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Aching joints, painful muscles and an inflexible back are just a few of the many complaints most bodybuilders as well as weight trainers complain about at some time or another. Every kind of connective tissue or muscular injury something that is a very common concern found hassling athletes generally but are extremely prevalent in the bodybuilding community.
The reason why it is so common in the typical athlete is because of the physical as well as the psychological stress placed on the body. Personal injuries can cause you to lose the hard gained muscle development you have achieved, causing you to skip workouts, can lead to poor sleeping habits and even end a promising career. We will briefly describe some of these symptoms of common injuries and also add a few helpful tips on how to avoid them from occurring.
Below is a list of the types of common injuries seen by people who deal with sports which require resistance training to improve performance.
Tendonitis: Inflammation and swelling of the tendon connecting muscle to bone.
Strain: Over-stretch/over-use of a body-part muscle.
Sprain: Over-stretching of a ligament that connects two bones.
Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa sac which acts as padding in between a muscle and a bony prominence.
Avulsion: Complete tearing of a muscle, typically along or direct at the junction between the muscle and its tendon.
Contusion: Bruising usually caused by impact.
Fracture: Breaking of a bone which can be complete, partial and also from compression.
Listed below are the most common injuries treated:
Neck Strain: Injury caused from abnormal stress that is placed on the muscles of the neck. Commonly found when doing shoulder shrugs, squats, etc.
The different kinds of complications listed above can and will affect the majority of strength training athletes at some time or another if they do not take the required precautions.
Pectoral Tear: Injury resulting from avulsion/tearing of the tendon connecting the Pectoralis Major to the humorous, usually seen in people who use too many anabolic steroids. A minor tear will be painful and may demonstrate minimal bruising. A major tear will result in the balling of the muscle towards the sternum with a significant amount of bruising.
Triceps Tendonitis: Pain along the tendon of the triceps connecting into the pointed part of the elbow, usually caused from overuse.
Lateral Epicondylitis / Tennis Elbow: Pain along the lateral epicondyle (outer bone on the upper portion of the forearm). Results from strain placed along the origin of the extensor muscles of the forearm, which can ultimately result in the tearing of these muscles.
Medial Epicondylitis/ Golfer's Elbow: Pain at the medial epicondyle (inner bone on the upper portion of the forearm). Due to overuse of the flexor muscles of the wrist usually indicated by pain with gripping weights.
Back Strain/Sprain is indicated by pain at center of lower back, along top of gluteal muscles, or along Para-spinal muscles. This is caused by lifting too much weight, or using bad form when doing squats or deadlifts or any other similar heavy compound movement.
Knee Strain/Sprain: Various injuries include meniscal tears, patellar tendonitis, ACL tears, and bursitis. All of which will be pain-full along the joint line of the knee, behind the knee joint, or just below the knee cap along the patellar tendon, which connects your knee to the muscle.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a term used by sports scientists to describe soreness in a muscle that has been worked. Typically occurs within 24-48 hours after training and should be completely gone within 72 hours. Resulting from a build-up of cortisol, lactic acid, or micro tears in the muscle.
In order to efficiently prevent injuries from happening we need to be able to implement some practical and very doable solutions. Preventing an injury should be at the very top of every bodybuilder's or weight trainers list. The slogan "No pain, No gain" is simply not true but it is also a good way to ensure that you will hurt yourself, sometimes irreparably or permanently. Here are just a few a few ideas on how you can effectively prevent any injury from happening in the first place.
Warm Up: Perform 15-20 repetitions of the movement you are preparing to do but using very light weights. You can also aid the warm-up process by simply walking on the treadmill for 5-10 minutes before your workout starts.
Stretch: After warming up, you should always stretch the muscles you are preparing to work. Take the joint to the end of its range of motion and hold it for about 30 seconds or a minute. It is important to hold the stretch and not bounce on the end of the stretch. Bouncing a non-warm, non-stretched muscle can result in injury.
Focus: Keep your mind on what you are doing. The easiest way to hurt yourself or someone else in the gym is to not pay attention to what you are doing. It can be very easy to drop a plate or dumb bell on your foot if you are watching the girls in the aerobics class or chatting with your buddy. Maintaining focus will also help to keep your form correct and to give a safe spot to your partner.
Diet: A diet with substantial amounts of protein will help to maintain healthy muscle fiber strength and help to promote a quicker recovery. Supplements such as Glutamine will also help to speed up your recovery.
Shoes: DO NOT WEAR SANDALS TO THE GYM. Open-toed shoes offer no protection whatsoever against any heavy falling plates or other people stepping on your foot, or catching a toenail on the edge of a machine. It is strongly recommended that you wear stiff-soled comfortable shoes. If you do a lot of running or walking you should replace your shoes every 3-4 months.
Making use of knee wraps during heavy squats can also help to protect your knee joints. They do this by helping to increase external pressure and distribute the strain across a larger area. Wrist wraps can be very useful during heavy lifts such as deadlifts or shrugs. They will not only prevent you from dropping the weight but will allow you to lift a heavier weight due to the fact that you don't have to worry about your grip.
If you do happen to get injured here are a few recommendations to help get a speedy recovery.
Go see a doctor: If the injury is serious enough to see a doctor then you probably need to. Postponing the inevitable will only delay recovery time and the amount of time to get back in the gym. The word PRICE does not have anything to do with money believe it or not.
PRICE: This is a simple saying to follow after any injury:
P: Protection: Protect the injured area from further injury by supporting it with a brace or splint.
R: Rest: Give the injured area time to heal. Typically symptoms should resolve within 48 hours.
I: Ice: Your best friend. Helps to limit inflammation, swelling, and internal blood loss caused by injury will also decrease amount of scar tissue that will circulate to the injured area.
C: Compression: Application of an ace wrap or towel placed over the injured area will help to decrease swelling.
E: Elevation: Elevate the injured area above the level of your heart. This will help to slow blood and the flow of blood to the area which will help to decrease blood loss and swelling.
Use Common Sense: If performing a certain exercise exasperates your symptoms, don't do it. Give your body a little therapeutic rest and let the injury heal. Missing one workout or exercise will not cause you any harm and it is often recommended by many coaches to take a week break from training.
Disclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only. We strongly recommend that you consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. MuscleNet.com is not a licensed medical care provider. The reader should understand that participating in any exercise program can result in physical injury and agrees to do so at his own risk. The findings and opinions of authors expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of MuscleNet.com.