Common Gym Injuries and How to Prevent Them
Common Gym injuries
And how to prevent them
Author: Dr. Alissar Ayouby (Chiropractor)
In this article we discuss some of the more common gym injuries that our patients experience, and we provide suggestions on how to help prevent them.
It is an unfortunate truth that going to the gym and staying fit can lead to injury. The good news is that many common gym injuries are avoidable, with the right conditioning, proper technique and equipment.
The two most common injuries at the gym are muscle strains and pulls. These injuries account for more than half of all injuries in general, and they're usually caused by a sudden jerking motion (a quick pull), or through incorrect technique.
Other common injuries that we see from the gym include lower back pain (especially from deadlifts), disc pain, and injuries to ligaments.
Read on to find out more about the common gym injuries we see and how we help treat them.
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Chiropractors commonly help treat a wide range of common gym injuries. We’ll help to identify any underlying cause of your musculoskeletal issue and recommend appropriate treatment and therapy to get you feeling good again.
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What are the most common gym injuries?
Gym injuries happen quite often and affect nearly every gym-goer. Whether you are doing cross-fit, a group class, or working out solo, injuries often occur. he most common injuries include:
- Muscle strains and pulls (e.g. groin, hamstring)
- Torn ligaments (e.g. ACL)
- Lower back pain and disc injury
This can lead to a range of problems from pain and discomfort to permanent damage that prevents physical activity in the future.
What is a muscle strain?
A muscle strain is an injury that occurs when a muscle is overstretched or torn. They are the result of a contraction of the muscle fibres.
The common causes for muscle strains include:
- overuse of muscles,
- performing certain gym exercises in a way that overloads the muscle,
- sudden movements, jerks or tugs on muscles which exert excessive force on them.
The most common symptoms associated with muscle strain are: pain and tenderness, limited range of motion and weakness in that injured area.
Can chiropractors help muscle strain?
One way chiropractic care may be able to help strained muscles is through musculoskeletal manipulation and soft tissue therapy. These techniques treat problematic joints and tissues to reduce the pain of a pulled muscle and help to release the contraction of the muscle fibres. Overall, this helps promote improved mobility and boost your healing process.
What is a ligament injury?
Ligaments are strong pieces of connective tissue that connect two or more bones. Ligaments hold our body together and make it stable.
An example of a common ligament injury is an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). It is one of the key ligaments that help stabilise the knee joint. The ACL connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia).
The ACL can be injured during activities that involve sudden stops and changes in direction, including fitness classes, sudden movements during your workout, and in sports like basketball, soccer, tennis and volleyball.
If you injure your ACL, there are a few symptoms you can look for such as pain in the knee when you run or walk, feeling like something is “catching” or “pulling” at your knee when you bend it, swelling in your knee joint, and instability in your knee.
How can chiropractors help?
Chiropractic can help in some cases of knee pain or ACL issues, it just depends on the type of injury. For example, a chiropractic adjustment to the knee joint may help to restore the joint's range of motion and improve function.
That may help with ACL sprains, or when your hip/knee/ankle alignment is off slightly.
What about injuries associated with deadlifts?
Deadlifts are the most popular exercises in gyms these days. However, they are also one of the most controversial because this exercise can lead to injuries if done improperly. Many crossfit type workouts include movements such as deadlifts. Without proper technique or supervision, you may be prone to an injury.
Injuries arising from deadlifts are some of the most common injuries chiropractors see from the gym.
When you start deadlifting it's important to warm up properly and take it easy at first. Never start with heavy weights and always make sure your form is correct. It is recommended to do these exercises under the supervision of a qualified personal trainer who can guide you to the perfect form.
The common deadlift injury can be described as an injury that occurs in the muscles that connect to your back and hips when you bend down to lift an object off the ground. Other common injuries include compression of the vertebral discs in your lower back and nerve interface or pain.
Can chiropractors treat lower back pain and disc injuries?
Yes, chiropractors often help in cases of back pain and disc injury. While chiropractors are most known for effectively helping lower back pain, disc injury can also be helped.
Depending on the type and severity of the disc bulge, treatment may range from the use of adjustments, mobilisations, rehabilitation exercises, massage and stretches to manage the pain and increase the function of the unhealthy joints that caused the disc bulge in the first place.
Knee Pain and Knee Injuries
If you work in an office and spend a lot of your day sitting behind a computer, you aren’t using your hip muscles that much. This means that they may be weaker, compared to other muscles, and so when you start moving or doing leg extensions, curls, and presses, your knees take the brunt of the load. These exercises also don’t strengthen the hip muscles.
To try and avoid knee pain from these gym exercises, try lunges. A lunge has your hip and ankle moving together, stabilising and strengthening the knee.
How does chiropractic help with injury prevention?
Many people only know Chiropractors to treat the back and neck, what they don’t often know is that our 5-year university degree has equipped us to deal with every joint in the body, be it shoulder, hip or toes.
Chiropractors can also treat sports injuries. That’s why most sporting teams have a resident chiropractor on hand. We often see crossfit injuries, weight lifting injuries, close contact sports injuries and more.
In addition to chiropractic adjustments, you can benefit from soft tissue therapy or dry needling that stretches muscles and mobilises or adjusts joints that would have spasmed and stiffened from the injury.
We also provide advice on muscle strengthening exercises and can help with rehabilitation of the joints back to a pre-injury state.
Chiropractors look at the body as a whole to ensure you are moving, functioning and performing at more optimal levels.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog describing some of the most common gym injuries that we see in clinic. From deadlifts to knee pain, muscle strains to lower back pain, there are a lot of ways you can hurt yourself!
However with the right care and prevention, you should be able to work out to your fullest, injury free!
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Do you have some questions about your injury and how chiropractic may help? Reach out to your team at The Back Clinic.
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