Injuries suck! They really do! Even if you just get injured or maybe nursing an irritating injury for a while now, it can be so disheartening and depressing that you can no longer work out as much as you would love to. Injury prevention has now become a must for any fitness enthusiast who wishes to stay healthy enough to achieve their fitness goal. But this cannot be achieved without the right knowledge, practices, and preparations.
Do you want to learn about injuries in fitness and how to prevent it? This article might be able to help. Stay tuned as we discuss some common fitness injuries and how you can prevent them.
Injuries fall into two main categories – cumulative and traumatic. Traumatic injuries are used to describe those injuries that are sustained by accident during sporting or physical activities like dropping a dumbbell on your leg by mistake during a workout session. Cumulative injuries, on the other hand, refer to those tissue damages that develop with time as a result of repetitive strain. These kinds of injuries occur when the tissues are stressed beyond their limits and could be as a result of improper training techniques, poor posture, wrong training gears and inadequate rest. This article will focus more on cumulative injuries, some common fitness injuries are discussed below:
#1. Muscle pull and strain: This occurs when the muscle is torn or overstretched due to overuse, fatigue or abnormal use of the muscle. It leads to pain, soreness, swelling, stiffness, weakness or discoloration of the affected area. Mild to moderate strain often goes away within a few weeks while severe muscle strain may linger for months before it finally goes away.
#2. Sprained ankle: This occurs when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or overstretched when there’s too much movement or when the ligaments are stressed or stretched beyond their limits. It is characterized by pain and stiffness in the affected parts but usually goes away on its own, mostly between 2 to 12 weeks after you sustained the injury.
#3. Shoulder injury: Shoulder injury ranges from soreness and muscle aches that develop through daily wear and tear, to shoulder dislocation which can be as a result of lifting weights or inadequate warm-up before carrying out an intense physical exercise.
#4. Knee injuries: Knee injuries are associated with the damages to the knee ligaments. There are four knee ligaments that prone to damages, thereby causing knee injury. These are:
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
#5. Tendonitis: This is also known as tendonitis. It is the soreness or inflammation of the tendon as a result of stress or repetitive impact on the affected area. One of the most common and dreaded forms of this injury is the Achilles tendonitis. Poor stretching before exercise, incorrect techniques and posture, and overuse or performing too much exercise can give rise to this injury condition.
Shin splint, Plantar Fasciitis, metatarsalgia, and Achilles tendonitis are often experienced by runners or people who practice high impact physical exercise. They are caused by overuse, too much exercise, poor techniques, wrong choice of foot wears, and overpronation or flat feet to mention a few. These injury conditions should be promptly treated as they could result in more severe conditions.
Anyone can get injured irrespective of their experience or fitness level. The good news is that these fitness injuries can be avoided by having a good preparation and following the right precautions. As a general rule, you have to be properly tested and also have your doctor’s recommendations before embarking on any new fitness routine. Below are some guidelines to avoiding fitness injuries.
- Get a personal trainer or coach: A personal trainer or coach will put you through the right training techniques, movements, and the rule of your new fitness program which is very important in injury prevention.
- Warm up: A proper stretch or warm up before an exercise help to supply blood and essential nutrient to the muscle tissues. It also warms the muscle fiber, prevent muscle tear and prepares you mentally for the actual workout exercise.
- Start slowly and develop gradually: When starting a new fitness program, it is important to start slowly and gradually increase the frequency and intensity to avoid injury.
- Cross train: Stop overusing a particular part of your muscles. Engage in different physical activities and vary your workout exercises, this will help engage other parts of your body and prevent strain and overuse injuries.
- Be smart, set realistic goals: It is important to be smart and not push yourself above your fitness level. Setting realistic fitness goals and following a training plan is a good way to achieve this.
- Use the right training gears: Your training gears are as important as the workout itself since they help to prevent injuries both cumulative and traumatic. Seek expert advice to get yourself the right training shoes and clothes
- Eat a balanced diet: Eating right and hydrating properly is an important aspect of injury prevention. Your body needs enough energy fuel your physical activity as much as its needs enough proteins and vitamins to repair the tissues that are worn out during your workout.
- Pay attention to your body and rest properly: When you listen to your body, you will easily; know your fitness level and limit, figure out when to proceed and when to stop, spot injuries earlier, and know when your body needs a rest. Rest is an essential recovery ingredient and should not be neglected if you really want to remain injury free.
- Get treated on time: This is very important in order to avoid further injuries or prevent the injury condition from getting worse. Use the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevation) method of treatment immediately you detect an injury. If the injury condition does not improve after two to three days, you will need to see your therapist for further examination and treatment.
Now that you have known about injuries, their causes, and prevention, it is time for you to be careful during your workouts and training. Getting injured is no joke, as it could frustrate your fitness goals if you always work out yourself and neglect these preventive measures.
Gregory is a chief editor at ConstructMuscles.com. He spends half of my time on his blog while the other half on being a physical fitness trainer. Believing in the great benefits of bodybuilding and fitness to the body, he has been motivated to become a fitness enthusiast. Stay Connected to him on Twitter.