Common fitness injuries
Common fitness injuries
FEEL THE GAME - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - February 22, 2019 - 12:00am

We talked on walking last week as the simplest and easiest form of exercise, yet, if we’re not careful, we still could get injured.  I had a few reactions on the subject, mostly from my 55-above age group.  For all intents and purposes, this is not an advise column, I’m not an expert and I source my material from the net.  Well, my “clients” said that they do have minor discomforts on their lower body joints even when walking on a leisurely pace.  Hellooo..? We’re three years away from 20% discounts and of course, we get some unwelcome irritants.

The worldwide web says that without the proper warm-ups, we could end up hurt.  Warm-ups speed up our rate of breathing, warm our muscles and increases blood flow.  Cold muscles are most prone to injuries.

Studies suggest that women tend to have higher risks for sports-related injuries compared to men because of differences in body structure.  Females have smaller bones as well as muscle mass and changing estrogen levels factor into the risk.  But take note gentlemen, more women are getting fitter than us so this study could be going to irrelevancy.

The most common injuries (male and female) are sprains and strains, but they are different from each other.  Tissues that connect bones to each other are called ligaments and when they’re stretched or torn, sprains happen usually to knees, ankles and wrists.  30% of sports related injuries come from sprains.  Strains on the other hand happen to muscles or tendons when they’re stretched too much.  Immediate treatment for sprains and strains is the R.I.C.E. method – rest, ice, compression, elevate.  Rest helps our bodies to recuperate.  Ice, compression and elevation reduce pain and swelling.

Health and medical professionals don’t have an exact clue on what causes muscle cramps or spasms.  The tightening of muscles usually involves the calf and thigh and could be due to poor conditioning, dehydration, fatigue or electrolyte and potassium depletion.  As per experts, cramps can be eased by stopping any activity and gently stretching.

Runners and other athletes who hit the ground repeatedly commonly complain of shin splints and runners’ knee.  Runners’ knee is an irritated cartilage that causes pain in the kneecaps and it can be felt when climbing up and down stairs, when squatting or kneeling.  Oh yes, I can feel it.  Shin splints are the inflammation of muscles, tendons and other tissues that surrounds the shin bone.  Yup, sometimes I have that too.  This does not mean that I’m a runner, it’s just that my brain says exercise and my stomach says extra rice.  The cure?  Experts advise rest and warm or cold compresses.

Also injury prone is the Achilles tendon, the body’s longest tendon that connects calf muscles to the heel bone.  Stress from running and jumping inflames it and it’s called Achilles tendinitis.  Over time, minute tears develop and it becomes Achilles tendonitis.  Rest and cold compress treats the injury but surgery is required when it gets ruptured.

The plantar fascia is the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot.  These tissues can be damaged thru overuse.  They sustain minor injuries over and over again and it is called plantar fasciitis.  This is common also among runners and aerobic and dance instructors.

Golfers and iron pumpers commonly injure their lumbar vertebrae, the lower back as it carries the weight when we do heavy lifting and does most of the twisting when doing those golf swings.  Too much of these result in slipped or herniated disc.  Tennis elbow and golfers elbow is caused by overuse because the arm gets the same injury over and over.  All of the above mentioned injuries are all overuse injuries and they generally get better with rest.

After our exercise, fitness experts say this is the best time to stretch our muscles because they are already warmed up and flexible.  If we do our stretching before exercise, it is advised to have a warm up before dong the stretch.

No matter what our fitness levels are, it is wise to take the necessary precautions and to those whose lives had just began at 50, let’s make do it slow, easy and surely because it’s not comfortable being achy.

Reactions are welcome at bobby_motus@yahoo.com or bobbymotus1961@gmail.com

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