Prevent & Treat Injuries Related to Weight Lifting

Weightlifting Injuries and PreventionI dare you to find a weight lifter who hasn’t complained about aching joints, sore muscles, or a stiff back.  It would probably be a near impossible feat!

Every athlete sustains minor injuries, aches and pains.  However, these issues tend to be more common for weight lifters.  The combination of physical exertion and psychological stress can be a killer.

In order to protect your body, delicate mindset, and precious gains, you will need to reduce your risk of injury.  One way to do that is to be aware of possible injuries you could sustain.  This will hopefully help you prevent any damage and identify injuries if they do happen.  Also, you’ll want to make injury prevention a top priority.  Lastly, don’t discount the importance of recuperation.

Be Aware of Possible Injuries

There are a wide variety of injuries a weight lifter could sustain.  Here are a few to watch for:

  • If you put too much stress on your neck muscles, you will probably experience a neck strain.
  • Pectoral tears are commonly linked with anabolic steroid abuse.  The intensity of the injury can vary from minor to severe.
  • The phrase elbow tendonitis actually encompasses a variety of conditions – triceps tendonitis, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), and golfer’s elbow (medical epicondylitis).
  • If you lift too much weight or use improper form during squats or deadlifts, you’ll probably sustain a back strain or sprain.

Tips for Preventing Injuries While Lifting

Here are several tips that will help keep your body safe from harm.

  • Always warm-up before lifting.  A brisk walk on the treadmill for 5-10 minutes should do the trick.  Then, do a few repetitions (about 10) of your desired lift with a very light weight before getting to the main event.
  • Once your muscles are warm and your body is primed, stretch your muscles a bit.  Take each joint to the end of its range of motion.  Hold the position for about 25-30 seconds.
  • Focus on the task at hand.  When you are lifting, lift.  Don’t strike up a conversation with a fellow weight lifter.  Don’t ogle the women on the treadmills.  This is a surefire way to drop a plate or dumbbell.
  • Protein helps maintain muscle fiber strength.  It also speeds up the recovery phase.  Make sure you eat plenty of protein; this will help prevent injures and facilitate muscle growth.
  • I can’t believe I have to say this, but there are still people who need to hear it – don’t wear open toed shoes!
  • Wrap or brace your knees before heavy squats.  Also, consider applying the same TLC to your wrists before heavy lifts like deadlifts and shrugs.

What to do if Injury Strikes

See a doctor right away.  The longer you wait to seek medical assistance, the longer your recovery period will take.

For minor injuries, think PRICE:

  • Protect the injury from further harm.  Use a brace or splint to keep it safe.
  • Rest for at least two days.
  • Ice will reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Compression will decrease swelling; try using a towel or wrap.
  • Elevate the injury.  This will slow blood flow and reduce swelling.

Once you return to the gym, take things slow.  Don’t push yourself too hard too fast.  If a particular exercise makes the pain worse, postpone that particular lift until a workout later in the week.

Make injury prevention a top priority and you’re sure to have a long, successful weight lifting journey.

Guest author Spencer Blom is a weight lifting enthusiast.  Combined with his experience working for a chiropractor Tallahassee at http://mychiropractortallahassee.com, he has learned a lot about injury prevention and treatment.

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