by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
It doesn’t matter your age, experience, sport or workout activity an injury can happen to anyone. Even walking can cause you an injury, therefore what you can do is try to prevent them, by taking the necessary precautions to avoid getting hurt, while practicing your favorite sport or working out at the gym or home.
Some of the most popular workout injuries while exercising are muscle pull and strain, sprained ankle, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, shin splint, tendinitis, wrist sprain or dislocation and worst a broken bone.
To prevent some of the mentioned workout injuries first make sure you warm-up. Like I have also mentioned on previous articles it is vital to ensure that the muscles receive the proper warm up so the so muscle tissue receives enough blood and nutrients to perform without getting damaged during your exercise routine. Start my doing some stretching exercises and then proceed to go out for a walk, ride a bike a couple of blocks around your neighborhood or just jog in place for five to ten minutes. Stretching exercises will help you improve and increase flexibility and reduce not only injuries but also reduce muscle soreness.
It is also important to be hydrated and well eaten before starting your routine. You don’t want to feel nauseas and dizzy during your workout routine or puke because you feel drained. You should drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. You can drink 8 ounce about 20 to 30 minutes before your workout; 8 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during your workout breaks and 16 ounces when you finish exercising. Eat small meals or snacks every two to three hours. Even after you are done exercising eat a healthy protein snack to fuel your body.
Another tip is for you to get advice from a professional trainer. A trainer can guide you to create a healthy and safe program for your body.
Make sure you are dress depending on the type of routine you choose to embark on. Try to use comfortable clothe and the right shoes and gear.
Once you have warmed up slowly begin exercising. Take your time you don’t have to run into doing all exercises in a fast manner. Start slowly and then gradually increase your intensity, duration and frequency. Pushing yourself too hard can result in an injury. As your fitness abilities increase so does your challenges.
Mix your workout exercises or cross train, vary them, not only to prevent overuse of your muscles but also to prevent you from getting bored and quitting your exercise plan. You have more or an injury risk when you only practice the same muscle movements frequently.
Don’t forget that as important as it is to warm-up, it is just as important to cool-down once you are done. So make sure you also stretch when you are finished. Your body and mind runs with energy, so make sure you feed it the right one. You can vary your workout by walking one day, cycling on another, and lifting weights on a third day and so on.
Avoid doing exercises that are harmful to your health or your condition. If you have problems with your knees try to stay away from exercises that can hurt you and practice exercises that can build up strength. Be sure to listen to your body. It is not necessary to push yourself to the point of feeling pain. If you feel pain, it is better to stop and rest, even if it has to be for a day.
Make sure you receive proper treatment if you have an injury, before participating in a strenuous activity or might run into a overuse injury caused by repetitive trauma. They usually occur due to training errors. Going back to a physical activity to quickly and going too fast can strain your muscles and lead to overuse injury. Improper technique errors can overload your muscles and cause an overuse injury. Sometimes we start workout routines and don’t have knowledge of the right way to do the exercises and end up hurting ourselves. Again that´s why if you don’t know, it is important you ask for help or read about it. Knowledge can help you avoid hurting your body. Just take it slow and prevent injuries.
When we talk about injuries, it is important we follow the doctor´s orders to make sure our tendons heal right and we don’t lose movement or put our body in danger. Injuries are no joke and need to be taken care of as soon as possible. There seems to be many cures for taking care of injuries, so it is important you choose the right treatment. Remember is your body you are talking about, which will be with you until “death do us part”. You see, the importance of taking care of it.
When you feel or notice pain on your elbow after a workout, use ice for between 10 to 15 minutes, several times a day, until you feel an improvement. Another option is also taking hot baths and relaxing your elbow in the warmth of the water. Make sure you feel good, so do what works for you. You might even be lucky and have a hot spring spot you can visit and have more of a relaxed time.
If the pain persists you can also take some anti-flammatory painkillers. I suggest you look for some natural kind, such as ginger root, which contains a number of relieving pain agents. Its anti-inflammatory activity is compared to the aspirins benefits. It contains a protein-digesting enzyme called zingibain, which also helps relieve arthritis pain, while also reducing inflammation. You can also try rubbing with some cream to give you some relief. If the pain doesn’t go away, make sure you don’t go out there and play a strenuous sport or exercise.
Another option that can help you heal is wearing a strap, which can be worn around your forearm just below the elbow, which may pressure the arm instead of putting all on the tendon. The strap will also help you grasp and do some twisting activities making your days a lot easier. You can find these straps in most drugstores or sporting stores.
A also recommend you talk to an expert regarding your injury, even if it is a small one. Remember you don’t want the pain to get worse and have a bigger problem, for not taking care of it on time. There are many specialists. You can talk to a certified sports trainer, an ergonomic specialist, an occupational therapist, or a physical therapist.
