Working out can be fun for some, a drudge for others, and a necessary activity for professionals. However you approach going to the gym or working out at home, recognizing and preventing common gym injuries should be top of mind.
Strains, Sprains, and Back Pain
Oh my! These are some of the most common injuries one can experience when working out.
You can be in the best of shape and still get a strain. You can sprain an ankle, injure your knee, pull a muscle, dislocate your wrist, get tendonitis, or injure your shoulder.
Know your weaknesses and pay attention to your body. If you happen to be a senior, talk to your doctor about what is a sensible amount of activity for you, and then follow that advice.
No matter your age or your fitness level, there are ways to prevent common injuries.
Take the Time to Warm Up (And Cool Down)
Seems we’re always in a hurry, but getting ready to exercise is not the time to skip this all-important step. Jumping right into your routine is a no-no. Cold muscles are less pliable and prone to a tear. Spend at least 5 minutes stretching or walking to get your blood flowing.
Cooling down is just as important to bring your heart rate and body temperature back to normal. This could be as simple as doing the exercise but a lot slower.
Practice Proper Form and Posture
You can prevent joint, shoulder, and back pain by maintaining good form and posture as you exercise or play sports. Ask a trainer if you’re not sure.
Wear Good Shoes With Arch Support
Longer workouts can put stress on your joints and feet. Invest in a quality pair of shoes to avoid inflammation or injury.
Vary your workouts to avoid overuse injuries.
Listen to Your Body
Feeling pain? Stop! Either your body is not ready for this exercise, or you are doing something wrong. Take a rest and find out what you might be doing that is causing the pain.
Drink PLENTY of Water
This is a non-negotiable. Unless you are properly hydrated, it can result in an injury. 16 ounces of water prior to a workout is optimal, and then keep water with you to sip every 15 minutes. After your workout, replenish fluids by drinking about 16 ounces within 2 hours.
When To See Your Doctor
If you do sustain an injury, begin with RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevate. You can take over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.
If these precautions do not help, or if you have any of the following issues, see your doctor
- If you think you have a broken bone
- Severe pain
- You hear a popping sound
Contact us at (334) 613-9000 if a common gym injury or pain does not improve with RICE and medication.