Weight Lifting Injuries

People lift weights to build muscle mass, tone their body, or boost metabolism. It’s a fun way to work out and keep your body and mind challenged. However, weightlifting can be dangerous if you don’t take proper precautions. Various causes of injury can come from carelessness, equipment problems, poor technique, inability to overcome fatigue, and many other factors.

Preventing Weight Lifting Injuries

Here are some tips on how to avoid injury while lifting weights:

Use proper form and gear

Improper technique can take a toll on your body.  Using poor form may overload certain muscles and cause an overuse injury. Proper muscle activation required to avoid injury, for example, many people under utilize their glutes when squatting an place additional strain on the knees and spine. Only use safe and well-maintained equipment. Faulty equipment will significantly increase your risk of injury.

Find your training method and someone qualified to guide you

Whether you’re new to strength training or you’ve been working at it for a long time, consider getting instruction from a qualified personal trainer. Training errors can occur when you take on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long or simply doing too much of one type of activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury. When you decide to change the intensity or duration of a physical activity, do it gradually. 

Warm up properly

Warm up before each workout to stretch your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and to get the blood flowing and to practice the coming movement patterns. Active stretching and light aerobic exercises are a good way to warm up.

Talk to your primary care doctor

It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting a new activity or ramping up your current routine Your doctor may offer tips to help make physical activity safer for you or show you exercises to address any muscles weakness. Do not start a new exercise program if you have an injury; consult with your physician, which may require a referral to a physical therapist. 

Common Weight Lifting Injuries and Conditions

Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff is a band of four muscles and their tendons that span from the wing bone to the upper arm bone to form a “cuff” around the shoulder joint. When injured or torn from repetitive use or a traumatic injury, the rotator cuff can cause pain and limit the function of the arm. This is most common in adults over the age of 40, especially in individuals who do a significant amount of activities requiring overhead motion.

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Biceps Tendinopathy

Biceps tendonitis is inflammation of the long head of the biceps tendon. It usually occurs with other shoulder problems. As we age, our tendons slowly weaken with everyday wear and tear. The degeneration can worsen by overuse - repeating the same shoulder motions again and again.

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Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is a "C" shaped cartilage cushion, which is like a wedge within the knee. There are two in each knee which cushion, support, and aid movement. Injury to the meniscus is very common and can occur from wear and tear over time or from a sudden twist, turn, or even slowing down when running.

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Achilles Tendon Rupture

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, and its cord-like structure connects the lower leg muscles to the heel bone. This tendon is vital for walking and moving the foot. When the tendon experiences repeated or excessive force, the result can be a tear, or rupture, in the Achilles tendon.

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Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement occurs when the rotator cuff is pinched between the shoulder blade and the “ball” of the ball and socket shoulder joint when the arm is raised. It can be caused by inflammation of the rotator cuff and bursa, which narrows the space between the two bones. It also can be caused by a tear on the rotator cuff. Shoulder impingement is common in athletes or individuals who use overhead motion regularly as part of sports or their job.

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Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

Rotator cuff tendonitis is an irritation or inflammation of the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder that help to stabilize the shoulder joint. Patients will typically notice pain with repetitive overhead or reaching activities.

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