Workout Injuries – Prevention and Treatment Protocol


An injury can occur to anyone, no matter what sports or workout program you may be involved in or what your experience level is. Even the mildest forms of exercise can result in injuries.

A few types of workout injuries;

  • Muscle pull and strain
  • Sprained ankle
  • Shoulder injury
  • Knee injuries
  • Shin splint
  • Tendinitis
  • Wrist sprain or dislocation


Days or weeks of trouble can be avoided by simply keeping a few things in mind before you begin any workout programs or sports activity;

  • Warmup: Any workout should begin with a moderate intensity warm-up such as jogging, exercise bike, treadmill, etc. This prepares your body for incoming stress by elevating your heart rate, loosening up your joints, and warming up the tendons and muscles.
  • Easing into the Exercise: Revise, practice, and repeat the form of a given exercise and start slowly. Gradually increase the intensity, frequency, and volume. Avoid pushing too hard to prevent mishaps.
  • Avoid over-exhaustion: When you start working out, muscles are the primary drivers of the movements. As they fatigue, the joints and tendons get involved and take up some load. If such movement is continued past muscle failure, tendons and joints may take the beating and result in an injury.
  • Body awareness: You should know very well what your trouble spots are. For example, a person with past shoulder impingement must avoid pushing too hard on exercises that actively involve the shoulders.
  • Listen to your body: A workout should leave you feeling happy and pumped (literally) without any new painful spots developing. If you struggle to un-tie your workout shoes after your deadlift session due to your spine grinding and popping, you really need this advice.
  • Fueling up: After a particular workout, you must replenish your body with fluids and healthy, nutrient-dense foods. This ensures efficient recovery and prepares you for incoming workouts. Even during the exercise, get your electrolytes-rich fluid intake up and consume an energy-loaded pre-workout meal for steady energy levels.
  • Stretching: Post-workout dynamic stretching helps with fascial flexibility (flexibility of layer surrounding muscle fibers) and improves blood flow which removes lactic acid buildup. Stretching can be the first step of muscle recovery.
  • Hire a professional: If you are inexperienced and lack the necessary knowledge about working out, it is advised to hire a professional trainer. A trainer can guide you with exercise techniques and their appropriate intensity, frequency, and volume, to ultimately, avoid injuries.
  • Lastly, don’t over workout: Typically, a muscle group requires a minimum of 48 hours to recover. Repeating working out a muscle group before their total recovery deteriorates the ongoing recovery and brings about further complications.

Treatment and Rehabilitation

If you caught an injury, you could still fix things up. RICE protocol should be followed to get started with the treatment;

  • Rest the injury.
  • Ice the injury to reduce swelling and inflammation using cold compress.
  • Compression bandage/dressing must be applied.
  • Elevate the injured body part, if possible, to reduce swelling.

You can administer NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as Ibuprofen with your doctor’s consultancy to avoid any drug interactions or adverse effects.

Even though most injuries self-heal if given enough time (up to 4-6 weeks), seek medical care if your injury worsens. Avoid strenuous activities involving your injured area until after the pain subsides completely, neither, repeat the movement that caused the injury.

You can still stay active by *working around* the injury, allowing the injured area to rest, and carrying on with the treatment. If you notice the pain hasn’t bothered you for a week or two, slowly ease back into the workout program if, and only if, it is not painful.


About the Author

Muhammad Usman

Administrator, and Contributor at KeepUpFitness.

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