It is important you look for the right help and you heal first. A tendon that is not taken care of can be painful and be in danger of not healing right causing a lot of damage to your elbow. The tendon might need a combination of heat, stretching and some ice and a short period of relaxing your elbow until you slowly start exercising to get back to your workout routine. Remember to be smart, your healing comes first.
For the future make sure you warm-up a couple of minutes before and after your workout or sport activity. Prevention exercises are important to do, before starting to workout and usually ignored by most of us. So no excuses, if you want to prevent a future injury, do your warm up exercises. Also try to take it easy on the field. Hold the racquet looser.
Once you feel better and your tendon is healed, you need to start a strengthening routine to make your forearm muscles stronger, so you can play better without pain and prevent future injuries.
Don’t forget your stretching exercises before playing. You can gently pull back your hand and stretch your forearm. Hold it for 20 seconds. Also flip your hand so your palm faces down and pull your hand towards your body and repeat it a couple of times.
You can also try other exercises to help strengthen your elbow like holding a tennis ball in your hand, make a fist around the ball and squeeze. Hold for about 6 seconds, after relax for up to 10 seconds. Repeat 8 to 12 times and then switch hands.
A sprained ankle – that hurts! I remember having one back in high school, while playing a basketball game. When I fell, I didn’t really feel the pain, until I got up and fell back on by butt, because I couldn’t put my foot down to walk. My foot immediately got swollen and looked like a big fat potato. I was stubborn though and didn’t take care of it right and that´s probably why, once in a while that ankle hurts and sometimes when I am walking and I feel I lose a step. You see, my ankle is not as strong as it used to be, and after researching about it, have concluded that I didn’t take care of it right. To prevent that from happening to you or your love ones, let´s look into some ways to take care of it and have a healthy and strong ankle.
Some people have repeated sprains and can develop into a long term joint pain and weakness. Like I mentioned in my case, treating the sprained ankle right will help you prevent more problems and avoid future painful injuries. To avoid that happening, first look for a doctor. He or she will probably recommend an X-ray.
Second make sure you rest. It won’t help to walking or jumping around. It might be necessary you use crutches, until you feel better; you can also use a brace or some form of ankle support; ice and natural pain killers are also recommendable. When you are resting also raise your ankle by using a pillow above the level of the heart for 2 to 3 hours a day. This will help reduce the swelling and bruising. An elastic compression wrap, will also help you reduce the swelling.
Proper treatment exercises are very important. If it is not treated correctly, the joint might become fragile and unstable which can make your ankle weak and with more probability of being reinjured. Before you go back to your routine and start practicing your favorite sport, make sure you don’t feel any pain on your ankle. Hop and see if you feel any pain, if you do so, it will be better if wait and give it more time to heal. Taping your ankle while exercising can help protect it. Wearing shoes that give you support can also be helpful, but most important just follow instructions, take your time in getting back to that sport you love and be cautious. Don’t force yourself and stop if you feel discomfort.
Some exercises you can try to get back on track are:
The Alphabet: Sit on a chair, and with the heel on the floor, draw the alphabet by moving the injured ankle and using the big toe as the pen. Do two sets of the alphabet, two to three times a day.
Windshield Wiper: Sit with the foot flat on the floor, facing straight ahead and then rotate the injured foot like a windshield wiper. Do two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, two to three times a day.
Seated Calf Exercise: Sit and place the foot flat on the floor lift the heel as far as you can and keep the toes on the floor. After return the heel to the floor. Do two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, two to three times a day.
Single Leg Stand: Stand while you place your arm on a flat surface, it can be a table. Place some of your body weight on the injured foot for about 15 seconds. Do this a couple of times and increase the time spent on the injured foot by 15 seconds until you can stand for 45 seconds. Gradually start adding more of your body weights to the injured foot until you use full body weight. Do two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, two to three times a day.
Eversion and Inversion Isometrics: Place your injured foot against a table leg or door side. Push outward with the foot for 2 to 3 seconds. Do two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, two to three times a day. Once you are done try now pushing inward with the inside of the foot.
Recovery of an ankle may vary depending on the injury. Some patients recover as fast as one week and some others take a couple of weeks. Just have patience and make sure you are doing your exercises and following your doctor´s recommendations or just some of the exercises mentioned below.
If you like using weights better, you can sit leaning forward with your legs spread and your left hand on your left thigh. Place your right elbow on your right thigh, and hold the weight, slowly bring the weight toward your chest, while bending your arm. Repeat 8 to 12 times and then switch arms.
I have only mentioned few tips to help you improve your elbow. Just keep in mind you don’t want to only have some temporary relief, you want to be healed, so prevent and then fix. Be cautious, while exercising and having fun!