Many people lift weights, whether it's to build muscle mass, tone their body or boost their metabolism. It's a fun way to work out that keeps your body and mind challenged. Unfortunately, it can also be a dangerous way to exercise if you don't take the proper precautions. Pain and discomfort may result from several things, such as doing a lift improperly, overuse of the muscles or trying to lift too much weight. This article describes some of the most common weight lifting injuries that you'll want to look out for, along with a few tips for treating these injuries if they should occur.
There are several common injuries found among weight lifters. These occur in the areas of the body which are used the most often in weightlifting, such as the back, shoulders and legs. This list details the most common weight lifting injuries, including how they are caused and the symptoms that are often experienced along with them:
This injury is caused by an inflammation to the tendons around the rotator cuff in the shoulder. This is typically caused by any overhead weight lifting activities, such as lateral raises, bench presses and shoulder presses. Typically, the first signs of this injury are pain in the front of the shoulder and the side of the upper arm. The pain will first be noticeable only when raising the arms, but if the injury worsens it may cause pain while lying down or after exercising as well. With shoulder impingement syndrome, the pain will stop before the elbow. Pain extending beyond the elbow may indicate another problem, such as a pinched nerve.
A tear to the rotator cuff may occur with the same exercises that could cause shoulder impingement syndrome. However, a tear is a much more serious condition that comes with intense pain immediately after the tear occurs. The arm will become weak and a snapping sensation may also be felt. Depending on the severity of the tear, surgery may be required in order to treat this injury.
This injury involves inflammation to the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shinbone. It is often a result of the quadriceps muscles being too tight or overused. This adds stress on the kneecap, which causes the inflammation. The condition is marked by pinpoint pain at the base of the kneecap. Hack squats, lunges and any weight lifting with the legs can potentially cause this injury.
Because many weight lifting exercises require the use of the back, strains and sprains in this area of the body are common. Sprains involve torn or stretched ligaments in the back, while a strain affects torn muscles or tendons. In both cases, pain, swelling and trouble moving the back easily are common symptoms. Rows, bench presses, dead lifts and curls are some of the exercises which may cause these types of injuries.
Another injury common among weight lifters is a herniated disk. This condition occurs when comes of the cushions between the vertebrae in the backbone either slips out of place or ruptures. This can be caused by trying to lift heavy weights with your back muscles rather than the muscles in your legs. Because of this, dead lifts are the most likely weight lifting-related cause of this injury.
There are several steps that weight lifters can take in order to help prevent these common injuries, including: