The team of Physical Therapists at Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy sees a lot of patients in recovery after injuries. We always want to help our patients with injury prevention. One of the major sources of injury is injury during exercise. This blog will cover some common misconceptions about exercise and associated injury after exercise. Our goal at Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy is to give you information to promote a healthy body and a better quality of life. We will address some of the most common myths about what to do for injury prevention. We’ll also share some of the the “dos” &  “do nots” of post injury exercise.

injury prevention
stretch for injury prevention

Some Myths About Exercise, Injury & Injury Prevention

Myth #1: “Bed rest after injury.”

Fact: 1-2 days of activity modification and “rest” can limit aggravation of an injury in the acute phase, however longer than that can produce unwanted outcomes. Resting & inactivity can contribute to increased complaints of painful conditions and aching. A lack of activity can lead to decreased circulation. With decreased circulation comes decreased blood flow. With decreased blood flow comes decreased  oxygen, growth factors and nutrients. This can slow healing. Muscle weakness can also occur with prolonged bed rest which can contribute to increased pain & stimulate an unwanted cycle causing more weakness.

Moving will help restore blood flow and muscle tone. That being said, never start an aggressive exercise program. Start with low intensity exercises to promote injury prevention. Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy can develop an appropriate program & ease you into the plan (despite other medical conditions). It will promote strength, movement, range of motion, active isolated stretching and education on exercise dos & don’ts. Education is one of the most important parts of treatment and prevention.

Myth #2: “Attending my local gym is how I will get strong again.”

Fact: Re-injury at the gym is very common. A new injury or an aggravation of a problem is a common thing. Don’t get me wrong, I encourage my clients to use the local gyms. However, when someone engages in unsupervised exercise too soon after an injury, problems can occur. Personal Trainers do not have the education on the human body, movement and anatomy that Physical Therapists have. Many Personal Trainers get a “certification” with as little as a weekend of classes. The Physical Therapists at Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy have Masters and Doctoral degrees in Physical Therapy. Come see us and trust our expertise prior to progressing to independent, unsupervised exercise.  We are experts with injury prevention.

Myth #3: “No pain, No gain.”

Fact: This is a fairly common phrase we hear clients say. It may be true in some cases, with some medical conditions requiring the intervention of Physical Therapy. However, it is important to distinguish between types of “pain.”  When beginning a new exercise plan, people use their muscles in new ways. New muscle use is likely to lead to a “good” soreness the next day & even the 2nd and 3rd day after performing exercise. This soreness should not be confused with an acute flare up of a medical condition. It should be noted as soreness from the muscles because they were worked out in a healthy, smart fashion. Anything more than a little discomfort may not be healthy. More soreness is not better. Exercise does NOT have to cause pain to achieve benefits from it. Listen to your body. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. Serious pain can mean a serious problem.

Myth #4: “Targeting one set of muscles is the best way to achieve recovery.”

Fact: The number of calories you burn get higher as you: A) increase the intensity of the exercise and B) involve more muscle groups.We will develop an individualized program to start you safe, and progress you to a higher intensity with more involved muscle groups. We are the local experts in Sarasota  at developing programs for those who have medical complications or who need to get back to exercise after a long “hiatus”. It is important to strengthen opposing muscle groups to stabilize joints. Though the front of your shoulder hurts, that does not necessarily mean you need to work out the muscles in the front of the shoulder. Often, strengthening programs include muscle groups from all over the body. Pain can indicate weakness in some unexpected areas. For example, low back pain can often be helped by strengthening the abs, hips, and legs. A trained professional will be able to better direct you to which muscle groups are weak and need strengthening. Often there are more than expected!

Exercise & Injury Statistics

Women in particular experience a higher risk from bone-related injuries after menopause, but men are susceptible too. According to the CDC Injury Center, more than 10,000 people receive treatment in the nation’s emergency departments  each day for injuries from sports, recreation, and exercise activities. It is important to understand that injuries are a large reason people stop doing potentially beneficial physical activity. In those aged 65 years and older, trends indicate SUBSTANTIAL year over year increases with injury during sports, recreation and exercise. Consult with Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy and minimize your risk of injury. This will keep you living a healthy & active lifestyle long term.

5 Easy Tips To Avoid Injury During Exercise

Our goal is to keep you healthy by exercising safely. We do not want you to stop exercising because you get injured. We do NOT want you to get injured. We want to see you exercising safely and happily, with no risk of injury. So here are 5 easy tips to avoid injury during exercise:

1. Wear the Correct Clothing

The correct shoes should be worn & dress appropriately while exercising. This will minimize the force placed upon the joints & let you stay comfortable throughout your workout session. Shoes can be a major factor in your work-out. If there is not enough support in your shoes, it can affect the alignment of your whole body. To find an appropriately fitted shoe, you can speak with one of our Physical Therapists. Inserts may be helpful for some people. Shoe stores specific to running shoes or athletic shoes will be able to help you choose a shoe specific to your needs. Your feet are your foundation, so treat them well and use the correct footwear. Keeping your feet and ankles stable will improve your structural alignment of your knees, hips, and low back. This will set you up for success.

