Injuries and Exercise Problems
What Exercise Reveals About Your Health
Examine Your Exercise Routine
Restricted Blood Flow
High or Low Blood Sugar
When You're Just Out of Shape
Runner’s knee, tennis elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, Achilles tendinitis, shin splints—chances are, your sport has a bad rap for putting wear and tear on a certain part of the body. Overuse injuries—repetitive trauma to a tendon, bone, or joint—are often the result of overtraining or training errors, like increasing mileage too quickly during marathon preparation.
If you experience light swelling, mild soreness, or stiffness during a workout and can’t attribute it to a single event, you’re probably suffering an overuse injury, not a traumatic injury, like a fracture, sprain, or dislocation, says Anthony Luke, MD, director of primary care sports medicine at the University of California-San Francisco and founder of the RunSafe sports medicine clinic. While traumatic injuries are characterized by four signs of inflammation—swelling, redness, warmth, and sudden pain, overuse injuries are harder to diagnose since the pain is typically too mild to keep you from continuing your activity, he says.
Proper training is important to prevent musculoskeletal problems, says Luke, who suggests following the 10% rule: Week to week, don’t increase your intensity or frequency by more than 10%. For example, if your running totaled 35 miles this week, don’t bump up to more than 38.5 miles the next. Luke also stresses the importance of proper nutrition and adequate rest during a training program. “Don’t wake up exhausted at 5 a.m. and attempt to carry out your desired workout,” he says.