“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ― Benjamin Franklin

avoiding workout injuriesNo one likes to be in pain and no athlete, nor anyone dedicated to getting and staying fit, wants to suffer injuries. Yet it still happens. And, sometimes, the resulting pain can be debilitating and chronic.

Why We Get Hurt

Probably the most common causes of workout or exercise injuries are a lack of preparation and pushing too hard. These are typical experienced as minor sprains and strains.  Sprains can be more painful as they involve overstretched or torn ligaments supporting your ankle, knee or wrist joints.

Typically, strains are less severe than sprains. Strains often occur when muscles or tendons are stretched more than they should be. Both types of injuries can be painful and often from sudden movement in the wrong direction, or when someone has not adequately warmed up before exercising.

Along with strains and sprains, muscles can cramp painfully. Athletes who are dehydrated or not properly warmed up typically suffer from muscle cramps.

Quite possibly the most common source of pain for athletes and others who exercise or work out is inflammation. While it is a broad description, inflammation can occur in several locations in the body. inflammatory conditions common to athletes include bursitis, fasciitis and tendonitis.

An article from Mercy Health notes that,

“They are brought on mainly by overuse and repetitive motion. Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that acts like a shock absorber in your joint. Fasciitis means the fascia that covers your muscles and tendons is inflamed. Tendon inflammation is called tendonitis.”

How To Avoid Painful Injuries While Working Out

Oddly enough, staying away from exercise can quickly lead to the very injuries you hope to avoid. Not exercising is not the answer but paying attention to your body and being aware can help keep you pain free.

Here are some essential tips for avoiding painful injuries when exercising or working out:

An article at Active.com suggest the following,

Warm up. It is never a good idea to workout muscles that are cold. Make sure you are warming up your body to increase your body’s core temperature, blood flow to the working muscles, and also to mentally prepare yourself for the workout ahead.

Cross Train. Your body will thank you when you change up your routine by engaging in different activities. This will not only help you avoid hitting a plateau with your workouts, it will give your muscles a much needed break from the same routine day in and day out.

Add strength training and core work to your routine. Having a strong fit body is a great way to keep the injuries away. If your muscles are balanced with a strong core, then your body will not wear down or have to compensate for being weak or tight.

Warming up, avoiding repetitious motions, and working on muscle strength are key points to keep in mind when working out. In addition, Harvard Medical School offers these tips,

Stay hydrated. When you work out, you sweat, and that means you lose some of the essential fluids your body needs to take you through your exercise program. Try to drink a glass of water before you exercise, and then take a few sips of water every 15 minutes throughout your routine.

Cool down. Finish your workout with a slow walk or gentle stretch for five or 10 minutes to cool down and maintain flexibility.

Know when to stop. You never want to work out to the point of pain. If an activity hurts, stop doing it right away. “Playing through pain can often prolong your healing time and take you away from the game or exercise you enjoy,” Dr. Berkson says. “Remember to seek the advice of a medical professional whenever pain seems abnormal or is not improving.” Get help immediately if you suddenly feel dizziness, shortness of breath, or chest pain.

Being “In Tune” With Your Body Matters

Too often, athletes and others injure themselves as a result of a lack of awareness. This can result in doing too much, or doing it too soon, or even doing the wrong things. The old saw about “pushing through the pain” can be dangerous when the pain is the result of an actual injury.

Being self-aware and listening to your body is a major key in minimizing and even preventing injuries from working out. A piece from the WebMD website states this well,

One of the best ways to avoid fitness injuries is to know your body’s limitations. Orthopedic surgeon Kenneth Plancher, associate clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, says, “This isn’t just about avoiding certain fitness activities until you’re in better shape, though that’s part of it. It’s also about knowing what your weak areas are and then avoiding the type of activities that are going to push hard on that weakened area.”

Pain Relief With Pain and Performance Solutions

Sometimes preparation and diligent prevention are still not enough. Strains and injuries can and do occur when people workout or exercise regularly. And when that pain becomes more than mild and temporary, a solution is needed.

When you first come to Pain and Performance Solutions, we will work to learn everything we can about your present discomfort as well as any history of pain. Achieving complete pain relief with us begins with an understanding of when and how your pain started. A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to recovery.

Your openness and honesty are important, as is your trust in us. Ultimately, getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery.

So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have. You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.