When the ligament around the joint is injured it results in sprain. It most commonly happens in the wrist, ankle, shoulder, elbow & knee joints. There are rare instances where the ligament around the thumb or any finger is injured (torn or stretched)
Sprains are caused due to many reasons, including (but not limited to) falling at a certain speed/from a certain distance, stumbling, forcefully being hit by any object in motion, twisting, slipping and getting hit against a hard object etc.. In case of mild sprains the individual experiences pain and swelling around the joint area, if it’s a moderate or severe sprain then the individual experiences excruciating pain, the area around the injury gets swollen and he/she wouldn’t be able to move the injured part. This commonly happens when there is tear or stretch in the ligament.
Getting injured while working out is a common thing. No amount of experience can help avoid such instances. The only thing that could rescue you from getting in such incidents, is taking precautionary steps. Having said that, there may be instances where even precautions doesn’t work because the speed at which it happens makes it impossible to have a control over ourselves. So in such case, treatments come handy.
Let’s start with discussing the precautions to be taken to prevent such injuries:
- Be it experienced or a novice, it’s advisable that every exercise routine starts with warm-up and ends with cool down exercises. The warm up routine helps in preparing the body for the work out by loosening the muscles, relaxing the joints and increasing the pace of your heart beat. This way your body understands that it is about to get into the daily routine and gets flexible which in turn helps in better workout without injuries. After the workout, a cool down routine helps the body bring down the heart rate to a normal pace and relax the muscles and joints.
- Stretching in another form of exercise that is done to prep the body muscles. Stretching your body right before & after your workout helps in increasing the flexibility of the body.
- The body needs time to get accustomed to any new form of exercise. This means that you need to slow down and allow your body to get into the new routine at a gradual pace to avoid any kind of sprains.
- Another very common reason for sprain is overdoing your exercises. Do not get over enthusiastic and decide to do 50 reps of each exercise on a single day. This will do no good but get you injured and worse stop you from hitting the gym for the next few days/weeks. The saying, “Slow and steady wins the race, works perfect here.
- Working on heavy equipment without any prior training or guidance. We often hear of people getting involved in accidents in the gym and this happens due to sheer negligence. Getting instructed by a certified trainer is very important.
- Keeping yourself properly hydrated- before, after and in between workouts, and intake of meals before and after workout should be a part of your daily routine. Exercising on an empty stomach or dehydrated body only results in sprains, muscle soreness, fatigue etc.. If you are following a strenuous workout routine, then it’s advisable to have sports or energy drinks in order to replenish your body with the electrolytes it lost due to sweating.
- Working out when you are unwell can lead to sprain. When the body in low on energy, it needs proper relaxation and in such case if you strain your body in may lead to an injury.
- Age factor also should be considered before you start an exercise regime. If you are 40 year old and want to work out like a 20 year old then your body would not support that. Apart from that, also take into consideration your body conditions. Talk to your physician and accordingly plan out your routine.
We have already covered a large portion of it in the prevention section, however there are certain immediate steps that needs to be taken to treat the person in painRest the area that is injured and give first aid
- Put ice pack on the injured area for about 15-20mins. Repeat it at regular intervals until the swelling subsides.
- Place the injured part on elevation in order to lessen the pain.
- Call for medical help
If the injury is moderate or severe, you would be put on crutches or cane. In such case be sure not to stress the injured area. After a certain time your doctor may ask you to do some mild exercises to reduce the stiffness in the muscles and joints. In some cases, the individual may be advised to see a physiotherapist to help heal the injury. This may take few weeks to get into a normal routine but until then listen to your therapist and do not start any new routine, least it ends up in another injury.
Stay healthy, stay happy 🙂