Bodybuilding injuries treatment
Often argued whether bodybuilding could be classified as a sport, this is an activity which requires great stamina, commitment, and endurance in its long hours of resistance and strength training of either a particular set of muscles or the entire body. Unfortunately, these long gym hours are bound to result in some injuries, especially due to the nature of many bodybuilders, among both amateurs and professionals, to always push themselves to their own personal limit. This tends to result not only in overtraining, but injuries which could have otherwise been avoided. It is always advisable to seek out a professional medical opinion, if you believe that the pain you are experiencing differs to general muscle pain many of us experience after resistance exercise sessions.
Over time, the more experienced bodybuilders tend to generally get repetitive strain injuries, rather than any drastic traumas some tend to experience when starting out. The main reason behind that is that the athlete understands the strain the body is put under better, therefore understands the importance of proper technique and lengthy warm up sessions. Serious injuries, which tend to occur without the practical knowledge and experience in this sport, can range from slipped discs to severe muscle tears (e.g. from the bone), with these requiring urgent medical care.
Some of the common injuries bodybuilders experience include the following: repetitive stress injuries, tendinitis, muscle strains, ligament sprains, bursitis, and etc. However, these would be considered as ‘light’ injuries, which are so commonplace among bodybuilders, that it’s somewhat considered as part of the process. “No pain, no gain” approach is a general methodic in this sport, but with practical experience, distinguishing between injury pain and the customary muscle pain gets easier, enabling the person to pause the training before complicating the injury any further.
The areas which are most often affected include: the back, the knees, and the shoulders.
Degenerative disc disease is the widespread culprit behind back pain among bodybuilders. Even though heavy lifting exercises and extra pressure on the spinal discs is one of its main causes among athletes, this disease can develop through a number of factors, ranging from poor posture to genetic predisposition. The discs in the spine are made up of nucleus and annulus, which act as shock absorbers for the spine as we move. The degeneration occurs from the water in the discs drying out, thus causing tiny tears to appear in the annulus part of the disc.Although back pain is considered to be the last symptom to appear, as it is caused by inflammation, generally, those who have developed the disease, will feel pain when making bending or lifting movements, or when spending much time in the same position. Although there is no known cure, as the degeneration process will continue with the years, the pain can be easily managed through electrotherapy and massage, and through restoration of the spine and joint alignment, as well as physical therapy, this condition can be easily managed.
Surprisingly, the knee doesn’t take as much of an impact from weight training as many would assume, however, repetitive strain injuries caused by exercises such as squats and leg weight lifting may occur, leading to various types of tendinopathies, particularly the tendinitis. Tendinitis in the knee refers to inflammation of the tendons and muscles, which allow the knee to move the way it does. Continuing the exercises, without rest and physical therapy, may lead to more severe injuries, which may be career ending.
Two less common injuries among bodybuilders are the anterior cruciate ligament and the posterior cruciate ligament. The first one refers to the injury of the front ligament which connects the shin bone and the femur bone in the thigh, enabling the knee joint to rotate or extend. The second one refers to the injury of the ligament located in the back of the knee, which connects the femur and shin bones to the ACL, allowing the person to move backwards.
Along with knee pain, the other most common complaint among bodybuilders is the pain in the shoulders. Majority of the exercises focus on upper body weight training, thus putting extra pressure on the rotator cuff region. The rotator cuff itself is a collection of tendons and muscles enabling the shoulder to function properly ,and repetitive progressive resistance motions utilized in bodybuilding training sometimes lead to a common injury – the rotator cuff tendinitis. What this is, is an inflammation in either one or more of the tendons forming the rotator cuff, causing pain in the shoulder region, popping noises, and difficulty raising and rotating the arm. These symptoms however do not necessarily mean it is tendinitis, therefore a diagnosis must be established through tests, to make sure it isn’t a more serious condition, such as a tear in the tendon.
INJURY PREVENTION METHODS
Here are some easy steps to follow to prevent injury during weight lifting trainings for bodybuilders.
- Do not over-train
- Know your body and understand the different types of pain you may feel during training
- Have long enough intervals in between trainings to let your muscles recover properly
- Proper nutrition
- Do not jump into lifting much heavier weights without a buildup. This is a progressive resistance training sport, so take your time in letting your muscles adjust to the increase in training weights
- Stretch, stretch, stretch!!
- Employ proper technique in your trainings
TREATMENT AT THE CLINIC
Although always following the steps mentioned previously in the ‘preventive measures’ section is extremely important, bodybuilding is one of the few sports where a repetitive strain injury may happen regardless of all proper techniques and injury prevention methods used.
Along with physiotherapy and manual therapy, for more serious injuries we offer innovative technology for treatment of various traumas listed above – the extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). The way it works is through small shockwaves applied directly to the injured zone, stimulating bloodflow and thus accelerating the healing process. Although it is commonly used as a pain reduction treatment, it has proven to be successful in treating various tendonopathies, substituting for surgical invasive procedures and enabling the athlete to return to sport and continue their career even.
Our clinic not only specializes in the rehabilitative procedures for shoulder, back and knee injuries that bodybuilders may incur in their training and helping them return to sport as soon as possible, but our treatment methods offered may also be used to enhance performance and prevent future injury. This is done via the help of state of the art technologies and the expert team of professionals at NYCSPT clinic. This enables us to provide you with a one-stop place where you can be diagnosed and treated, with each patient and each case approached individually.