2. Start with: Warming up/stretching.

You should never start your exercise routine without first performing warm-up exercises. This will allow your body to get ready for activity & movement. This decreases your risk for injury. If not warmed up, you may be at risk of pulling a muscle. Some easy examples of warm up exercises include: marching in place for several minutes or by riding a stationary bike for several minutes. Following the active warm up, don’t forget your gentle stretching exercises. You don’t need to hold these stretches for very long, but give the muscles some time to loosen up. Don’t hold your breath while stretching. Once you’re warmed up, you’ll be ready to exercise safely. Diving right into a work out “cold” can be a serious mistake.

3. Breathe.

Avoid irregular breathing. Focus on regular breathing. The right kind of breathing can keep your heart rate steady & assist with oxygen delivery throughout your body. This means the muscles can get the oxygen they need to perform correctly without pain. Never hold your breath while exercising. Holding your breath during exercise can cause irregular lows and highs with your blood pressure. We want your blood pressure to remain stable and to not get too high or too low. Your physical therapist at Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy can teach you how to breath with different types of exercise to maximize your performance and to minimize your chance of associated injury. Practices like yoga focus on breathing techniques. This can be very helpful in other forms of exercising. Try a yoga class at your local gym or yoga studio for tips on better breathing.

4. Focus on Form and Technique.

This is extremely important to understand when trying to avoid injury during exercise. Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy can educate each client on appropriate form, correct technique, range of motion and speed of movement to get the most out of each and every exercise. If proper form is not practiced, there is a much higher risk of injury. Proper alignment is important to prevent joint strain. Correct muscle engagement is important to prevent muscle strain.The educated exerciser is the safe exerciser. If you feel unsure, ask for help. A certified personal trainer can help with form correction at the gym. “Form over depth” is a great motto to go by. If you can’t do the exercise with correct form, back off a bit and reset. Better to perform the exercise with correct form than to perform with more intensity, depth, or weight.  Another good tip to keep proper form is to use a mirror to watch yourself as you exercise. The visual cues will constantly remind you to correct your posture and technique. This is an easy injury prevention method.

5. End with: Cooling down.

Just as important as warming up for injury prevention is cooling down to for injury prevention. While exercising, decrease the intensity of your movements for at least 5 minutes towards the end of your time. This will let your heart return to its normal rate safely and gradually. Your muscles also have some time to relax more as you cool down. Don’t skip this stage, even if you feel tired or sore. It is very important to ease your body out of the intensity of exercising. Incorporate more gentle stretching into your cool down phase. This time you can hold those stretches a little bit longer. Again, yoga may be a good thing to incorporate into your exercise program. Yoga can be a great way to cool down after exercising. Don’t forget to breathe!

If you feel being overweight is contributing to painful joints &/or painful conditions are reducing your desire to exercise, don’t worry. Though it may be difficult to exercise at first, there is a solution. Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy can reduce or eliminate your pain with our revolutionary treatment techniques and equipment without the need to stress your body. We also can assist you in losing 3-7 pounds of fat per week with no diet pills, injections or heavy exercise. We can work with your doctor to ensure your weight loss program meets your individual needs or limitations. Our system is a proven method to losing and keeping that weight off. We are a proud Ideal Protein weight loss clinic. Check out Ideal Diet Sarasota for more information on the Ideal Protein weight loss method.

So there you have it. 5 easy tips to avoid injury during exercise. Don’t feel as if you can’t exercise because you are worried about injury. Get the guidance you need to safely get in shape. It is crucial to long term health to build stronger muscles and bones through exercise. The injury-no-exercise-injury cycle can spiral out of control if not addressed. Don’t let an injury or a risk of injury hold you back from exercising. Keep these tips in mind and seek help when you need it. At Back In Motion, we want to help you stay healthy, active, and happy. Let us assist you in preventing injury during exercise. Get out there and get moving!

If you have experienced an injury after exercise, and need help in recovering,

Call Us to Schedule an Appointment.

About the Author Tim Burnell, PT

Tim Burnell is the Lead Physical Therapist at Back In Motion Sarasota. He has over two decades of clinical experience. He takes pride in getting to the root of the problem which helps get his clients better...Faster! He is a family man & enjoys spending time with the love of his life, Monique. He has 2 children & a dog named Annie. Tim's son, Andre' is 11 years old and his daughter Joliebelle (nicknamed Pooky) is 7 years old. He enjoys visiting his wife's side of the family in New Orleans and his side of the family in Vermont. Tim grew up in Vermont, went to Physical Therapy School in Alabama, got his first job at Tulane Hospital in New Orleans and moved to Sarasota Florida after Hurricane Katrina in 2006.

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