Weight training injuries
Weight training is a demanding activity that calls for concentration, commitment and overall health and fitness. It is not a high-impact sport like rugby or football, yet injuries can occur if a person is not careful.
Some common weight training injuries
- Rotator cuff injuries: Inflammation of the four muscles and tendons that stabilise the shoulder and help to move the arm. Shoulder pain, weakness and numbness are common. Rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications are the first line of treatment followed by physiotherapy.
- Tennis elbow: This may arise from triceps exercise. Symptoms are pain on the outside of the elbow, weakness when attempting to lift, elbow pain when gripping or using the wrist. Treatment calls for rest from lifting, then physiotherapy for stretching and strengthening injuries.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS): The thoracic outlet is the area between the rib cage and collar bone. Compression of the subclavian artery and brachial plexus as they pass through a narrow space between the armpit and the arms leads to this syndrome. Symptoms include neck and shoulder pain, feeling of cold, numbness and tingling of the fingers and a weak grasp. Rest and physiotherapy are indicated to strengthen the shoulder muscles, improve range-of-motion and posture. If this is not successful, you may need surgery.
- Low back pain: Causes are improper form during lifting, weakness of the surrounding muscles and using too much weight. Rest and physiotherapy are vital to help the person return to weight-training.
Weight training injuries occur for the following reasons:
- Improper stretching: Over-stretching of muscles, tendons and ligaments can lead to weight-training injuries. Proper stretching relaxes the muscles, increases flexibility and eliminates soreness.
- Inadequate warm up: Exercising on a cold, stiff muscle can lead to muscle strains and ligament sprains. To get the most out of your workout, warm-up with a few high-rep, low-intensity exercises first.
- Over-training: Sessions should be no more than an hour. Rest between sets and between workouts. Using weight that is too heavy adds up as over-training.
- Incorrect technique: This can tear or injure a muscle. Avoid twisting and turning while lifting and do not lock your joints.
- Cheating: Using momentum in order to handle heavy weight can cause you to drop the weight and injure yourself or someone else.
Injuries suffered during weight-training can be far-reaching and complex. Please see us if you have suffered any type of weight-training injury.