Getting more exercise is good for the body, but getting too much (or doing something wrong) can sometimes result to severe pain or injury.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 5 of the most common workout injuries and what you can do to avoid them.
Rotator cuff injury
Your rotator cuff is responsible for stabilizing your shoulder. It is composed of four main muscles (the infraspinatus, subscapularis, supraspinatus, and teres minor). Shoulder pain when you extend your arms sideways, behind you, or overhead is a common symptom of rotator cuff injury.
How to prevent it: Good posture while working out is a good way to prevent rotator cuff injuries, as a slouched posture can compress your shoulder joint. Avoid repetitive overhead exercises or lat pulldowns behind the neck (do them from the front instead).
Biceps tendinitis is attributed to inflammation of a tendon that connects your upper biceps muscle to your shoulder bones. Common signs of biceps tendinitis are upper-arm weakness and pain from the front of your shoulder. Repetitive motions from activities such as swimming, golf, tennis, or weightlifting often cause this injury.
How to prevent it: Vary your exercise by cross-training, and avoid excessive overhead movements. Have sufficient rest between workouts, and maintain good posture.
Lower back strain
Improper form when doing deadlifts or squats is a common cause for lower back strain. It can also be the result of bending sideways and other twisting motions. If you’re not careful, it can be worse, as doing such motions improperly can result to disk herniation or nerve compression.
How to prevent it: Maintain a neutral back, especially if you’re a beginner. Prepare for squats by doing the leg press or hip sled first to warm up. Better yet, consult a professional trainer about maintaining the proper form.
Stress fractures are injuries that often occur in your shins or the bones of your foot or heel. They typically result from excessive jumping in just one spot. Various sports such as basketball, gymnastics, tennis, or track and field increase the risk of getting this type of injury. Swelling or pain in an affected area while exercising, standing, or walking are two symptoms of having a stress fracture. If left untreated, it can lead to improper healing and chronic pain.
How to prevent it: When adapting a new exercise program, make sure you do it gradually to strengthen your muscles, decreasing stress on your bones. Adding variety by cross-training can be a big help as well.
Pain or muscle inflammation from along the inner edge of your tibia or shinbone can be a sign of shin splints. This injury is very common with runners, as well as athletes in sports involving plenty of running and jumping. Shin splints can be the result of a sudden increase in workout intensity, running uphill and downhill on hard surfaces, or running on uneven ground.
How to prevent it: When running, warm up by doing jumping jacks or jogging slowly for about five to ten minutes before gradually increasing your pace.