Exercising involves sustained physical activity. There are multiple types of exercise, including low-impact exercises that are fluid or prevent joint strain, aerobic exercises such as cycling or jogging, and strength training, which includes lifting weights or using resistance bands. People choose workout programs based on their level of fitness and health goals.
Each year, millions of individuals sustain injuries while working out or playing sports. Although novices may be particularly vulnerable to injuries when starting a workout routine, injuries also affect people who’ve been working out for years. Let’s look at some ways to prevent workout injuries and how to treat injuries when they occur.
How can you prevent injuries when exercising?
Effectively preventing workout injuries begins with identifying common gym injuries and understanding how they occur. Common exercise injuries include sprains, muscle strains, pulled muscles, shin splints, tendinitis, and knee injuries.
Warming up before you start exercising can reduce muscle strains. Jogging on the spot or riding an exercise bike for a few minutes are great options when you’re preparing your body to exercise. You should also perform stretches to prepare your body to exercise. Stretching improves flexibility, reducing your chances of straining or spraining muscles or tendons.
You can do lunges or squats instead of leg extensions to reduce your chances of injuring your quadriceps tendon. It’s still possible to injure yourself while doing squats, which is why it’s a good idea to review the proper technique before you introduce squats to your routine.
When you’re running, you can get shin splints or strain your knee or hamstring. These injuries are more common if you run on a treadmill. You can decrease your chances of knee or hamstring strain by running on grass because it’s softer and cushions the impact.
You should also ensure you exercise in a safe environment. If you’re creating a home gym, make sure you don’t have loose carpets or other items you can trip over. Ensure you have plenty of room to perform exercises correctly and aren’t bumping into equipment or furniture.
What treatment options can you consider for your exercise injuries?
If you are injured while working out, your treatment options will depend on the nature of your injuries. Applying heat or ice can help reduce muscle strain, but you may also need nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Chiropractors can also treat recurring muscle strains. Other treatment options for muscle strains include massage therapy and acupuncture.
Treatment for sprains varies based on the part of your body you sprained. All sprains benefit from rest and ice, which reduces swelling and helps manage the pain. Consult your medical doctor and use a splint or brace to prevent further injury. For example, it’s hard to avoid using your ankle when walking, so you may need crutches to reduce the amount of weight you put on your ankle.
You may also benefit from physical therapy if you have a sprained ankle, knee, or wrist. Physical therapists evaluate their patients and develop treatment plans to help reduce their pain and increase their mobility. They can also teach you to use assistive devices during your recovery.
You may need neck surgery, spine surgery, or other types of surgery to address severe injuries, such as compound fractures. For example, you can suffer a slipped disc from lifting heavy objects. A chiropractor or physical therapist may provide successful treatment for a slipped disc, but you may need surgery in severe cases.
Warming up and stretching can reduce workout injuries. Altering your environment and ensuring your exercise space is safe can also reduce the chances of injuring yourself while exercising. There are multiple treatments to consider if you do suffer an injury.