While "no pain, no gain" may be commonly believed about working out, it doesn't have to be true. While the repetitive and strenuous activity associated with most workouts can put you at risk of injury, the resulting pain, setbacks and discomfort are avoidable. Here, our Manotick physiotherapists explain a few different ways to avoid an injury in the course of your workouts and how we can help if you do experience one.
When working out, whether by lifting weights, running or playing a sport, you always run the risk of injury. Repeated and strenuous movements involved in workouts can either contribute to your risk of developing an acute or progressive injury.
There are a whole host of strategies that are available to you to help you avoid unnecessary pain, discomfort and setbacks to your fitness caused by injuries. Some are common knowledge and can be done on your own while others require the watchful eye of a physical therapist. Here are some of the measures you can take to help reduce your chances of injury and to aid in your recovery if you've sustained a workout injury.
Warm-up and cool-down
Every workout you do should both begin and end with dedicated periods of light exercises called warm-ups and cool-downs. Warm-ups will gradually increase your heart rate and loosen your muscles and joints before you begin pushing yourself,m easing your body into your workout to give it time to adjust to strenuous activity.
Cool-downs slowly bring your heart back to its normal rate and give your muscles time to adjust to no longer performing strenuous activity. Warm-ups and cool-downs can involve light jogging, jumping rope, riding an exercise bike and stretching.
Ease into it
Any time you start a workout routine or undertake a new workout activity, make sure you start slowly. This applies to a single workout and throughout a whole routine. Instead of jumping headfirst into things, gradually build the duration,m intensity and frequency of your workouts. Many acute injuries result from pushing yourself too hard too early.
As your general fitness and fitness for a given activity increase, so too will your ability to push your boundaries. This also applies to returning to a workout routine after an injury. Ensue you don't push yourself to the level you were used to before your injury. If you do, you will likely reinjure yourself.
Just like you should avoid pushing yourself too hard, you also want to make sure you don't overwork specific muscles by doing one specific activity for too long. Frequent repetition of the same muscle movements without rest periods can lead to injuries such as tendinitis or shin splints that result from overuse.
To avoid this, vary the muscle groups your workouts engage every day. The specifics of your workouts will always vary based on your needs, so you should ask you physiotherapist about what kinds of cross-training and workout planning will work best for you.
Know your trouble spots.
When considering what workout to do, always keep in mind areas of your body which you are problem areas. This can include muscles you have injured and still need time to rest, or areas that are weak and need strengthening.
While you may be suited to judge what parts of your body feel weaker or hurt more than others, when it comes to targeting specific parts of your body that are giving you trouble, you should always ask a physical therapist first. They will be able to both identify issues you may not even be aware of and give you expert guidance on how to work out those areas without causing yourself pain or injury.
Treating Workout Injuries
At Manotick PhysioWorks, our physiotherapists are able to assist in alleviating the pain and speeding the healing of a workout injury as well as strengthening the injured part of your body to prevent future incidents.
If you have suffered from an acute workout injury, the first step is always to control swelling and pain. This often involved icing, resting compressing and elevating your injury. The dissipation of your pain or discomfort doesn't mean your injury is healed.
If your injury is properly retrained and rehabilitated, you will be at risk of your injury reoccurring or leading to a new one altogether. Our Nepean sports physiotherapists are able to provide you with individualized treatment programs which will help your injury to heal and you to safely regain your strength and mobility.
Some of the treatments we offer include:
- Stabilization with tape or bracing
- Manual therapy for joint restrictions or stiffness
- Acupuncture for the management of pain and swelling
- Active exercises to restore flexibility, strength, endurance and balance
- Ultrasound and other electrotherapy agents for the management of acute injuries