Common Gym/Workout Injuries: Prevention and Tips

When it comes to working out, there are a vast amount of reasons that people find themselves in the gym or at home with equipment. They want to improve their health, looks, or get stronger. However, there are some very common gym injuries that you should be aware of before you start any exercise program. Whether you’re at your home gym or the neighborhood gym, these workout injuries can stop you in your tracks. Here’s a look at some of the most common injuries and how you can prevent them.

Some of the Most Common Injuries

Working out can bring a ton of health benefits to your body but it can also bring pain if you’re not careful. Common workout injuries include strained or pulled muscles, twisted ankles, injuries to your knees or shoulders, tendinitis and shin splints can all come from working out. These are easily prevented however, if you take the following precautions before every workout.

Check with Your Doctor

Makes sure that if you’re a male over 45 or a female over 55 that you check with your doctor before starting up your regimen. If you have other medical conditions that could cause you gym injuries, then be sure to talk with them before you start.

Start Slow

Be sure that when you do start out on your workout plan that you do not start out with a full body weightlifting plan. Take it easy on yourself and build up your repetitions.

Always Warm-Up and Cool Down

When it comes to working out, one of the most vital parts of the whole process is the warm-up and cool down. The warm-up allows your muscles to get ready to work out and move more than they are used to. It will help to increase your heartrate and assists in loosening up the muscles so they are ready for movement. Cool down helps to safely bring your heartrate back to normal and stretch out the muscles you just used.

Listen to What Your Body Says

If you’re new to working out or if you’re seasoned, be sure you listen to what your body says. It will tell you if you’re pushing too far. If you also deal with arthritis or some other type of pain in your joints, be sure to care for those during the workout to prevent any further injury.

Be sure you get rest and vary your routine to prevent workout injuries. You can work on legs one day, run the next, swim, or bike a couple days a week. Varying the regimen that you follow also helps to prevent these painful gym injuries.

Scapula (Shoulder Blade) Fractures: Treatment & Management

It is very uncommon to suffer from scapula fractures but it does happen. This can be due to a major trauma or other events but usually results in shoulder pain and treatment being needed. They typically occur in less than 1% of the population but do still happen from time to time. The most common age group that suffers from shoulder blade fractures are young men between the ages of 25 and 45. This is basically because of the types of activities and events that age group participates in.

Causes

A shoulder blade fracture can be caused by different traumatic events. An automobile accident is one such event that can cause your shoulder pain and to fracture the scapula. Another common cause of this injury is a fall that pertains to direct impact on the shoulder. This could be an example of falling off a ladder and onto your shoulder, or falling from a height that ends in landing on your shoulder itself. This could also result in direct injuries from a baseball bat or even an impact from a hammer.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a scapula fracture can include one holding their arm close to the body to reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation, and the inability to use the arm. If moving the arm increases the pain, this may mean that you have a shoulder fracture.

Treatment Options

Most of the time shoulder blade fractures do not require surgery for treatment. In some severe cases, surgery will be required but this is not the norm. Typically ice and anti-inflammatory medications are used to help reduce swelling and the shoulder pain that is associated with this injury. Your shoulder may also be immobilized in a sling for up to four weeks or more depending on the severity of the injury. This keeps you from moving the shoulder and potentially reinjuring it before it is properly healed. Physical therapy may also be needed to help in rebuilding the mobility after the injury has taken place.

While most times shoulder blade fractures are easily treated, they need to be seen by a medical doctor before letting them go. This is because most often a shoulder fracture has been caused by a very traumatic injury. This could also be a sign that other injuries have taken place in the body that you may not be aware of. Always have a medical examination after a fall or injury such as a car accident to rule out any life-threatening injury.

Biceps Tendinitis: Cause, Symptom & Treatment

When it comes to lifting, moving, writing, and doing everyday chores, your biceps go through a lot of movement. If you’re doing too much you can begin to notice biceps pain start to creep in and you may think it’s just overuse of your muscles. However, it is important to know that your biceps can be injured through lifting heavier than normal objects, overusing the muscle or other ways. One of the injuries you can develop is called biceps tendinitis. Discover below what biceps tendinitis treatment is available and how you can tell if that is what you have going on.

Causes

The main cause of tendinitis is due to overuse of the bicep muscle. This could be because you’re a baseball player, you lift heavy objects on a daily basis or you love to swim. You can have this show up in your bicep, elbow or shoulder. It is generally caused by the repetitive motions being done over and over by your arm. So if you have a job that is a repetitive movement, or if your favorite sport does the same, you can have a cause of tendonitis start to show up.

