Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Common Injuries and Treatments

We are into the second week of Tabatas. We all know what muscle soreness is and what is not, whether you are new to physical training or not. I wanted to take a little time to cover some of the more common calisthenic related injuries and how to treat them.
I am not a physician, sports therapist, nor a trainer. I am an athlete with a long resume of training, training mistakes, and injuries. I was a professional research writer for the government for 12 years, 10 in the military (Active and Reserve and a few as a contractor). That being said, if you have any injury related pain, GO AND TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR.
For those of you who don’t trust the medical and pharmaceutical industry, because they only make money when we get sick or injured, let’s get started.

With calisthenics, there is far less risk of injury than of a weight dropping on you, or doing a movement with absolutely injurious form. Even using machines to isolate a muscle group can cause painful injuries to joints. With bodyweight-only exercises, our bodies move more naturally. We find our groove faster and easier. There are still injuries to be had. The two most common are pattern overload and a muscular imbalance that causes a tit in the lumbo-pelvic girdle.
The two most Pattern Overload, as explained at T-Nation, is one cause of joint pain. You could also call this overuse of pattern movement or repetitive stress The same thing can happen with other joints.
Quarterbacks throw passes in the range of hundreds of thousands to the million range, causing shoulder and elbow injuries. Tennis players get elbow and knee injuries. We have mentioned carpal tunnel syndrome. Runners often develop knee injuries, as do soldiers in the infantry who spend weeks on end conducting long foot patrols with one or two hundred pounds of gear on their backs, not to mention the back problems they develop in the process, too. These are examples of Pattern Overload.
The military, by the way, has a very skewed view on doing physical training. Just as an FYI, folks, the Army and Navy, having served in both, I can say this about both of them. They will insist that there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing the absolute same exercise daily. Do it the same way. Every day. Day after day. The number of soldiers I have seen develop confirmed shoulder injuries by just doing the one standard type of push-up leaves me shaking my head. So, how does one deal with pattern overload? Grunt Candy (a handful of 800mg Motrin washed down with a Red Bull and coffee)? No, not if you have any intention of keeping your kdneys. Here are the two things you need for prevention:
1. Stretch and warm up/cool-down, before and after your workout. This gives your body time to adjust and move blood and nutrients into the regions that you will be stressing. This should take no less than 10 minutes.
2. Change the manner in which you are doing the exercise. There are many different types of push-ups. Diamonds, wide spaced, and turning your hands to different angles to change the direction of stress and the muscles involvement. Pull-ups and chin-ups engage muscles differently, too. Vary hand width. Switch it up as much as you can. Even try throwing a towel over the bar and grabbing each end to do your pull-ups. This is a fantastic way to firm up your grip if you’re into grappling. Keep your training fresh and creative to avoid the mental rut and Pattern Overload.

Muscular Imbalances occur when one muscle group around a joint is trained to be stronger than the other muscle groups around that joint. The result is pain and injury. The most common areas where this happens that I am familiar with are the hips and pelvic girdle and in the shoulders.
The technical term for the region we are talking about is the lumbo-pelvic hip girdle. It’s where the lower lumbar region of the spine connects to the hip girdle. That should be the most technical we get in terminology.
By using treadmills exclusively or too frequently, the muscles and tendons at the front of your hips and hip flexors getting most use. This is because the motorized belt is assisting in bringing your legs back while you are using the muscles and tendons in and around the hip flexors to lift and bring your legs forward. It is this mechanical assist from the moving belt that effectively eliminates use of your glutes and anterior muscles & tendons around the hip girdle.
Over time this muscular offset will create a tilt in the pelvis. This tilt leads to increasing pain in the lower lumbar region.
How these injuries occur is really quite simple and, thankfully, so is avoiding them. The treadmill is a really convenient training device to have. You live in an apartment or a condo and don’t have a place to go running, or maybe your gym doesn’t have an attached running track. Whatever it is, you have the best access to a treadmill.

Treating these injuries takes nothing more than patience and time.
1. Use a Lacrosse Ball to deeply massage the injured area. You don’t need to spend $30 or even $20 dollars on some shiny plastic vibrating thingy from the electronic gadget store at the mall. You can, if you want, but it’s not necessary. You could save a few bucks by just getting a lacrosse ball. Use it by pressing it as deeply into the sore or injured areas as you are comfortable with and roll it around. Press it between your back and the wall to hit those hard to reach places, too.
2. Sometimes, using wraps like lifting straps or ace bandages may be useful in supporting the injured joint until healed and back to full strength. What that feels like and what that level is will be up to you and your physician. 3. Use the R-I-C-E acronym to treat pain and injuries. This means Rest Ice Compression Elevation during the first 72 hours after the injury.

From my own experience and what I have read these should be the best and the worst of the injuries you face. No guarantee on this. There will always be someone who makes it happen...maybe they blow an ACL or tear something or were recovering from a previous injury. If you are concerned about a pain or these tips are not helping, see a professional without any further delay.

From the No-Frills-No-Cost-No-Excuses Gym, Train Hard. Train Smart. Train for life!

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