7 Common Workout Injuries and How to Deal With Them
September 13th, 2022 by David Martin
Working out is a perfect way to care for your health and well-being. It keeps you physically fit as well as improves your mental focus. Depending on your physical needs and comfort level, there are many ways that you can choose to work out. However, regardless of your chosen exercise, it’s good to take special precautions against common workout injuries. Whether major or minor, every injury is painful and can set you back. Here are seven common workout injuries you may encounter and how to deal with them.
Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of the large tendon that joins the calf to the back of the heel. This injury presents itself as pain and stiffness at the back of the lower leg, just above the heel at the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendinitis is often caused by tight calves that put a lot of strain on the tendon or hard training over a period of time. Wrong, poorly supported footwear and sudden change in volume and intensity of training can also put lots of stress on that area, leading to the same effect more quickly.
If you are suffering from Achille tendinitis, focus on strengthening the lower legs by performing exercises such as box jumps, calf raises, and single-leg squats. Taking aspirin or icing the area can also help relieve the pain and reduce the swelling. You can enroll in an emergency medical course at Newcastle Training which can see you fully qualified to provide emergency care for Achilles tendinitis or any other life-threatening injury.
Low back injuries
Most low back injuries occur due to working out with too heavy weights or poor technique and form. The injuries can occur to different structures such as muscles, bone, or discs and might present as soreness, a pulling feel, or a dull ache. Luckily, lower back injuries while exercising are often acute.
Ensure you are maintaining a neutral spine when lifting a weight. Put your form right before carrying out any workout with added weights, and be sure to increase your load gradually over time. If you are unsure of the proper form, you can consult with a qualified personal trainer for help.
While the wrist is a complex joint with a high degree of mobility, the high mobility and instability usually go hand-in-hand. Working out with many push-ups or curling with a straight bar can overload your waist and strain the surrounding muscles. Front squats or other workouts requiring significant shoulder mobility to keep the weight off the wrists may also put unnecessary stress on the area.
Instead of focusing on heavy lifts to strengthen the wrists, opt for the smaller weights that can stabilize your muscles. You can try kettlebell swings, wrist rotation exercises, and wrist extensions with TheraBand.
Knee pain, also known as meniscus injuries, is one of the most common workout-related injuries in younger and older people. The meniscus is a c-shaped cushion within the knee and is made up of an elastic structure known as fibrocartilage. They work like a cushion or shock absorber for the knee, protecting the adjoining smooth cartilage while offering stability. Since it is generally very thin and has a limited blood supply, the meniscus is very prone to injury.
Avoid doing deep squatting exercises where the hips go below the knees to reduce the risk of knee injuries. Furthermore, be very careful and use proper technique when performing exercises that involve significant twisting since this movement puts considerable stress on the meniscus. There is a wide range of treatments for this kind of injury, including rest, injections, and physical therapy, but persistent symptoms such as pain or loss of motion range may require surgery.
Foot numbness is a loss of feeling in the feet and is very common among athletes. It mainly occurs when improper-fitting biking shoes squeeze the metatarsal heads or when cleats are placed too far forward, leading to increased pressure around the foot’s balls. Blockage, damage, infection, and compression of a nerve that runs to the foot can also lead to numbness. The common symptoms of foot numbness include loss of sensation in the foot, a tingling, prickling, or pins-and-needles sensation.
To prevent food numbness, avoid tight clothing and improper-fitting shoes while cycling. Properly fitting cycling shoes will ensure good blood flow to the feet, thus preventing numbness. You should also ensure cleats are correctly placed, so there is no excessive stress on the feet ‘ balls.
Twisting an ankle can usually occur while on the run or during any single-leg exercise. While the ankle is an extremely mobile joint, it can tear the ligaments found on the outside of the ankle when the foot turns inwards or the joint rolls too far. Running on a treadmill can pose a risk of sprain since you might lose focus and place one foot on the side and the other on the belt while in motion.
To minimize the risk of a sprain, perform rehabilitation exercises and work on strengthening the muscles on the lower leg and foot. When running on a treadmill, be careful when getting on and off the belt, and attach a safety clip that shuts off the machine if you fall. If running outdoors, exercise on a flatter, level surface and keep a close eye on foot placement when running over difficult terrain.
Rotator cuff injury
A rotator cuff tear is a common injury among swimmers, soccer and tennis players, and pitchers. The rotator cuff consists of four muscles that support and balance the shoulder joint. Over time, tedious movements, including exercises requiring shoulder mobility or military press, may lead to rotator cuff strain. Your risk increases as you age since the tendons start to degenerate.
Although the long-term changes in the shoulder joint due to everyday tears can’t be avoided, the severe rotator curve injury can be prevented with routine exercise. You should also avoid sports and workouts that involve forceful falls until the shoulder muscles heal completely.
Ignoring an injury is an unwise move. An untreated injury only worsens with time and might end up requiring emergency surgery or fierce medical procedures. However, if the injury is treated immediately, it will heal fast, allowing you to return to enjoying your workouts. If you experience any of these workout injuries, consult your doctor or orthopedic specialist as soon as possible to prevent greater medical risk in the future.