Exercise is vital for our health. Whether you are an elite athlete training for a marathon or a casual jogger who likes to go a couple of miles before work, you reap the health benefits of exercising regularly. Of course, sometimes exercise can have negative consequences. Even the most careful athlete who is exercising in a way that prevents injury can end up in pain. While there are many injuries that athletes can experience, some common exercise injuries occur over and over.
The Five Most Common Exercise Injuries
These are the five most exercise injuries I commonly see in my practice, as well as the key culprits that usually cause them in the first place. neck strain, common exercise injuries
- Neck sprain/strain: Bodybuilding puts a lot of stress on the neck, causing you to sometimes strain the muscles or even sprain your neck. Squats, bent-over rows, upright rows, and shrugs are key causes when they are performed improperly, but even simply holding the body too stiffly while exercising can injure the neck.
- Pectoral tear: Pectoral tears occur at the end of the muscle where it attached to the humerus. The muscle bunches up like a ball towards the sternum causing plenty of swelling and discoloration of the tissue due to bleeding. This is a serious acute injury that requires immediate attention, as well as extended recovery treatment. Causes of pectoral tears range from benching too heavy to steroid use.
- Elbow sprain: The elbow is commonly injured in three ways. First, the tricep tendon is overused, causing inflammation. Second, the inner portion of the elbow can become irritated from gripping, which leads to tears. This is commonly called golfer’s elbow. Lastly, the outside part of your elbow can get overextended and irritated, a condition which is commonly referred to tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is typically caused by improperly performed reverse curls and hammer curls. In general, elbow sprains and injuries are most commonly overuse injuries, caused by not resting the body part enough.sciatica, back pain
- Lower back strain: A lower back strain is indicated by pain at the center of lower back along the spine, spreading into the buttocks or legs in some cases. Usually, back injuries result from lifting too much weight or using poor form during squats, deadlifts, bent-over rows, and bicep curls.
- Knee Injury: Various injuries include tears of the meniscus and ACL, patellar tendonitis, and bursitis. Pain from these injuries will generally center along the joint line of the knee, behind the knee joint, below the knee cap, or along the patellar tendon. Knee injuries typically are caused by lifting excessive weight, poor form during exercise, and not resting.
How to Recover from Common Exercise Injuries
Each of these injuries will require unique exercises to rehabilitate the affected area, but luckily, the core of recovery is the same no matter how you are suffering. You’ll need rest and rehab.
chiropractic, Dr. Rosenberg
- Rest: The number one most important element of recovery for all of the most common exercise injuries is rest. Unfortunately, people neglect this step far too often. If you are feeling true twinges of pain, you should stop exercising immediately and rest the affected area. In today’s exercise environment, “pushing through the pain” is often treated as a good thing, but in reality, it’s associated with a dangerous rise in overuse injuries. Exercise may be exhausting and cause discomfort and strain, but it should never cause pain. Pain is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Listen to it and rest.
- Rehab: The other element of all successful recovery is rehab. Rehabilitation comes in many forms, but essentially, this step is all about slowly returning function to the injured area. This step may include mild exercise, physical therapy, and massage. In addition, it should always include chiropractic care. Chiropractic manipulations have long been shown to reduce recovery times and improve outcomes. In large part, that’s due to the prevention of scar tissue buildup during healing, which can impede motion and prolong recovery time. Rehab rarely may also require medical intervention depending on the type and severity of the injury.
With proper rest and rehabilitation, you will recover quickly from any common exercise injury and be back on the field before you know it. Just be careful to take the time you need to get better. If you have been recently injured while exercising or playing sports, come to our offices at Rosenberg Wellness Center for a free consultation to learn how I may be able to help.