It doesn’t matter how fit you are or how long you have been training. Injuries occur. Usually a small tweak here or there, but if you don’t listen to your body, then those injuries can keep you side lined a lot longer than you had hoped for.
There are a lot of things you can do to give yourself the best possible chance of not injuring yourself such as; warming up and getting blood flowing to your muscles before training; focusing on good form and the muscles being used; foam rolling.
Dynamic stretching is always good (movement with the stretch); however, save the static stretching (holding the stretch for a set amount of time) for after your workout.
However even with all your preparations, injuries just happen. They usually happen at a time when you have just started to see results or have settled into a rhythm. Don’t worry, you aren’t going to lose those gains in a week or two. Just continue to eat healthy food and be patient. Listen to both your body and a doctor.
As a trainer, I cannot diagnose your injury, and it would be foolish for me to do so. I don’t have the same years of practice that a doctor does, but here are some ideas to help you get back on track.
If you feel a muscle tighten up or a sharp pain in a joint. Stop what you are doing. DO not push through the pain. You could try doing the same exercise with less weight, but if you feel any discomfort, then STOP. Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate.
Stay off the Internet
Do not go home and decide to self diagnose. Easier said than done, I know. I have opened many webpages trying to find out why my knee is hurting. Before I knew it, I was sure that I was going to have a major operation because I MUST have torn my ligaments. I suggest you go to see a doctor. I found out mine was bursitis below the knee. Common inflammation fixed by REST. The internet can drive you crazy, and without rest, proper x-rays, or MRI’s, you aren’t going to be able to self diagnose. How many times have you tried to self diagnose? How many times have you been right?
Don’t keep testing it
If you tweaked your knee and every time you bend it, it hurts. Stop bending it. When you try to show someone what happened, use the other leg, not the injured leg.
When you start back, don’t immediately jump to heavy weights. Ease back into training. Your body won’t be used to it, and you will be at more of a risk of injuring yourself. Start with no weight and test the waters and then slowly add. Also, don’t start at the same intensity level. Increase slowly.
Follow your Doctors Orders
If a doctor prescribes physical therapy, give it a go. Although trainers can do a lot of the same exercises that you see in physical therapy offices, often we don’t have the ultrasound or electrode stimulators that they have on hand. Ask your doctor if it is okay if you do rehabilitation with your trainer.