Going to the gym every week and getting in a hard workout is a great feeling, but the soreness that follows often does not feel great. When do you know if a little pain in the shoulder or knee is more than the usual soreness? How do you know if it is an injury? Here is a list of common injuries suffered at the gym, their causes, and the best method of treatment.
A sprain is an injury to a ligament, the tough, fibrous tissue that connects bones to other bone. Ligament injuries involve a stretching or a tearing of this tissue often caused by a fall or reach. Common sprains are found in the ligaments of the ankle and wrist. Signs and symptoms of a muscle sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, and the loss of movement. The most common cure for a sprain is R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Sprained ligaments should be looked at by a doctor.
A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon. Strains can be a simple as an overstretched tendon or as severe as a tear. Signs and symptoms of a strain include, pain, muscle spasm and muscle weakness, swelling, cramping, or inflammation. Strains are very common and if acute are easily treatable. Most strains are from overuse of a muscle. To reduce swelling it is recommended to use R.I.C.E. for the first twenty-four hours.
Tendonitis is caused by inflammation of a tendon. The most common cause of tendinitis is overuse. Signs and Symptoms include pain, muscle weakness, and swelling. Tendonitis is commonly seen in new exercisers who do too much too soon, without enough rest. Tendonitis often happens at these sites, the elbow, the rotator cuff (Shoulder), and the knee (patella). Treating tendinitis generally begins with the same treatment used for overuse injuries which includes resting the stressed tissues. Reducing the intensity, duration or frequency of the exercise will sometimes be all the treatment required for relief.
Bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) that lies between a tendon and skin, or between a tendon and bone. Bursitis can be caused by chronic overuse, trauma, arthritis, gout, or infection. Bursitis commonly occurs in the shoulder, knee, elbow, hip and foot. Bursitis is most common in the ball and socket joints of the elbow. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may relieve pain and inflammation in the joint. Using R.I.C.E is another great way to treat the swelling in the joint without the use of medication.
It is always a good idea to check with your doctor if you have any uncommon or uncomfortable pain.