Symptoms

You may have biceps pain start in one or both of your arms depending on which arm is affected. Pain is generally located in the shoulder or elbow and not in both places at the same time. You may notice a sharp pain if you have a tear in the tendon or even bruising and swelling. You may also notice pain during movement that has caused the problem in the first place. If you have torn the tendon, then you may require surgery to fix the problem.

Treatment Options

There are a few different options for biceps tendinitis treatment. You can start with ice packs on the affected area. This can help to reduce any inflammation in the joint or bicep area that is causing the pain. You can also take an over the counter anti-inflammatory to help make sure it reduces inflammation and the pain. Resting the arm that is hurting is also highly advised. Try to take some time off of the activity that caused the pain so that your arm can rest and heal.

Biceps pain can be quite difficult to deal with, especially when it starts to affect your daily life. Be sure to take preventative measures if you have a repetitive job or task done each day. Change up your routine and get plenty of rest to make sure you don’t injure your arm further.

4 Ways to Protect Ankle from Sprain

If you’ve ever had a sprained ankle you know just how painful they can be. Sometimes they can feel as if you’ve broken bones or torn ligaments but all you’ve done is twisted, or sprained, the ankle severely. Once your ankle sprain has finally healed, you may be susceptible to reinjuring the ankle if you do not take a few precautions. Here are four ways you can protect your ankle from reinjuring it after you’ve healed from the ankle sprain itself.

Wear a Brace

If it’s only been a few weeks since you hurt your ankle, wearing a brace for a month or two while you’re exercising is a good idea. It will help to support the ankle during vigorous activity that might otherwise reinjure you. The semi-rigid type brace is best for right after you’ve injured yourself and you’re healed. It will offer the necessary support and protection during running, walking and other exercise. There are also other wraps and braces you can use to support your ankle during the time of gaining your strength back such as air filled or lace braces.

Balance Work

Work on balancing on your foot that you injured. By practicing balancing exercises on that leg it helps to strengthen the leg and ankle to protect it from injury. Start out by only balancing on the leg for around 30 seconds or so. You can slowly increase this time as you gain more strength in the muscles. This should be done no less than three times a day and can be done more if you’re ankle is holding up to it.

Heel Raises

You should also perform heel raises to help strengthen the ankle. You can do these from a seated position or you can do them standing. Just as with the balance work, start by doing the heel raises and stretches for at least 30 seconds at a time and increase to three minutes or more as you gradually hold it longer.

Other Exercises

Other types of exercises you can use to help prevent an ankle sprain are toe raises, ankle circles and using steps to gain strength back in the ankle that was injured. You can also practice in and out motions where you turn your ankle as far in as you can and hold then turn it back out and hold. Adding in resistance to the in and out motion can also help you build strength back in the joint and ligaments.

These are just a few ways to help you gain strength and protect yourself from having another sprained ankle.

Elderly Hip Fracture: Top 4 Symptoms & Prevention Tips

Growing older comes with its own set of dangers and precautions that need to be taken to ensure that you avoid a variety of problems that could arise. As you age, your bones may become weaker and not be able to handle a fall or trip as they once could. One of the major causes for concern is a hip fracture in elderly generations. The hip fracture itself can lead to many other problems due to the inability to move it well and being down and out for a while to recover. Here are the top four symptoms of a hip fracture and a few prevention tips to protect you or your loved one.

Can Not Move

After your loved one or yourself has taken a fall, you may not be able to move right away. That can be a sure sign that your hip has fractured during the tumble. It may be very difficult or even impossible for you to get back up on your own.

Pain and Bruising

Another sure sign of a hip fracture is the severe pain that may be felt in your hip or groin area. This can be quite excruciating and can make it very difficult to function. You may also notice bruising and swelling in the hip area as well. Your loved one may feel a lot of stiffness as well in the hip area if they have fractured their hip.

Not Able to Put Weight on the Leg

If you’re dealing with a hip fracture in elderly loved ones, you may notice they cannot put weight on the leg that the hip is fractured on. They may try but cannot succeed as there is just too much pain in that joint area.

Outward Turning or Shorter Leg

You may notice that the leg on the injured side is turned outwards toward the foot in a way that is not natural for it to be. There also may be signs of one leg being shorter than the other when there is a hip fracture present.

Prevention Tips

A fractured hip in the elderly can be quite dangerous so there are a few prevention tips that should be taken into consideration. Be sure to always have assistance around if they have trouble standing or sitting down. Make sure that if there are rugs or carpets in the areas that your loved ones frequent that they are tacked down or remove them if possible. Be sure that the pathways and walkways are clear of items that could cause tripping. Do not have wheels on any of the chairs they use and be sure there is a chair or safety rails/handles in bathrooms. These items can help to prevent a very dangerous situation.

