5 Signs You’re Straining Your Body During Workouts

This fall, I decided to enroll in ballet classes after a 4-year break. But I took ballet from 8 to 16 – and since I already had experience, I jumped right into all the movements full force. Within the first week, my left ankle was sickling and I could barely step down on my left foot. I thought I was out of shape and just needed to keep pushing through the pain to re-adjust to my renewed active lifestyle. Little did I know, I was so close to injuring myself. Whether you’re a beginner athlete or an experienced one, you must listen to your body.

It’s a common misconception that when you’re working out you need to “feel the burn.” Some beginners think pumping 50-pound weights will burn more fat and doing 100 repetitions of the same exercise will produce better results. By the end of the workout your muscles are cramping and you can’t even walk properly. No pain, no gain, right?

This is a total misconception. Instead of achieving a healthy cardio workout, you could actually be straining your muscles. A muscle strain is defined as a stretching or tearing of a muscle or a tissue connecting muscle to the bone (a tendon). It can be caused by a combination of fatigue and positioning your body incorrectly while doing various exercises.

Here are five signs you may be straining your body:

Pain:
This refers to a persistent physical discomfort in any part of your body.

Swelling:
Swelling is a build-up of fluid or blood in a particular area of your body and is a natural biological response to injury.

Inflammation:
Redness, and hotness in the affected area is a sign of inflammation. This commonly occurs with pain and swelling.

Muscle Spasms:
Muscle spasms involve a sudden painful involuntary contraction of one or more muscles.

Cramping
Similar to a spasm, cramping is a temporary paralysis of a muscle due to overuse. It is often experienced as a sharp pain.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, treat them immediately. Otherwise they can lead to more painful conditions like Tendinitis and Bursitis. Tendinitis is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon, a thick cord that attaches bone to muscle limiting range of motion. Bursitis is the inflammation of fluid-filled pads (bursae) that act as cushions at the joints.

Luckily, there are several things you can do to soothe your symptoms. Most experts recommend RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If you know your workout is causing these symptoms take a break for a few days and rest. Place a well-covered ice pack over the injury in 20-minute intervals throughout the day. In the event of persistent swelling, apply a compression bandage, which you can find at most drugstores. Lastly, promote blood flow by elevating the injury higher then your heart while resting with the help of a fluffy pillow. Most importantly, consult a physician if your symptoms persist .

Part of being healthy is listening to your body and the many warning signs it gives you. For more information, visit this link.

Liked this? Check out 10 Healthier Fall Drinks to Try!

Written by Bianca Rosembert

Photo Credit: Rance Costa via Compfight cc

This fall, I decided to enroll in ballet classes after a 4-year break. But I took ballet from 8 to 16 – and since I already had experience, I jumped right into all the movements full force. Within the first week, my left ankle was sickling and I could barely step down on my left foot. I thought I was out of shape and just needed to keep pushing through the pain to re-adjust to my renewed active lifestyle. Little did I know, I was so close to injuring myself. Whether you’re a beginner athlete or an experienced one, you must listen to your body.

It’s a common misconception that when you’re working out you need to “feel the burn.” Some beginners think pumping 50-pound weights will burn more fat and doing 100 repetitions of the same exercise will produce better results. By the end of the workout your muscles are cramping and you can’t even walk properly. No pain, no gain, right?

This is a total misconception. Instead of achieving a healthy cardio workout, you could actually be straining your muscles. A muscle strain is defined as a stretching or tearing of a muscle or a tissue connecting muscle to the bone (a tendon). It can be caused by a combination of fatigue and positioning your body incorrectly while doing various exercises.

Here are five signs you may be straining your body:

Pain:
This refers to a persistent physical discomfort in any part of your body.

Swelling:
Swelling is a build-up of fluid or blood in a particular area of your body and is a natural biological response to injury.

Inflammation:
Redness, and hotness in the affected area is a sign of inflammation. This commonly occurs with pain and swelling.

Muscle Spasms:
Muscle spasms involve a sudden painful involuntary contraction of one or more muscles.

Cramping
Similar to a spasm, cramping is a temporary paralysis of a muscle due to overuse. It is often experienced as a sharp pain.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, treat them immediately. Otherwise they can lead to more painful conditions like Tendinitis and Bursitis. Tendinitis is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon, a thick cord that attaches bone to muscle limiting range of motion. Bursitis is the inflammation of fluid-filled pads (bursae) that act as cushions at the joints.

Luckily, there are several things you can do to soothe your symptoms. Most experts recommend RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If you know your workout is causing these symptoms take a break for a few days and rest. Place a well-covered ice pack over the injury in 20-minute intervals throughout the day. In the event of persistent swelling, apply a compression bandage, which you can find at most drugstores. Lastly, promote blood flow by elevating the injury higher then your heart while resting with the help of a fluffy pillow. Most importantly, consult a physician if your symptoms persist .

Part of being healthy is listening to your body and the many warning signs it gives you. For more information, visit this link.

Liked this? Check out 10 Healthier Fall Drinks to Try!

Written by Bianca Rosembert

Photo Credit: Rance Costa via Compfight cc

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