Common Workout Injuries and How to Prevent Them
As 2016 kicks off to a new start, many might have set the resolution of keeping fit and exercising more. However, workout injuries can happen to anyone, regardless of experience or level of fitness. The seriousness of injuries can range from minor sprains to more complicated injuries that may require surgery.
The list of most common workout injuries includes:
- Muscle strains – This occurs when the muscle has been overstretched or torn, usually resulting from overstretching, over-usage or improper usage of the muscle.
- Sprained ankle – This usually occurs when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in an awkward manner, causing the surrounding ligaments that hold the bones and joints together to tear or stretch.
- Lower back strains – These strains arise from tiny tears in the ligaments and muscles at your back usually caused by overstretching. The pain occurs due to the weakened muscles being unable to hold your spinal column in place.
- Shoulder injuries – As the shoulder is the most unstable joint in the body, it provides the highest range of movement as compared to any other part of the body and as a result, is more likely to sustain injuries.
- Shin splints – This is usually a result of stress reactions to bone fractures caused by constant pounding from high impact sports such as running, tennis or soccer.
The most common factors as to why sports injuries occur are mostly due to overuse, improper training practices, lack of certain muscle strength and not warming up or stretching before exercises. Thus, in order to prevent yourself from falling into any of the aforementioned categories, here are some ways that you can safeguard yourself and reduce your risk of sustaining injuries.
- Stretching exercises – This may seem very minor, but an alarming number of injuries happen due to the lack of stretching after an exercise. Injury prevention can start with something as simple as spending 5 minutes stretching your muscles after a workout.
- Cross Training – Cross Training reduces the risk of overusing the same muscle groups and gives each muscle group enough time to rehabilitate and rest to ensure full recovery.
- Resistance exercises – Resistance training aims to increase the strength of muscles by resisting opposing forces often presented in the form of resistance bands or weights. Increased muscle strength will reduce muscle imbalances which will in turn reduce the chances of injuries.
- Core Stability Exercises – Core muscles refer to muscles in the trunk of your body. Core stability is important as it directly correlates to muscle control, strength and endurance to support the body.
- Strength training – Strength training increases the strength of tendons, muscles, ligaments and even bones. Increased strength muscles and tendons helps to hold the body in proper alignment and protects the bones and joints. Increased bone and ligament strength means that the body is more flexible and better at absorbing shock; thus reducing the risk of shin splints.