What is Piriformis Syndrome? – Symptoms and Treatment

When you’re suffering from pain in the buttocks or lower back pain, you may be on the journey to find out the source of the pain. There are many different aspects that could be causing your pain and symptoms including injury, bruising, bursitis or piriformis syndrome. There could be other causes as well but discovering what piriformis syndrome is can sometimes alleviate all your lower back pain problems.

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

This problem is not too common but can cause pain in the buttocks, lower back, and it can radiate down the leg and into the feet. This problem is typically caused by some sort of compression on the sciatic nerve or a contraction of the piriformis muscle itself. This contraction can cause the nerve to be compressed and it can be quite painful to deal with pain in this area.

This can be caused by trauma to your back or piriformis muscle itself, overuse of the area, and sometimes a pinched nerve can be irritated and can cause the contractions which will make the pain more intense.

Symptoms to Look For

If you’re wondering if your lower back pain is stemming from the piriformis muscle, here are a few symptoms to look for:

  • Tingling or numbness
  • Pain becomes more severe when you try to do certain things such as climbing stairs, stretching your legs out straight, or walking can sometimes cause the pain to worsen
  • The pain can radiate from the back down to your foot

 

Treatment for Piriformis Syndrome

A variety of treatment options are available to help you deal with this intense pain that piriformis syndrome can cause.  Some find that doing stretches to help the muscle relax and stretch out can offer great relief from the pain. Some exercises such as Yoga positions can also help to relieve the muscle contraction and work the muscle loose. Some treatment methods include physical therapy or massage can help to relieve that muscle cramping and contraction.

The use of NSAID’s can also be helpful in reducing inflammation and pain in this case. Injection therapy has also been used and in very rare cases, surgery is needed to help relieve the pain and the pressure placed on the nerves.

If you’re suffering from this type of lower back pain it can cause you to miss out on so many things. You can do some stretches and exercises at home, coupled with a lot of rest to help the muscle relax and release the contractions. It’s very important that if you suffer from this syndrome that you keep stretched and be sure to not do any activities that could aggravate the problem.

Common Causes for Meniscus Tear & Prevention Tips

Your knees bear the brunt of a lot of your movement. They are where your legs bend to be able to walk or run properly, they bear the weight of your body, and they are how you can make fast or quick turns and movements when you’re in motion. What happens when your knee is injured? There are a couple of common injuries found in the knee region and one of the main ones is a meniscus injury. This can vary in pain levels and treatment options depending on how bad the meniscus tear is. Here are a few things to know about the injury and treatment/prevention tips out there.

Common Reasons for a Meniscus Tear

Some of the most common reasons for this type of injury is due to sports or heavy lifting. It occurs when you turn very quickly or you twist your knee when your foot is firmly planted on the ground. This can happen in baseball as you’re trying to make that out or it can happen when you’re lifting furniture to move into a new home. It all happens as you twist your knee while it’s slightly bent and you do not move your foot. No matter what causes the meniscus tear, it can vary in levels of injury and pain.

Levels of Meniscus Injury

With just a minor injury you typically experience pain and slight swelling, but it will go away after a few weeks or so. You can make sure to ice it and give it a lot of rest to help speed the process. A more moderate level of tear or injury will cause pain at the side of the knee or middle of your knee. You will notice that the swelling gradually gets worse and it can be quite painful to bend your knee or squat.

For those with a major tear in the knee you may find that your meniscus has torn off pieces and it is now moving into the joint area. You may find your knee gives way when you’re walking and the pain and swelling continue to get worse.

Treatment and Prevention

Treating your meniscus injury is usually done with rest, elevation and with ice to keep swelling down. In severe cases surgery and physical therapy are also required. To prevent the meniscus tear, be sure you are cautious of how you move and take care to not turn quickly on your knees. Be sure to always have help when lifting items that are too heavy by yourself. Try to pick up your foot to maneuver instead of keeping it on the ground so that your entire leg can turn with you.

3 Causes for Finger Joint Pain and Treatments

Whether you work in manual labor all day or you’re at an office job, your fingers and hands are quite busy. Daily tasks can become difficult to do if you’re suffering from finger joint pain or finger pain. Learning the most common causes for finger pain and the treatment options available can help you to live life to the fullest again, without the pain in your hands or fingers. Here are a few common causes of pain in the joints of your fingers.

Injury

Perhaps you may not have even realized you injured your hand or fingers and this is the cause of your pain. Other times you know when you did it and can pinpoint what caused the finger pain. Either way an injury can cause pain in the joints and fingers of the hand making it difficult to use that appendage until it’s healed.

