With gyms finally opening and everyone raring to meet their body goals, putting your body through extreme stress can result in some nasty injuries.
Here, Dr Reyan Saghir shares the most common injuries he expects to see after gyms reopen:
▪ Back Injuries: “One of the most common presenting complaints to the emergency
department is back pain.
Difficult to manage, back injuries tend to happen due to poor lifting form which results in excessive strain on the spinal muscles causing sprains, spasms and other musculoskeletal injuries.
The majority of back injuries stems from poor posture, with our joints working in relay imbalance of the hip, spinal and core muscles if out of alignment when exercising especially when lifting weights, it can put the back muscles under extra pressure – or worse place all the effort on the spine.”
Dr Reyan’s Top Tip: “Correct your posture when lifting – although pain can sometimes be
good as a sign of hard work if it’s hurting your lower back then stop and readjust or reduce
▪ Joint Pains: “Even if you have been working out at home, jumping straight into high intensity explosive workouts in the gym, especially with increased body mass and poorer conditioning, can cause strain on joints such as hips and ankles – with a sprained ankle being most common as extra force through the ankle landing on an unstable base can lead to it ‘rolling over’, spraining the ligaments.”
Dr Reyan’s Top Tip: “Stretching can honestly do wonders! For all joints, make sure to build into exercise and after finishing at a high intensity, always cool down otherwise muscles stay tense and can seize up causing more pain and swelling around the joint.”
▪ Tendonitis: “This is most commonly Achilles or patella tendonitis due to overtraining. Anxious and wanting to lose that lockdown weight in anticipation of a return to normality in the summer, many will overtrain. However, by overworking muscles after months of rest, repetitive strain injuries with muscular fatigue and slower repair can happen.
Also, repetitive actions such as overworking on an exercise bike or treadmill/cross trainer can cause tendon inflammation and damage known as tendonitis.”
Dr Reyan’s Top Tip: “Stay within your limits! Weight loss, conditioning or training of any form is not going to happen in one day, so pace yourself with regular workouts and stay consistent but don’t overtrain and listen to your body.
If you’re in pain try and rest that muscle group instead of overworking and exacerbating to avoid greater injury.
▪ Shin Splints: “This is another common injury from overworking and training when your body might not be ready!
Shin splits tend to happen when running over a longer period of time and results in pain and tenderness to the shin that can take a few weeks to heal.
Shin splints develop over repeated force of the shin and can be quite common when going from a quite sedentary few months to a sudden change of intense exercise.”
Dr Reyan’s Top Tip: “Try exercising on softer ground with good quality trainers that give your feet the support they need.
Simple analgesia like paracetamol/ibuprofen can help ease the pain and an ice pack on the shins for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours can be very helpful to bring down the shin splint swelling.”
▪ Dropping Weights: “This one might sound a bit obvious, but it happens more often than you think!
After such a long time off from training weights, you might try and lift that same amount of weight you did pre-lockdown for a deadlift and just as you hold it up, your grip gives way, and you drop the heavy weight on your body.”
Dr Reyan’s Top Tip: “Start with lower weights and gradually build and if exercising to fatigue try and have a partner nearby to help.”