A Few Simple Tips To Help Prevent Exercise-Related Injuries
Whether you are an athlete or just a very active individual, exercise-related injuries seem inevitable. Sports that commonly lead to injuries include running, football, basketball, soccer, and weight lifting. However, many of these injuries can be preventable through proper care while exercising. This post is meant to give a few tips for avoiding exercise-related injuries.
At Meier Orthopedic Sports Medicine in Beverly Hills, we see a lot of patients in our office with sports injuries. Many of these injuries, some of which require surgery to correct, could have likely been prevented if people were aware of and followed the tips listed below. It is also important to recognize when you have sustained an injury – you do not want to keep ignoring a minor knee pain only to have it turn into a ligament or cartilage injury, or shoulder pain into a rotator cuff tear.
Following these tips can help reduce your risk of injury during exercise. However, if you are still experiencing pain or discomfort after exercising, contact our office to schedule an appointment with orthopedic specialist Dr. Steven Meier.
Ways You Can Prevent Workout Injuries
- Warm up before exercising: Warming up allows your muscles, tendons and ligaments to loosen up before more strenuous exercise. Warming up can help prevent muscle tears and lower your chances of potential injuries. Depending on your physical activity, and whether you have asthma, 5-10 minutes is a good amount of time for warming up.
- If it hurts, don’t do it: Some believe that when you exercise it is normal to be in pain, especially during an activity like weightlifting. However, this is not the case. While it is normal to experience some discomfort while exercising, it is not normal to be in pain. If something really hurts it is important to stop doing what you are doing. Pain while doing an activity can indicate poor form, or too much strain on certain body parts, which will likely lead to injury. If you aren’t sure about proper form, it might be a good idea to seek help from a personal trainer until you feel more comfortable on your own.
- Cool down: The cool down is equally as important as your warm up. The purpose of cooling down is to slowly reduce your heart rate. If you suddenly stop, it can place more strain on the heart.
- Stretch after exercise: Stretching after a workout may help prevent strains, and give your body the time it needs to relax again after activity. Don’t overdo it with the stretching – if it hurts, STOP!
- Take a day to rest: This may seem like common sense, but many find it easy to overdo it. For those who are beginning an exercise routine, it is also important to take a day off for every couple days of exercise, as your body adjusts to the increased physical demand. When you over-exercise, your muscles don’t have a chance to repair and heal after a workout, which can lead to muscle tears and injury.
Finding Help in Healing
If you have experienced an exercise-related injury, it is important to rest and allow the body to heal. Otherwise, you can aggravate the injury even more. If you have an exercise-related injury that isn’t healing or feeling any better after about 4-5 days, please contact Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steven Meier at (310) 777-7845 or fill out our contact form and a member of our office will be in touch with you shortly.