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5 Common Workout Injuries and How to Heal Them

No matter if you’re a pro athlete that competes and brings home trophies or a just a recreational gym-goer, injuries happen to everyone. While pros are more prone to injuries due to overuse of their musculoskeletal system, weekend warriors can also end up with a serious workout injury that might put them in bed rest. But, how do you prevent and heal injuries when you don’t know what to expect? Here are the five most common workout injuries that active people experience. 

Shin splints

This injury most often occurs when you start a new exercise regimen or bring your workouts up a notch. The pain starts to occur when muscles, bone tissue and tendons are overworked and overused and they cause issues along the tibia (shinbone). Most athletes who suffer from shin splints do a lot of running and they often experience it early in the season when they increase activity or boost their running mileage quickly. Usually, this injury can be healed with some cold compresses and rest. However, it can also be prevented by gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts and the use of compression sleeves for your legs. 

Tendinitis (tendonitis) 

Tendinitis occurs when the connective tissue that binds muscles and bones together becomes inflamed. Some most common forms of tendinitis are golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, wrist injuries and Achilles tendinitis. The symptoms of this injury are pain and stiffness in the affected area. Luckily, tendinitis can be prevented with thorough stretching before any exercise and improving your form. As soon as you feel pain, make sure to rest and try to mix up your exercises so that you don’t overwork your tendons. 

Sciatica 

Sciatica is a specific kind of back pain that travels down the leg and can even reach the foot. Aside from strong and radiating pain, sciatica can also involve numbness, burning and tingling in the leg. This injury is most commonly seen in athletes who spend a lot of time flexed forward like cyclists and those that perform a lot of trunk rotation like tennis, golf and baseball players. What can help ease the pain is stretching of the back and hamstrings as well as rest. 

If pain and numbness or tingling persist, make sure to seek professional help from a good physiotherapist. Reputable Castle Hill physio clinic that focuses on back problems can help get you back on your feet quickly and efficiently. Professionals tend to use many different techniques from physiotherapy to stretching and balance classes that allow people to transition from injury to wellness in no time. 

Hamstring strain

This muscle is located on your leg, at the back of the thigh. While very powerful, hamstrings are often very tight which makes them susceptible to strain. Most commonly, hamstring strain or tear results from poor stretching or lack of stretching before physical activity. Besides pain, hamstring tear often follows bruising at the back of the knee, so if you notice any of that, make sure to apply cold compresses and continue with gentle and slow stretching and strengthening. If the pain persists, physical therapy can help promote healing and repairing the pulled muscle. 

Patellofemoral syndrome

Most sports injuries involve the legs, with your knees being especially vulnerable. One of the most common knee injuries is caused by a slip or a fall onto the knee which can cause swelling of the joint and muscle imbalance. This is also known as patellofemoral syndrome (named by patella or kneecap) and usually involves swelling that leads to muscle imbalance of the two muscles that help proper kneecap function. In turn, this imbalance leads to more swelling which makes the problem even worse. 

The best remedy for patellofemoral syndrome is rest and icing that usually reduces swelling and pain. Some light strengthening exercises for the inner thigh muscles and gentle stretches of the outer thigh muscles can help with imbalance correction as well. If the pain and knee dysfunction continues for more than two weeks, you need to seek professional help from a physiotherapist who will prescribe more intense strengthening and stretching therapy. 

When you know what to watch out for, it’s much easier to stay safe. But, in case you experience any of these common workout injuries, now you have tools to fight them and come out a winner. Training hard yet being safe is the key to a healthy lifestyle and good sporting results.