Ways to Avoid Common Injuries in Fitness

Getting back into the gym after a prolonged absence from a lifestyle that includes daily physical activity can be an arduous process; the last occurrence we, as renewed fitness enthusiasts, wish to encounter is an injury stemming from muscular imbalances and/or incorrect ergonomic stature in exercise. Jumper’s Knee, shin splints, shoulder ailments, and ankle sprains are all commonly occurring instances in the realm of “injuries-that-could’ve-been-avoided”.

Patellar tendinitis, often referred to as ‘Jumper’s Knee’, is most frequently sustained by active lifestyle enthusiasts after the repeated impact from excessive running or jumping begins to damage and irritate tissue and other anatomical structure around the knee. Strengthening your hamstrings, using a foam roller from the breach of the waistline down to mid-shin on both sides, doing exercises specifically targeting vastus medialis (‘tear drop’ muscle), and other controlled movement intended to resolve hip alignment issues can be useful methods when used together in a dynamic, therapeutic routine. Researchers associated with corephysicians.org recently stated that knees that have undergone prolonged periods pushing through the pain of Jumper’s Knee may take up to several months of bi-weekly (minimal) physical therapy sessions and the complete cessation of the activities causing the symptoms to alleviate the condition all together. Once an individual has incurred an isolated case of Jumper’s Knee, he/she will always be prone to the condition if necessary precautionary measures (stretching, imbalance awareness, etc.) aren’t taken regularly. So the next time you think about playing recreational sports without warming up, lifting weights without the intentional stretching recommended, or any other activity that could be potentially strenuous on the knees, remember to engage in moderate warm up methods to prevent the exposure-risk of patellar tendinitis.

Some people blame uncomfortable insoles in athletic shoes, others say it stems from genetically predisposed factors, but no matter what the origin may be, it does not discount the amount of pain and troublesome symptoms that entail from moderate-severe shin splints.

Doing exercises that target both anterior and posterior muscles in the leg such as toe pull-backs, toe raises, heel walking, and a seated calf stretch can all help alleviate commonly occurring symptoms associated with shin splints. One should never ignore symptoms that may point to having developed shin splints, as the pain will only increase and there will be a larger risk of sustaining a stress fracture as time goes on. Persistent running after a long duration of time spent physically inactive can also be a risk-enhancing factor; often times, people looking to change a lifestyle begin their fitness regimen by testing their bodies with endurance runs, which, without proper stretching preceding the exercise, can be a segue to future bodily ailment. Get ahead of the one of the most common anatomical malady.

Shoulder and ankle injuries are very common in fitness, as the new-wave emergence of innovative cross fit workouts, fitness-oriented obstacle courses, and other obscure means of attaining physical wellness have made a significant impact in the world of exercise. Wrapping areas with common joint exposure, ensuring range of motion and fluidity, and taking supplements like Glucosamine and chondroitin are all legitimate means of taking primary care of areas in the body where these nagging injuries often occur.

References:

  • HIA. (2010). Patellar Tendon Injury (Jumper’s Knee). Retrieved March 16, 2016, from http://www.corephysicians.org/news-and-health-library/health-library/injuries/inju3197/
  • Ogiela, D., (2014, November 25). Shin splints – self-care: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000654.htm

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