Starting a new fitness routine can be empowering and highly beneficial to your health. Exercise can help our bodies (and our brains!) function better, promoting a greater sense of overall well being. It's important, however, to make sure you're paying attention to your body throughout the process – being mindful of form and how hard you're pushing yourself.
In fact, Veterans with a service-connected injury could be experiencing other conditions as a result. We covered this topic in our other blog: Is your leg pain causing your back pain? Here's what might be happening.
These are 5 of the most common injuries that occur when starting new exercise:
Ankle sprains occur from rolling or twisting your ankle in a compromised position. As a result, the ankle's ligaments (or bands of tissue) can tear if they are pushed beyond their usual limits. Many ankle sprains can be treated at home with ice, elevation, and rest – but severe pain may warrant a doctor's check up.
Back pain is common after exercising, according to the Orthopedic Institute. While it can happen as a result of injury or overexertion of the muscles, back pain usually has to do with poor form when exercising. As we mentioned earlier, back pain is also commonly a symptom of altered body mechanics that people make due to other injuries.
When we push our bodies too hard or move in an unfamiliar way, knee injuries can occur. There's a variety of different injuries – meniscus tears (one of the most common of the bunch), patellar tendinitis, and chondromalacia patella (often called runner's knee), to name a few. Some of these occur from a single movement, whereas others happen gradually with wear and tear over time.
Looking for knee-friendly exercises? We've got you covered here.
Occurring all over the body, muscle strains are typically the result of overexertion or overstretching during movement. You might feel it right away – but definitely the next day. Pain, swelling, and limited movement are typically the symptoms of muscle strains. Anyone can experience muscle strain, but those who skip warm ups are more likely to.
Repeated stress on the shinbone and surrounding tissues can cause shin splints: A common exercise that happens when starting new workouts. Pain and tenderness develops along the inner edge of the shin bone, which can be felt to the touch or when standing and applying weight. Shin splints are a common issue for runners, but can be treated and prevented by proper footwear and gradual introduction of exercise.
Preventing injuries while exercising
The good news is, there are multiple different ways to prepare yourself for exercise, minimizing the risk of injury. The following are a couple good practices:
Always warm up.
Learn about proper exercise form.
Listen to your body throughout.
Consider consulting a professional.
Check out our blog: Tips for Veterans starting a new workout program.
Do you need to file a claim for a service-connected injury?
A successful VA disability benefits claim depends on strong documentation. From Nexus Letters and DBQs to comprehensive chart reviews, we're here to assist you in gathering all the necessary materials. Register for a chart review and explore our range of services here. Work with our skilled medical professionals instead of navigating the process alone, ensuring you get exactly what you need.