Arthritis

There are several types of arthritis that can cause finger joint pain. RA, or rheumatoid arthritis, causes inflammation in the joints and can cause knots and growths on the fingers. It can also cause them to twist and cause more pain. Arthritis can come along with age or it can come along due to genetics. Osteoarthritis is another form that can affect the hands and fingers.

Other Causes

Another common source of finger pain is an infection from a cut or scrape. If you do not take care of the injury when it happens, you can end up with a painful infection. You could also develop neuropathy if you suffer from uncontrolled diabetes or have had diabetes for a very long time. This can cause numbness and pain in the appendages.

One other common cause of finger joint pain is carpal tunnel syndrome. It may start out as numbness and tingling but can progress to more painful problems if not taken care of.

Treatment Options

For pain in the fingers and joints you can take over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce the inflammation causing the pain. If your finger is broken or injured the doctor may put a brace on the finger so that you can reduce the movement giving it time to heal. For other symptoms such as carpal tunnel you may also find a brace to steady the wrist and hands can help to alleviate the symptoms.

For those suffering with arthritis, you may find that your doctor can prescribe you something to help with the symptoms and to reduce the pain. Finger joint pain can be caused by a variety of ailments and it’s important to pinpoint where your pain is coming from.

Toe Walking in Children: Symptoms, Causes and Management

Somewhere around the ages of 12-14 months old your children start to walk. While in most cases children walk flat on their feet, some children start walking on their tip toes instead of flat feet. Generally, this will disappear after about three months or so of learning to walk. Usually at the latest it is by the age of three that they will put their feet flat on the ground to walk. However, there are some cases where children have toe walking as their normal walk and they never put their feet flat on the ground. They will walk either on the ball of their feet or straight up on their tip toe areas.

Causes of Idiopathic Toe Walking

There are many different aspects that can be the cause of toe walking. Some children with cerebral palsy tend to walk on their toes or the ball of their foot. Muscular dystrophy is another common cause of the tip toe walk pattern. Even some children with autism have been known to walk this way but most times that is not the case.

Features of this to watch out for include things such as your children walking on only the tip toe areas or the balls of their feet, they walk with straight knees, and there is often a history of this type of walking in the family. Children with toe walking can typically keep up with other kids their age even when just balancing on their toes. You will notice they also walk this way on both feet, not just one or the other. They also can stand still with both feet on the ground flat but when they began to walk they go back up on their toes.

Management of the Symptoms and Condition

If your child is still toe walking after two years old, it is time to consult your physician. There are exercises you can do at home with your child to help strengthen those muscles and help them walk flat on their feet. You can work with them on calf-stretch exercises, Achilles tendon stretches, and also sit to stand exercises to help them stretch those muscles and get them to working properly.

Shoes are another consideration in the treatment and management of toe walking. While shoes alone will not correct the issue, it can help them to have the support they need to bring their foot down farther than they do when barefoot. Make sure that the shoes your child has includes a high cut shoe that includes a wide sole, firm heel of the shoe, and rigid support.

Common Cause of Overuse Injuries: Prevention & Treatment

Sports are a great way to keep active and healthy throughout your entire life. One concern with playing a variety sports are the common overuse injuries or even stress fractures. There are many different injuries that can come about from using the same muscles over and over, but there are ways to prevent them as well. Take a look at some of the most common overuse injuries and how you can avoid or treat them if you fall victim.

Going Farther Than You Actually Can

When it comes to a new exercise program or sports adventure, you must be realistic on what you are capable of handling. Most common injuries come about due to the inability to admit you can only go so far with your new activity. Start slow and make sure to take your time in pushing yourself. If you push yourself too far too fast you can end up with stress fractures or pulled muscles and ligaments.

Know The Correct Form

When you are learning a new sport or exercise, it is important that you use the correct form at all times. Work with a professional or seasoned trainer in the specific sport you’re trying to learn. This will help you to learn the correct form before you start making bad habits in the way you play or perform the move. Bad form can cause a variety of overuse injuries in your body when you do not learn the right way to perform the sport or move beforehand.

Preventing and Treating These Injuries

To treat an overuse injury, you want to make sure to start cutting back on the practice during your time of being injured. Be sure to warm-up properly during every exercise or workout. Ice down the injury so that you can help to reduce any inflammation that may be present and be sure to get plenty of rest. You may also find that anti-inflammatory medications will help during treatment as well.

To prevent these common overuse injuries from happening in the first place, be sure you learn the proper form before you start an exercise or program. Make sure your shoes are worn in but also offer the proper support for the activity you’re about to do. Remember you do not have to be the fastest at the program right away. Learn the proper technique from the get go and take it easy to ensure you have it right. All of these tips can help you to prevent injures such as stress fractures from happening to you and taking you out of the game.