How to Prevent Workout Injuries

Don't let a nagging injury derail your fitness goals. But pushing through the pain isn't the answer either. In fact, many sports-related injuries are the result of overuse or strain. Luckily, we've got fitness expert Sarah Robichaud in our corner to show us how to treat and prevent the most common culprits.

Shoulder Pain

Cause: Overuse and repetitive strain of the rotator cuff muscles from sports in which the arm is held frequently overhead (e.g swimming, softball, tennis, etc.), which can lead to joint pain, frozen shoulder or arthritis.

Treatment: Rest and ice.

Prevention: Strengthen all of the supporting muscles of the shoulder.

Tennis Elbow

Cause: Overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, which causes inflammation and tendinitis pain.

Treatment: Rest.

Prevention: Practice proper technique (e.g. tennis players should put their body weight behind the ball so that their elbow isn't absorbing all of the strain) and strengthen muscles of forearm and wrist.

Lower Back Pain

Cause: Twisting awkwardly from right to left, lifting something heavy or overloading the muscles/tendons. Can also be due to prolonged periods of sitting or standing with improper postural alignment.

Treatment: Rest.

Prevention: Strengthen the core muscles that support the back.

Runner's Knee

Cause: Improper tracking of knee over toe, which can pull the kneecap out of alignment leading to diminished cartilage and sometimes fluid build up and swelling.

Treatment: Rest and ice.

Prevention: Strengthen quad and hamstring muscles.

R.I.C.E.

Sensing a treatment pattern here? Prevention is the best medicine, of course, but when injury strikes, don't forget to R.I.C.E.:

Rest: Avoid using the injured area for at least 48 hours.

Ice: Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time, five to eight times per day.

Compression: Compression helps to reduce swelling. Elastic wraps, air casts and splints are all effective.

Elevation: The injured part should be elevated above heart level.

lrn_logo.jpgLive Right Now is a national CBC initiative to encourage Canadians to live healthier lives. Want to be part of the movement? Visit LiveRightNow.ca.

 

Also on CBC