It is well known that the first three months of the year are when new gym memberships rise. People become motivated to exercise and reshape their habits, hoping for a healthier lifestyle. This is a good thing; however, every year we see people begin an exercise routine without the proper approach. This leads to injuries, and worse, a person who ends up demotivated and stops exercising. Here are three types of injuries that increase during this time of year, and how you can prevent them.¹
- Back injuries: these are the worst due to the high level of pain and the reduced mobility issues that stem from it. Back injuries often center around the lower back, specifically the L4/L5 area, and the pain can shoot down the buttock and leg. Most people receive this injury from trying to lift too much weight without stretching and without proper form. If you are headed to the gym for the first time in a long time please seek professional guidance on how to lift properly. Every gym will provide free trainers to demonstrate the appropriate lifting technique. If they do not then you should find another gym. Natural Health Sports Therapy can also review your form and help you develop a safe lifting posture. Click here to contact us about an appointment.
- Knee injuries: Many people suffer from a knee injury from trying to squat too much weight or squatting incorrectly. This includes barbell work and kettlebell work, with kettlebells causing more injuries in women than men. To avoid harming your knees while exercising consider a warm-up routine of brisk walking on a treadmill for 5 minutes, then massage your kneecap and behind the knee joint while your knee is bent at a 45° angle. For example, after your warm-up walk sit on an exercise bench and gently lock your knees. Relax your knee until your kneecap is loose. Lightly rub the area around your kneecaps for one minute. Then stand and place one foot flat on the exercise bench with the other foot flat on the floor, bending your leg. Relax the area behind your knee and lightly massage it for one minute, then repeat with the other leg. Next, perform squats with no weights at all. Stand with your feet at shoulder-width. Place your palms on your chest or shoulders and squat while keeping your head up and your back as straight as possible. Go down until your thigh is level with the floor but no lower. Repeat this 5 times and see how you feel. Stretch your legs and repeat again. If this body weight exercise does not cause soreness in your knees in the next 48 hours then you can add light weights. Natural Health Sports Therapy can help you learn how to squat with light dumbells and gradually increase your strength.
- Neck injuries: Believe it or not you can hurt your neck severely just by lifting weights. If you are straining too much, or trying to lift beyond your abilities, your neck can really be put out of balance. This often occurs by your neck muscles (and upper body muscular systems) straining so hard that they pull your neck out of alignment, or literally strain the muscles until you are in severe pain. Experienced weight lifters have learned how to keep their neck in proper position while lifting. If you are feeling neck pain you must immediately stop exercising. Consult with your doctor and contact Natural Health Sports Therapy to help you get the adjustment and therapy you need. Our trainers can also help you learn how to lift properly without straining your neck.
If you are interested in starting a new exercise routine you can prepare yourself for success by learning from experts. Click here to contact Natural Health Sports Therapy and schedule an evaluation. Once you learn the proper forms and routines you can exercise anywhere you want, anywhere in the world, and have confidence that you will be doing it right. That knowledge itself is priceless.
- Before starting any exercise make sure you consult with your doctor to see if you are healthy enough for exercise.