While the phrase "no pain, no gain" may be commonly recited when it comes to working out, this isn't really true. While strenuous and repetitive activities may put you at risk of injury, the pain, discomfort and setbacks to your fitness that result are entirely avoidable. Here, our Orleans physical therapists explain a few different ways for you to avoid injury in the course of your workouts and how they can help if you do suffer one.
Whether it is lifting weights in a gym, running or participating in sports, working out comes with a risk of injury. The repeated and strenuous movements involved in working out can put you at risk of suffering either an acute or progressive injury.
There are plenty of strategies available to you, however, to help give yourself the best chance of avoiding the unnecessary pain, discomfort and fitness setbacks associated with an injury. Some are common knowledge and you can undertake on your own, while others should be done under the watchful eye of a professional such as a sports physiotherapist. Here are some measures you can take to reduce your chances of an injury and help aid your recovery if you have sustained a workout injury.
Warm-up and cool-down
Every workout you start should feature dedicated periods of light exercise, called warm-ups and cool-downs at the start and end of the time. Warm-ups are intended to gradually increase your heart rate and loosen your muscles, easing your body into working and adjusting to strenuous activity.
Cool-downs slowly bring your heart back to its normal rate and gives 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, intensity and frequency of your workouts. Many acute injuries result from pushing yourself too hard too early.
As your level of fitness and ability, both generally and for specific activities, increases, so too will your ability to push your boundaries. This both applies to returning to a workout routine and when just starting up after a break. If you push yourself to the degree you are used to before, you will likely injure or reinjured yourself.
Like you shouldn't push yourself too hard, make sure you don't overwork yourself by doing one activity too often. Frequent repetition of the same muscle movements without resting can cause injuries like tendonitis or shin splints that are caused by overuse.
To avoid this, vary the muscle groups your workouts engage every day. The specifics will always vary based on the individual, so you should ask your physiotherapist what kind 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 able to assess what parts of your body hurt or feel weaker than others. when it comes to targeting workouts to parts of your body that are giving you trouble, you should always defer to your physiotherapist. They will be able to identify issues you aren't aware of and provide expert guidance on how to work those areas without causing injuries or pain.
Treating Workout Injuries
At Motion Works Physiotherapy Orleans, 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've suffered an acute workout injury, the first step is always to control pain and swelling. This often involves resting, icing, compressing and elevating the injury. However, the pain dissipating doesn't mean that your injury is healed.
If your injury isn't properly retrained and rehabilitated, you will be at risk of your injury reoccurring or leading to a new one altogether. Our Orleans 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
- Active exercises to restore flexibility, strength, endurance and balance
- Acupuncture for the management of pain and swelling
- Ultrasound and other electrotherapy agents for the management of acute injuries
Are you looking to find ways to prevent a workout injury, or have recently suffered one?
Our team of physiotherapists is specially trained in sports medicine and can help you to recover.
Check in with the Motion Works Physiotherapy Orleans blog regularly for helpful tips, news, information and advice about physiotherapy treatment and your health.