When working out or doing a specific set of exercises causes you pain, don’t ignore it. Knowing how to react can avoid serious injuries that may occur as a result of strength training.
• Muscle soreness is one of the most common injuries that are experienced when a new exercise is tried or any exercise is done after a long time period. Muscles that are not used for a while tend to become sore and it is absolutely normal to feel a dull ache of soreness in the muscles that were trained. Pain is caused due to tearing of microscopic fibers of the connective tissues in the body. You may panic because of the microtrauma; however, it is muscles’ natural response when they first experience work. It is, therefore, important to take ample rest between specific workouts so that the tiny tears in your muscles can get time to rebuild them, thereby getting stronger, bigger and more firm.
• Pain during or after a workout: A small amount of pain during a workout is normal; repeated contractions while exercising cause lactic acid, proteins, hormones and other acids to build up in muscle tissue, causing pain even without injury. However, if this pain is sharp and continuous, or accompanied by a burning sensation, stop lifting and get it examined.
• Cramps occur commonly in endurance sports like cycling, running, swimming, etc., where a lot of fluid is lost through sweating and continuous movements. This is why it is essential to stay well-hydrated during exercises. The best way to stop cramps is to gently stretch the cramped muscles.
• Injury occurs mostly as a result of carelessness, especially in weight-lifting. While lifting weights, you need to be in full control of your body and the weights that you lift. Trying to lift too heavy a weight, not warming up, using jerky movements, dropping weights, not stretching after workout can result in injury.
If at any time you have inflammation or swelling, R.I.C.E method can bring a lot of respite and help in reducing damage and speed up healing.
1. Rest: Always take some rest in case of soreness, cramps, pain or when you are hurt.
2. Ice: Ice wrapped in a towel can help in easing off acute injuries. Hold the ice wrap for 10 to 20 minutes against the injury 3 to 4 times a day.
3. Compress: Cover the injured area in a snug, elastic bandage, not tight.
4. Elevate: Raise the injured limb by resting it on a pillow to reduce swelling.