injury

Preventing traumatic brain injury (TBI) involves taking measures to reduce the risk of accidents that can cause brain injury. Here are some ways to prevent TBI:

Wear a helmet: Helmets can prevent head injuries while playing sports like football, cycling, and skiing.

Wear a seatbelt: Wearing a seatbelt while driving or riding in a car can reduce the risk of head injuries in the event of a car accident.

Prevent falls: Installing handrails on stairs, using non-slip mats in the bathroom, and avoiding clutter in walkways can help prevent falls that can lead to head injuries.

Avoid risky behaviors: Avoid activities like extreme sports or reckless driving that increase the risk of accidents.

Make living environments safer: Keep living spaces well-lit, install grab bars in bathrooms, and use nonslip mats or rugs to prevent falls.

Treat medical conditions: Treating medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and seizures can reduce the risk of head injuries.

Use protective gear: Use protective gear when participating in activities that can lead to head injuries, such as helmets when riding a bike, skateboarding, or rollerblading.

By taking these precautions, you can reduce the risk of TBI and protect yourself from serious and potentially life-threatening head injuries.

If you care about brain health, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and Omega-3 fats and carotenoid supplements could improve memory.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce dementia risk, and higher magnesium intake could help benefit brain health.

The study was conducted by Ridge Maxson et al and published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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