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Prevent Home Workout Injuries - The Do's and Don'ts

Prevent Home Workout Injuries - The Do's and Don'ts

Workout injuries can and do happen to people who engage in exercise at home. And while most people recover from these minor injuries, some can suffer from long-term effects. This is why it’s important to be aware and prevent home workout injuries

5 Common at Home Workout Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Tendinitis

Tendinitis, as the name implies, is what happens when a tendon gets inflamed. This could result from overuse of a tendon, or by having improper form while exercising.

One common scenario is when you’re trying out a new exercise, and you’re not quite sure how to do it. This can happen if you’re at home and there’s no one else to guide you or teach you how to do the exercise without injury. If you keep doing it with the wrong form, your tendons could get inflamed.

Another way that this can happen is if you exercise too vigorously. Some types of exercise need to be done slowly and deliberately, such as when you’re lifting weights or doing squats. If you try to rush through these exercises, you can potentially overwork your ligaments and cause an injury.

When exercising, it would be best to do things slowly and to focus on having the right form. If you’re unsure of how to do an exercise, ask for help or skip it for now to avoid injury.

Muscle Cramps

common at home workout injuries and how to prevent them

Muscle cramps occur due to neurologic over firing of the nerves of the muscles or due to a physiological state in which the muscle lacks electrolytes such as sodium, calcium or potassium. These electrolytes are used up during exercise and muscle contraction. What happens during a muscle cramp is that the muscle starts to involuntarily contract, but doesn’t relax. This usually happens to the calf and the hamstrings or quads.

Cramps can cause very sharp and sudden pain, and in some cases, you can actually see your muscles contracting.

In order to prevent muscle cramps, make sure that you drink water or drinks that provide electrolytes such as sodium, calcium and potassium. Try to avoid working out too hard, or overworking a specific muscle for long periods of time.

Sprains

Sprains often happen as accidents or unforeseen occurrences such as stepping on an uneven surface unprepared or overstretching of a joint and its structures.

Whenever your ligaments get stretched or torn, it’s referred to as a sprain. A sprain can be considered first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree.

First-degree sprains are when the fibers of the ligament get stretched, but not torn. Second-degree sprains are when some ligament fibers are stretched, while some are torn. Third-degree sprains are when all of the fibers of a ligament are torn.

Sprains can take anywhere between two to six weeks to heal. During this time, any strenuous physical activity should be avoided, since it could cause the ligament to get injured once more.

In order to prevent strains, it’s important to keep your muscles strong and try to avoid exercising or working out if you’re tired or if you feel pain in your ligaments. It’s also a good idea to avoid exercise if you feel too tired in order to avoid sloppy footwork and accidents.

In general, it’s also a good idea to be careful when engaging in physical activity to avoid sprains.

Strains

common at home workout injuries and how to prevent them

Strains are also known as pulled muscles. Additionally, both muscles and tendons can get strained.

Similar to a sprain, a strain happens when a muscle or a tendon gets stretched or even torn. The most common areas that experience muscle strain are the neck, hamstrings, lower back, and shoulders.

Recovery from strains can take anywhere from three to six weeks before it can heal. While recovering from a strain, it would be best to avoid strenuous physical activity, especially any activity that involves the muscle that has been injured.

Warming up before any exercise is believed to help prevent strains. It would also help to start with less strenuous activity, and slowly build up to a more intense activity while you are working out.

Slipped Disc

A slipped disc is relatively rare among workout injuries. It happens when one of the soft, rubbery discs that sit in between your vertebrae is pushed out. This can happen as a result of lifting heavy weights with improper form or putting too much strain on your back muscles.

Recovery from a slipped disc can take about four to six weeks. However, some cases might require surgery if it’s particularly serious.

In some cases, a slipped disc can actually push on the nerves in your back and cause severe pain. This is why this type of injury should be avoided as much as possible.

In order to prevent a slipped disc, always remember to use your legs, and not your back muscles when lifting. Having good posture when exercising can also help lower your risk.

Key Takeaways

Exercise is very important to our overall health. Not only does regular exercise keep us strong and healthy, it also improves our mental health and overall well-being. However, it is important to take the necessary precautions in order to avoid serious injury while exercising. By following these tips, you can stay fit and healthy, and injury-free while exercising at home.

Learn more about proper Physical Fitness here.

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Sources

The Meno Clinic 8 Ways to Avoid The Top 5 Exercise Injuries – The Meno Clinic, https://menoclinic.com/8-ways-to-avoid-the-top-5-exercise-injuries/, Accessed November 22, 2020

Avoiding Injury When You Are Working Out At Home, https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2020/avoiding-home-workout-injuries.html, Accessed November 22, 2020

10 tips to prevent injuries when you exercise – Harvard Health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/10-tips-to-prevent-injuries-when-you-exercise, Accessed November 22, 2020

4 steps to treat common exercise injuries, from Harvard Men’s Health Watch – Harvard Health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/4-steps-to-treat-common-exercise-injuries, Accessed November 22, 2020

Overuse injury: How to prevent training injuries – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/overuse-injury/art-20045875, Accessed November 22, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 21
Expertly reviewed by Danielle Joanne Villanueva Munji, OTRP
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