If you haven’t worked out in a long time, put on extra pounds, or just don’t know how to use workout equipment, you could make yourself prone to a workout injury. In fact, most people will suffer some type of workout injury during their lives – either for pushing themselves too far, or doing something improperly. Here are the most common workout injuries, and what you can do to prevent and treat them.
Strain vs. Sprain
A strain or sprain is one of the most common injuries in the gym. It may be caused by a number of factors: incorrect techniques, not stretching, training too often, or not warming up enough.
The human body has very specific movements and muscles and tendons that allow for them. A sprain is when you stretch or tear a ligament (which connects bone to bone). A strain is the stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon. If you don’t use the correct workout technique, especially with weights, you can easily cause a sprain or strain. Other common causes include not stretching adequately before working out (i.e. not stretching your legs, only your arms), or not giving yourself enough time to stretch. Training too often and not letting your body heal is also a factor.
If you think you sprained or strained something, you should immediately stop the activity, and put ice and compression on the area. Depending on the severity, you may also need to immobilize the area, and see your doctor if it doesn’t heal.
Another common workout injury (well, it could lead to injury very easily) is dehydration. Dehydration can lead to lack of concentration, which just invites an injury. Furthermore, severe dehydration can lead to unconsciousness, which can be deadly in a gym. Make sure that you are paying attention to the signs: headaches (similar to a hangover), low blood pressure, and dizziness. If you feel these signs, stop working out and drink water or a sports drink immediately to get re-hydrated. An injury due to dehydration can be tragic.
Have you ever suffered a workout injury?