By knowing the common injuries, their cause, and their treatment, you can avoid downtime in your fitness plan and increase the progress towards your fitness goals.
Most of the common injuries in fitness are caused by overuse. In a recent coaching seminar, Dr. Jim Rogers of Temple Sports Medicine stated that over 78% of school sports injuries originate from overuse. That’s significant.
To understand how to avoid overuse, we need to first understand the purpose of exercise to start with. Exercise should provide a moderate and gradual increase of stress to our skeletal muscle system.
This stress, when combined with rest, allows the muscles and cardiovascular system to strengthen and prepare to meet and exceed this stress-level when met again. That’s amazing!!
Think about it: If you stress a machine, it either returns to its original condition or it shows evidence of wear. Our bodies, if stressed moderately and allowed to rest, will get stronger!
So how much stress is too much?
Ahhhh – that’s a perfect lead-in to overuse. In a world where “more” equals “better”, we often forget to let our bodies heal after they’ve been stressed.
Without rest, there is no re-building or re-strengthening. If you’re starting a running program, you want to gradually increase your mileage (10-15% increase per week) to allow your body to adapt.
You may also want to have some down weeks in your schedule, in which you change the pace and try cross training or another type of workout. This will allow the muscles that have been stressed to take a back seat and allow other muscles to get stressed and re-built.
Overuse can lead to a variety of common injuries because we are not allowing time for our bodies to heal. Continued localized pain and soreness could be a warning sign that you need to lay off and rest that area of your body. Everyone is different, and you need to gauge what’s best for you.
If you take your resting heart rate first thing in the morning, and notice a 10+ beat per minute (bpm) increase above your normal range, this could be an indicator that you’re overtraining. If you’re overly irritable or sluggish, this could also be a warning sign that you need to take a day or two off.
The benefits of rest can not be overstated here – doing a hard workout on overly sore or damaged muscles, tendons, or ligaments could lead to an extended downtime due to injury. Pay attention to your body. Take small steps to get to your fitness goal – your patience will pay dividends.
Below are the types of the most common injuries encountered in fitness and sporting activities.
What do the types of common injuries above have in common? They’re largely preventable. Make sure that your fitness plan allows sufficient time for stress and rest. These ingredients will lead to your goal quicker than trying to accelerate the journey.
For more information on common running injuries, such as stress fractures, shin splints, runner’s knee and others, click on the "Running Injuries" page below.