In the hopes of reaching new heights in their lives, millions of people make New Year resolutions on a variety of things. Some are determined to make strides in their career, while others because of holiday weight gain, want to get back in shape and become healthy. Getting a gym membership is something many motivated folks do on the day of New Year. They want to lose weight as fast as possible. This immense newfound motivation can lead to overdoing and wrongly performing gym exercises, which can lead to injuries. No Pain No gain approach can be dangerous for your body. Proper instruction, warmups, preconditioning and strengthening of the body are required while doing gym exercises especially heavy weightlifting and extended cardio workouts.
Based on the studies published by New York Times, around 970,000 people have suffered from weight training injuries. Among this, about 82 percent are men. Most of these injuries are related to joints and bones, which happen due to overexertion and using an improper technique. People who are above the age of 40 are more prone to getting injured. It is important to have a fitness instructor who can help you with appropriate exercise regimen when you are starting out.
Below are different troublesome gym-related injuries that you have to know about and try to avoid
Shoulder injuries can occur while performing exercises that are directed towards strengthening triceps, shoulders, upper back muscles and upper chest region. One of the commonly performed exercise for achieving this result is overhead press. It is usually done with the help of dumbells or machine shoulder. When this exercise is overdone, it induces excess tensile strain on the acromion leading to impingement syndrome. If you experience shoulder pain while exercising or after during the day, icing will prevent its aggravation and inflammation. Avoiding overhead press in the first month is advised for beginners at the gym.
In case you face a shoulder injury, a physiotherapist can help you with the rehabilitation. Depending on the extent of the injury, the non-operative or surgical approach is followed. If the surgery is necessary, physio will suggest pre-operative rehabilitation to minimize stress in the person before the surgery. Postoperative physiotherapy involves treatment for strengthening the muscles in the shoulder, compensating the functional loss and restoring the movement patterns.
The gym exercises targeted towards strengthening of glutes in your butt, hips, quadriceps in the thighs, and hamstrings can strain the knees. One of these includes weighted lunges, which puts a great deal of force on the kneecap, and leads to its inflammation and damage of the cartilage that resides beneath the patella. A person with a knee injury will find it difficult to get down the stairs and stand up from a sitting posture. The icing on the knees is advised by physiotherapists to prevent inflammation. Seeking help from an orthopedist might be necessary in case of severe swelling and inability to move the joint.
The early treatment of knee injuries will involve Rest, Icing, and Heat treatments. Resting for 3 to 4 days without engaging in activities that require movement in the knee joints is advised. Applying ice to the joints for first 2 to 3 days will reduce swelling and inflammation. Heat packs can increase blood circulation and give relief from the pain but avoid using it in the first 2 days as it can promote bleeding.
Some set monthly or weekly goals without scientific basis to get in shape. One of the popular ones is to banish belly fat and get a flattened stomach. They focus on vigorously performing exercises that are targeted on the specific area, in this case on the abdomen- sit-ups and crunches. This is relatively safe looking exercise but can have harmful effects on the lower back or spine. The action of sit-ups and crunches creates a great degree of flexion in the spine while bending forward with a rounded back. It is estimated that this move puts a force of 650lbs on the lumbar spine every time the head goes towards the knees. Many people are motivated to push themselves and perform a specific number of these 30, 50, 100, or more. The repetitive motion can strain the spine and result in long-term injuries such as a herniated disc. When you are starting out, perform isolated plank instead of sit-ups and crunches as it puts less strain on the spine.
Massage, Tens Machine, Acupuncture, and Back Brace physio treatments might be advised by a professional physio for people with stress-related back pains.
Overworking on the treadmill can cause Shin splints which is an inflammation of the tendons, muscles, and tissue surrounding the bone. It occurs in the area where muscles meet the bone, along the medial border of the tibia. The repetitive activity involved with running can make the bone and muscle tissue sore. This is a gradually occurring injury and is related to the number of days you work out and frequency of performing running exercises. Changing the intensity and duration of running on the treadmill increases the risk of getting shin splints. Wearing proper footwear and following a well-planned training session on the treadmill is necessary to avoid this.
Cold therapy or icing are effective in relieving immediate symptoms. Rest, stretching and strengthening are essential for recovery and return to running. To avoid future injuries physiotherapists might do a biomechanical analysis for analyzing your posture while running and walking.
Performing repetitive weight lifting exercises can result in tendinitis. The tendons which are thick fibrous cords attaching the bone and muscles together get stressed, it causes tenderness and pain in the area surrounding the joint. People who work on toning specific areas of the body, for instance, biceps, could overwork with heavy bench presses can eventually develop tendonitis in the elbows and shoulders. This condition is also called as tennis elbow, and swimmer’s shoulder. It can affect knees, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and heels. A physio will recommend rest, ice packs and gentle motion exercises to treat this condition.
Analysis of biomechanics and eccentric strengthen program are suggested after the recovery. Like other stress-related injuries, rest and icing on the joint area are advised by a physio.
Reading about these injuries should not make you quit the idea of going to a gym. Take necessary precautions to avoid these injuries with gradual training.
Information provided here is for reference only. Please consult a physiotherapist for treatment options. Rapidphysiocare offers expert physio advice and treatments for sports and exercises related injuries. Click here to request a consultation. We accept patients from all over Singapore