Prevent the Most Common Exercise Injuries
photo credit: quinn.anya
A lot of times, it seems like when we experience an exercise related injury that it happens all of a sudden. Over time, we can put a lot of stress on our muscles and joints. Injuries can occur simply from overuse. There are various easy ways to help prevent some common injuries.
I enjoy running but I do worry about doing it too often to the point that down the road, I will have knee pain or other running related injuries. A few easy ways to help prevent a running injury are:
- Watch your mileage – it’s not a bad idea to try and improve your distance but it isn’t necessary to run extra miles each week if you’re not ready. Forcing yourself to do so can easily lead to an injury.
- Change your shoes – if you run daily, it doesn’t hurt to check the wear on your running shoes. If they are starting to look too worn, getting a new pair will help to absorb shock and provide stability.
- Take it easy – some people love to run and will do so every day, however, that doesn’t mean you have to run hard each day. Consider alternating easy days and hard days.
The shoulders are another common area that can be prone to injury, particularly if you lift weights, swim, or play sports. One way to reduce this injury is to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. A good exercise for this is the shoulder shrug. Some good exercises are demonstrated in the video below:
When I used to run every day, I almost always experienced leg cramps in the middle of the night. It would feel like my calf muscles were twisting into a knot. Some causes of this include dehydration and muscle fatigue. Remedies for leg cramps include:
- Increasing water intake
- Increasing potassium intake
- Stretching regularly
A sprain is an injury to a ligament. Ligaments are the tissue that connect bones to other bones. You’ll know when you have a sprain if the area is painful, swelling, or bruising. Very mild sprains may be treated by icing and resting the area, however, seeking medical advice is probably the best choice. You should seek medical attention for any severe sprain (cannot move the area, severe pain, numbness, etc.)
Ways to prevent sprains include:
- Bend the knees, not the back
- Don’t lift weight heavier than you can handle
- Stretch often
- Balance and agility drills (for ankles – a common sprain)