Most common workout injuries and how to avoid them
Written by: Liz
Category: General Health
Published on: March 28, 2022

1. Muscle Strain / Sprain
A strain is an injury to the muscle or tendon that is overstretched or overexerted. A sprain is overstretching or tearing of the ligament. It is often experienced with pain, swelling, and limited ability to move the muscle.

Ways to avoid muscle strains is by warming up properly. This allows blood flow to the muscles, activating them before you exercise. Performing the exercise correctly ensures you are recruiting and engaging the appropriate muscles for the exercise and using correct weights will make sure you not increasing your risk of injury by lifting too heavy. 

2. Knee Pain
Knee pain is an umbrella term for pain in and around the knee that can affect the knee joint or soft tissue around the knee.

Once again, to avoid knee pain, warming up is essential! Getting blood flow to the surrounding muscles of the knee and getting movement through the joint will reduce the risk of injury.
Correct technique – when doing lower body exercises such as squats or lunges it is important to use proper technique, otherwise this can lead to knee pain if done incorrectly for a long period of time.
Strengthening surrounding muscles – Strengthening your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes can help take pressure off the knee joint, reducing the risk of injury.

3. Lower back pain
Lower back pain is caused through a strain or sprain to the area. Lower back pain can be caused by improper technique, lifting too heavy or not warming up effectively. 
Ensuring we a warming up effectively helps actively prime our muscles before we engage in exercise.
Correct form when exercising means we are reducing our risk on injury by recruiting the correct muscles to perform the exercise safely.

Using the appropriate weights helps us perform the exercise in a correct and safe manner. It reduces the risk of overexertion of muscles which can lead to a strain or sprain.
Strengthening your core muscles, as well as glutes can contribute to a lower risk of developing back pain. Furthermore, stretching your lower limbs regularly, especially your hamstrings can reduce the risk of sustaining lower back pain.

4. Shoulder pain
Shoulder pain includes physical discomfort to the shoulder, including the joint, muscles, tendons or ligaments that support the joint.  Shoulder pain can occur through not using proper technique, exercising when you have not warmed up, and lifting too heavy.

Making sure you have properly warmed up will assist with blood flow, muscle activation and joint mobilisation. Ensuring you are engaging the correct muscles will reduce the risk of unnecessary muscles activating. Making sure you are lifting a weight that you’re able to keep proper technique throughout the exercise and engage the correct muscles will reduce your risk of injury. Furthermore, avoid repetitive overhead activity can reduce your risk of developing shoulder pain. 

5. Medial tibial stress syndrome (Shin splints)
Medial tibial stress syndrome (also known as shin splints) is common in runners and exercises that involve frequent jumping. It occurs when pain runs alongside the tibia (shin bone). The muscles become overused and can cause micro tears.

Ways to avoid shin splints is to make sure your runners aren’t too old. Old and worn-out runners do not support your feet or lower limbs which will increase your risk of developing shin splints.
Running on hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt can increase the risk of developing shin splints (especially if you have worn out runners). Opting for softer surfaces such as grass or synthetic tracks can reduce the risk.  Sudden increase in the amount of exercise or intensity can increase the risk of shin splints. It is always recommended to slowly build your progress when exercising to reduce the risk of overuse and/ or injury.



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