When you’ve been working hard in the gym, the last thing you need is to be thrown off track with an injury. Yet, sadly, gym injuries are all too common so it’s important to understand contributing factors and what to do if you are injured while working out.
It’s typical to experience some muscle soreness or stiffness after training a harder than you’re used to. Delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS) tends to arise 1-2 days after the exercise and usually subsides within a maximum of 2 or 3 days.
Although often attributed to a build-up of lactic acid, this is a myth. It’s now known that when muscles work harder than usual, microscopic tears result. The soreness is part of the process that will build greater stamina and strength as the body adapts and repairs itself.
However, if you felt something unusual during your activity, such as a stabbing pain in the knee or a painful spasm in your back, you’ll want to know that it’s not a sign of a more serious underlying injury.
First port of call is usually a professional physio clinic, which offers advanced diagnostics as well as a variety of approaches to the treatment of exercise injuries. Choosing a facility, such as Broadmead Physiotherapy in BC or similar providers, which are accredited by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association will guarantee cutting-edge therapies to help you recover if you were injured while working out .
Pain lasts a long time after exercise
If the pain doesn’t go away when you stop moving, it can be a sign of an injury. Normal stiffness only starts to set in after several hours, so if the pain is continuous, it is a sign that something’s wrong.
Pain that affects normal activities
If the pain is affecting the way you carry out everyday activities, it’s wise to get it assessed. Examples would include: limping when you walk, pain when you get up from a chair, or if the pain interferes with sleep.
Pain increases over time
Post-exercise muscle soreness can be limiting for certain movements, but it gets less severe as time passes and will be gone within days. If the pain is constant (ie even when you’re not moving), or increases with time, it’s sensible to seek advice if injured while working out.
Numbness or tingling
While numbness or tingling may not seem significant, they can signify that one or more nerves are involved in the problem. This should be taken seriously, so consult a professional for further investigation.
Loss of function
If you experience unexpected weakness in any part of your body, (and not necessarily at the site of your injury), whether accompanied by pain or not, consult a physio or doctor to diagnose the problem.
If the site of the injury develops signs of bruising over time, it means that blood vessels have been broken, indicating an injury which should definitely be assessed by a physio or doctor.
Whenever you have any doubts about whether getting injured while working out is serious or not, you should seek an expert opinion. Doing this as soon as you feel something is wrong will ensure you receive appropriate treatment, avoid further damage and help you return to the activities you enjoy more quickly .