Injury during workout happens when we don’t follow proper postures and alignments and stress ourselves against our limits, either gradually or explosively. According to our flexibility and strengthen, our muscles, ligaments, and tendons can take only limited strain and pressure. Here are 7 common weight lifting injuries that are an outcome of poor performance of simple exercises.
1. Disc Herniation
Also known as slipped disk, disc herniation is a medical condition that affects the spine. Usually, it is caused by bad posture or poor lifting mechanics, straining the disc and resulting in a tear in the outer ring. Symptoms include localized back pain and feeling of numbness or tingling traveling down in legs. Another cause of pain is degenerative disc disease – wear and tear of the spine.
Stand straight with your back against a wall. Feel the small curve at your lower back. This position is called neutral spine, which should be maintained during all strengthening exercises. When lifting weights, focus on hinging at the hips, and engage your core to maintain a strong neutral spine.
Note: Be careful while doing exercises like the Russian twist which puts a lot of stress on your discs.
2. IT Band Syndrome
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is the most common injury among frequent runners. It happens when the ligament – iliotibial band that runs down the outside of the thigh from hip to shin, is tight or inflamed. The symptoms include swelling and pain on the outside of the knee and severe pain with the movement of the knee.
Make sure your knees are aligned with your toes. Watch that your hips remain neutral when you run or perform single leg exercises. Do exercises that strengthen your glutes and stabilize your hip and knee joints, to take the stress away from the IT band.
3. Achilles Tendonitis
It is a condition that causes pain at the back of the leg near the heel. Experienced by runners, it exacerbates, especially while running uphill or on sand. Take rest to decrease the inflammation, and allow the tendons to calm down. Doing heel raises will gradually build up the strength in your calf muscle.
Before running or doing leg exercises similar to the squat don’t forget to stretch your ankles and calves.
4. SLAP Tear
SLAP tear is an injury to the labrum of the shoulder. It is caused by acute trauma and repetitive stress from motions like throwing, overhead lifting or forcefully pulling the arm such as when trying to catch a heavy object. Be wary of exercises that repeatedly stress your arms overhead or when you fully rotate them. If you can’t raise your arm or feel that one or both shoulders are weak, or experience popping/catching in certain movements, consult your health practitioner.
Warm up your upper back before working out. Exercise only through a range-of-motion in which you can move your arm without pain. Avoid arm strengthening movements where you have to place them behind you. Also, avoid painful movements with your arms overhead.
5. Tennis Elbow
It is a common term for a condition caused by the overuse of arm, forearm and elbow muscles that result in elbow pain. It is a significant problem faced by tennis players, hence the name. Caused by an abrupt or subtle injury of the muscles or tendon area around the elbow, it is characterized by an ache on the outside of elbow while straightening your arm or pulling your palm towards you.
Perform heavy gripping exercises such as farmer’s carries. This will warm up your entire body and help build grip strength. Practice exercises like crawling and pushups that will maintain your wrist and forearm flexibility
6. Hamstring Pulls And Tears
A Hamstring can be a pull, a partial tear or a complete tear of the muscles from the bone. You will experience a sharp and shooting pain in the back of the thigh. The cause of the injury can be an explosive activity like sprinting or jumping, which puts sudden stress on the hamstring muscles.
Do a thorough warm-up before your sprint including easier sets of exercises. Make sure you maintain optimal flexibility in your hamstrings by stretching and strengthening them with exercises like the deadlift. Perform exercises to strengthen your glutes also, as they help support the hamstrings when you perform sprints and jumps.
7. Patellar Tendonitis
The patella or the knee cap is the reason behind the pain for every athlete. Patellar tendonitis is a common injury, which causes pain at the patellar tendon just below the kneecap. Give rest to your knee, and avoid any stress until the inflammation goes away. Then, gradually, focus on building up the strength of your legs. Pay a visit to a therapist who can help you progressively rebuild the load on the quads and the patellar tendon with exercises.
Keep the middle of your knee in line with the 2nd toe during every leg exercise – squats, lunges, step-ups. Make immediate adjustments if your knees go off the track. This helps decrease lateral stresses on the knee, which can worsen the knee problems.
Overstressing can lead to injuries, and healing from some of them might require complete rest. Carry out your exercises cautiously, without hurting your body. Know your potential, and warm up well before doing any heavy exercises.