Working out can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both mentally and physically.
However, as with any physical activity, there is always a risk of injury.
Research shows that 2 in 5 Brits sustain injuries during workouts.
And these can range from minor sprains and strains to more serious injuries such as fractures or torn ligaments.
This article will discuss some common injuries you may experience when working out and how to treat them.
1. Strains And Sprains
These are the most common injuries you may experience when working out.
Strains occur when a tendon or muscle is stretched or torn, while sprains happen when a ligament is stretched or torn.
Over-exerting your muscles during exercise can lead to strains.
This can occur when you lift too much weight, perform too many repetitions, or increase the intensity of your workout too quickly.
Moreover, poor technique during exercise can place additional stress on your muscles and increase the risk of strains.
This can happen when you lift weights with improper form, use incorrect posture during a movement, or fail to warm up properly before exercising.
On the other hand, sudden movements during exercise can cause sprains.
For instance, when you land awkwardly from a jump or twist your ankle while running.
Also, weak ligaments and improper footwear can increase your risk of getting a sprain.
Symptoms include pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected area.
The best way to treat strains and sprains is to rest the affected area, apply ice, and elevate it to reduce swelling.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen can also help reduce pain and inflammation. In more severe cases, physical therapy or surgery may be necessary.
Tendinitis, also called “tendonitis,” is a condition characterized by inflammation or irritation of a tendon, a thick cord-like tissue connecting muscle to bone.
Tendinitis typically occurs due to overuse, repetitive motion, or injury to the tendon.
That said, you are at high risk if you perform exercises that cause you to use a particular part of your body repeatedly.
It can also be triggered by other factors such as age, certain medical conditions, or medication use.
The most common areas affected by tendinitis include the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles.
The symptoms of tendinitis may include pain, swelling, stiffness, and tenderness in the affected area.
The pain usually worsens during movement, making it difficult to perform everyday activities.
Treatment for tendinitis typically involves rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation.
Certain treatments can also be used for specific areas, so keep this in mind.
For instance, you can utilise a heated shoulder brace if you experience tendinitis in this area.
Physical therapy and exercises may also be prescribed to strengthen the affected area and prevent future injuries. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
3. Shin Splints
Shin splints are common among runners and other athletes.
It is typically caused by overuse or repetitive stress on the muscles and bones of the lower leg, particularly the shin bone (tibia) and the muscles and tendons surrounding it.
The primary symptom of shin splints is a dull, aching pain along the front or inner part of the lower leg.
The pain may worsen during or after exercise, particularly activities involving running, jumping, or other high-impact activities.
Other symptoms may include swelling, tenderness, and tightness in the affected area. Rest is the best treatment for shin splints.
Applying ice and taking over-the-counter pain relievers can also help reduce inflammation and pain.
Physical therapy may sometimes be necessary to prevent future shin splints.
Fractures occur when a bone is cracked or broken.
One of the most common reasons fractures occur during exercise is overuse injuries.
This can happen when you train too much, quickly, or without proper rest and recovery.
Performing an exercise or movement incorrectly can put excess stress on the bones and lead to a fracture.
Poor biomechanics can also lead to muscle imbalances and joint instability, increasing the risk of fractures.
Other risk factors include poor nutrition, trauma injury, and osteoporosis.
And if left unattended, fractures can cause complications like deep vein thrombosis, osteoarthritis, nerve damage, blood vessel damage, and so on.
Fortunately, fractures can be treated with the right steps.
Treatment for fractures depends on the severity of the injury.
Rest and immobilization may be enough in minor cases to allow the bone to heal independently.
In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to set the bone and stabilize it.
Dislocations occur when a bone is forced out of its socket.
This can happen due to a sudden impact or as a result of repetitive stress.
This can result in pain, swelling, and restricted movement.
Dislocations can happen in any joint, but some are more prone to dislocation than others.
For instance, shoulder joints allow for a wide range of movement, making them more vulnerable to dislocation.
Shoulder dislocations can happen during activities such as weightlifting, gymnastics, or any exercise that involves lifting weights above the head.
On the other hand, hip dislocations can occur during activities such as running, jumping, or any sudden changes in direction.
You can also be prone to elbow and knee dislocation, so keep this in mind.
If a dislocation does occur during exercise, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Treatment typically involves reducing the dislocation by gently manoeuvring the bones back into place.
This may require sedation or anaesthesia to minimize pain and allow for proper joint alignment.
Resting the joint and avoiding activities that may cause further injury is important.
Physical therapy may also be recommended to help restore the range of motion and strengthen the muscles around the affected joint.
Injuries are a common risk when working out.
It is important to listen to your body and take breaks when necessary to avoid overuse injuries.
If you experience an injury, seek medical attention and follow the appropriate treatment plan to ensure a full recovery.