When the Gym Strikes Back

When the Gym Strikes Back

Common Sports Injuries, and How to Avoid Them

By Healthy Magazine

Sports injuries can be tricky business. For starters, you have to distinguish between good pain (general fatigue, muscle soreness, etc.) and bad pain (physical injury), a task easier said than done. Pushing yourself to finish those last few reps is key to achieving any long-term fitness goals. It can also mean sustaining an injury that could set you back. Here’s a list of the most common sports injuries so you can know what to look for and how to avoid sidelining yourself.

Plantar Fasciitis

Caused by repeated stress on the feet, plantar fasciitis can be a very painful condition. When the tendon that runs along the arch of the foot is strained from overuse, it will feel tight and not as pliable as it should. The result is a feeling of pain that can range from a dull ache to a sharp biting pain in the foot. This injury often afflicts runners or those with inadequate arch support. A good insole can go a long way towards avoiding plantar fasciitis, but if you’ve been doing a lot of running, make sure you give you feet time to recover from your run.

Lower Back Pain

Often the result of improper weight training, trauma, sports, or even a bad mattress, lower back pain comes in a number of different degrees. In any case, it’s something that everyone wants to avoid. If you lift weights, make sure you’re focusing on form and not trying to lift too much weight. One or the other are a recipe for injury, and both at the same time is an injury waiting to happen. If you’re experiencing any kind of consistent lower back pain, see a doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious spinal injury. Working out your glutes, hamstrings and core is the best way to avoid lower back pain when exercising.

Sprains and Strains

These are, by far, the most common sports injuries. From professional athletes to the part-time gym goer, a sprain or a strain is always seemingly one misstep away. Sprains and strains occur when the ligaments that anchor muscles to bone are stretched past their limit, or when muscles are over-used or over-stretched. This stretching can tear or deform the ligament or muscle, resulting in a very unpleasant and painful experience. Strains and sprains are largely preventable, but at times, there’s not much you can do. Stretch and warm-up before engaging in prolonged and high intensity exercise. This increases blood flow to the muscles and makes muscles and ligament less likely to be over-stretched.

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