Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Even with proper conditioning, equipment and other precautions you may still develop pain from exercise. If so, what you do immediately can prevent the pain from becoming a chronic problem. At the first sign of pain stop or ease back on your sport immediately
Ankle Sprains and Strains
A number of factors can lead to ankle sprains, including poor technique and uneven terrain. The right footwear is essential to preventing a sprain, but it isn’t the only thing you can do. If you have a history of ankle injuries a brace can provide extra stability to prevent re-injury. Physical therapy after an injury can increase strength and range of motion.
Knee injuries are often caused by improper technique, lack of conditioning and poor flexibility. While it’s important to build up training gradually to avoid overuse, biomechanics can also come into play, if you have flat feet or high arches, pronate or supinate, you may have more knee pain. Appropriate footwear or orthotics can improve alignment and help reduce injury risk. If you are a cyclist, proper bike fit can also make a huge difference.
Lower Back Pain
Low back pain is a common problem and one of the main reasons is inactivity. As we get older and less active, we lose the strength and balance in the core muscles (abs and low back) can lead to poor posture, improper alignment, fatigue and pain. Regular exercise is the best way to protect your lower back.
Tennis players and golfers have more elbow injuries than most, but anyone can develop elbow pain. Although conditioning is a major cause, proper technique is essential to preventing problems. Take a class or get professional instruction. Also, make sure your equipment fits well.
frequently seen in throwing sports, rotator cuff tendonitis is a common cause of shoulder pain. Staying in shape and easing into an activity are the best ways to prevent problems. There are a number of potential shoulder injuries; however, so proper conditioning is essential for your sport.
Probably the most common sports injury is a muscle pull, which can happen to almost any muscle in the body. No matter how diligently you warm up and stretch, or cool down and stretch, you may pull a muscle from overuse, fatigue or taking a fall. There is little you can be done to prevent a muscle pull except to stay limber and work your muscles regularly.
Muscle Pull Treatment
The universally held treatment for a muscle pull or tear is to apply ice and rest until the pain and swelling subside. The ice relaxes the muscle and helps relieve any spasm. Ice should be applied for about 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off, as much as possible for a few days. The dull ache of a muscle pull usually disappears within a few days.
A muscle pulls when a sudden, severe force is applied to the muscle and the fibers are stretched beyond their capacity. If only some of the fibers tear, that is a muscle pull. If most of the fibers tear, that is a muscle tear.
As soon as tolerable, begin gently stretching the muscle. A pulled muscle may go into spasm as a reaction to being overstretched. If the muscle fibers are not gradually re-lengthened, the muscle will pull again with return to activity because it will have healed in a shortened state. In general, you can return to action when the injured body part can be stretched without pain as far as the healthy one on the other side of the body. That may take a week for a calf muscle or more than a month for a hamstring pull.
Even with proper conditioning, equipment and other precautions you may still develop pain from exercise. If so, what you do immediately can prevent the pain from becoming a chronic problem. At the first sign of pain stop or ease back on your sport immediately. Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day and elevate the injured area. If you still have pain after two or three days, you should see your physician.