Strength training can hurt. Not only can it leave you sore and stiff, you can seriously injure bones, joints, ligaments and tendons if you’re over using, or incorrectly using, heavy weights. Being familiar with your body and having proper training supervision are some of the best ways to prevent strength training injuries. Other ways to avoid becoming injured, such as using a spotter, knowing when to stop or properly pacing your workout, are also great prevention.
If you do become injured, you face the real challenge of recovering from that injury. The first thing you want to do when you get hurt is determine how serious your injury is and whether or not you need medical attention. Most strength training injuries are fairly minor overuse issues. If there is swelling associated with your injury, use the R.I.C.E method to control it. Rest, ice, compression and elevation all work together to jump start the healing process. Be careful of taking pain medication, as often these result in a slowing of the healing process, rather than helping it along. Consider getting a massage to help worn out muscles recover, and plan on getting one regularly as part of your injury prevention plan. When your recovery has you ready to get back in the gym, there are a few things you want to modify for a while before returning to your normal routine.
The benefits of training through an injury are that the muscles don’t have a chance to atrophy, joints stay lubricated and by maintaining strength you lower the risk of making it worse. There are several ways your routine need to be modified so you can train through the injury without more damage. By modifying exercises with lighter weight your muscle will maintain strength without being strain on the injured area. After decreasing the weight you use, determine your pain free range of motion and stay within it. You can slowly increase the range of motion as your body heals, but going immediately back to full range movement increases risk of reinjuring yourself.
Being completely recovered before heading back to the gym isn’t always necessary, and without a physician’s guidance, full recovery can be a tough thing to judge. Be cautious when training through an injury, and consider seeking the guidance of a fitness professional to help you safely recover. Protect yourself from future injury by using sport massages, stretching after every workout, and using proper form and get back in the weight room!
Injured? Need advice on recovering? We’re here to help! Email us at Info@FitNicePT.com