Fluid-filled sores caused by rubbing, friction or heat from ill-fitting
equipment or a burn.
Treatment: Cover with a sterile bandage.
Avoidance: Make sure your shoes and equipment fit properly. Use foot powder to keep feet dry.
A bruise. A general term describing an injury to any part of the
body caused by impact or trauma without break in the skin. The bruise
can occur in the underlying skin, muscle, tendon, ligament, etc.
Contusions are more likely to occur in contact sports. Just about
every injury they announce in a hockey game is referred to as a
contusion. A contusion usually causes a bruise in the underlying
tissue involved in the impact. Severe contusions can cause damage
to the brain if the head is violently jarred. Contusions can also
damage the heart during a severe auto accident or some other event
in which the chest is severely pounded.
Symptoms: Sharp to dull pain in the area affected.
Treatment: Depends on the tissue. If it's muscle take a breather. The pain shouldn't last too long. If it's a ligament, or tendon, you might need to rest for a more significant amount of time depending on the severity. Any contusion to the head should be checked by a physician. If any pain from a contusion either persists for days or gets worse, consult a physician.
Avoidance: When driving, wear your seat belt. When participating in hockey, football, lacross, rollerblading, biking, snowboarding, and other activities in which head trama is a possibility, always wear your helmit and necessary padding.
Involuntary flexing of muscle due to lack of potassium and insufficient
Symptoms: Sharp pain in affected muscle
Treatment: Discontinue exercise. Stretch cramped muscle. Continue exercise.
Avoidance: Eat foods high in potassium such as bananas and potatoes. Always warm up and stretch before exercise. Don't push yourself hard until your body has had a few weeks to grow accustom to the exercise.
Tear of fascia covering muscles on the underside of your feet.
Symptoms: Sharp pain under heal or on underside of foot
Treatment: Rest. Buy new shoes or get orthodics (a custom made insole, which may cost up to 200 dollars, but also may prevent serious injury).
Avoidance: Invest in a good pair of shoes that provide support for the arch in the bottom of your foot. Check the sole of your shoes. If one side is much more worn down than the other, you pronate, and may want to consider orthodics.
small tears in the muscle due to an imbalance in strength between
your calves and your shin muscles.
Symptoms: Pain in your shin (front part of lower leg) usually toward the inside
Treatment: Ice for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Strengthen shin muscles by walking on your heals.
Avoidance: Always be sure to warm up and stretch thoroughly before exercising. Don't push yourself hard until your body has had a few weeks to grow accustom to the exercise. Then be careful not to over train. Do what is necessary. It's unnecessary to run up a hill every day, if you're training to race on a flat track. Customize your workout to reflect the event you're training for, and to emulate the conditions under which you'll be competing. When increasing the intensity of your workout, limit the improvement by 10%.
Injury to ligaments
Symptoms: Pain especially during movement, swelling
Treatment: Rest. If severe consult a physician.
Avoidance: Always warm up and stretch before exercise. Don't push yourself hard until your body has had a few weeks to grow accustom to the exercise. Wear proper shoes with plenty of padding and support.
The gym machine that injures people the most is the beloved Stairmaster, which provokes overuse injuries such as tendonitis.
Injury to muscle or tendon
Symptoms: Mild aching, stiffness, pain or swelling
Treatment: Rest until symptoms are gone - up to 2 weeks.
Avoidance: Always warm up and stretch before exercise. Don't push yourself hard until your body has had a few weeks to grow accustom to the exercise. When increasing the intensity of your workout, limit the improvement by 10%.
A fracture, usually a small crack, caused by unusual or repeated
stress on a bone.
Symptoms: Sharp acute pain in bone
Treatment: Rest, and switch to a non-impact non-weight-bearing exercise such as swimming, cycling or for you runners - water running (simulating the motions of running in a pool wearing a buoyant running suit).
Avoidance: Avoid pounding when exercising. When you run make sure your feet aren't slapping the ground. You want to land on your heal and roll off your toes. Avoid over training or covering too much mileage. Ease into an exercise routine. If you're starting to run, don't start running every day, and don't start running 5 miles on the first day. When increasing the intensity of your workout, limit the improvement by 10% to avoid strain or injury. As always, be sure to warm up and stretch thoroughly before exercising.
A superficial skin infection commonly occuring
in swimmers. As a swimmer spends long hours in the pool, the protective
skin oil, ear wax and outer layers of dead skin can wash away making
the skin more susceptable to infection.
Symptoms: can cause extremely disabling pain in the ear during swimming and especially when the outer ear or ear lobe is gently tugged. This problem tends to recurr. A green-colored discharge may ooze from the skin.
Treatment: If you experience fever, swelling, severe pain or large amounts of discharge, see your physician. Otherwise treat your ear by washing it 3 to 4 times per day with a mild (1 to 2%) solution of boric acid or with a 2% solution of acetic acid. House hold white distilled vinegar usually contains 5% acetic acid and can be diluted or used at full strength to wash the ear. If symptoms persist after 3 days, see a physician.
Avoidance: Avoid using Q-tips more than necessary. They actually assist the water in breaking down your protective layers of ear wax, oil and skin. If you need to dry the inside of your ears use a blow dryer instead. Combat the problem early. You might consider taking time off from swimming. If the problem isn't nipped in the bud it will probably keep coming back to haunt you. So hit it hard with serious treatment and if possible give yourself some time out of the water.
Inflammation of a tendon usually due to over-use.
Treatment: Rest. Consult personal trainer on strengthening exercises.
Avoidance: Always warm up and stretch before exercise. Don't push yourself hard until your body has had a few weeks to grow accustom to the exercise. Use proper technique during your exercise. When increasing the intensity of your workout, limit the improvement by 10%.
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