Minor injuries are frustrating, and something we are all likely to encounter during exercise or personal training sessions. They may only seem like a slight inconvenience at the time, but recognising a minor injury and treating it correctly will often mean the difference between a swift recovery and a prolonged period of recuperation.
1. Don’t train through the pain
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort during exercise, it’s important to tell your personal trainer. They will be able to assess whether you are developing an injury or straining your muscles in a way that could be damaging in the long term. It’s far better to check out any minor niggles than wait until they develop into something that will stop you from being active and set back your progress.
2. Find a Solution
Although some exercise related injuries can be complicated, many have a simple solution that will prevent reoccurrence. For example, a common complaint for those who do a lot of running sports, e.g. cross training, marathon training or hiking, is shin splints (pain between the knee and ankle). In many cases this can be prevented by making sure you have properly fitted shoes, and also by engaging in exercises to strengthen core muscles. Your trainer will help you target weak areas that need strengthening in order to reduce the likelihood of injury.
3. Know How to Treat It
Many sports and exercise professionals recommend the RICE method for dealing with minor injuries; this stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The key here is to listen to your own body and be smart about how, when and if to apply these methods. As a general rule, if you injure yourself whilst exercising, stop immediately and rest. If you believe you have strained or sprained a muscle, ice can be helpful to ease pain and reduce swelling. Be careful not to put the ice in direct contact with skin. Wrap in a towel and apply for around 15 minutes, then let the skin warm again before re-application. Compression may be useful for some people to reduce excessive swelling, however, it’s important that bandages should not be so tight that they throb. Elevation is a good way to ensure the injured area is sufficiently rested, and will also reduce the risk of inflammation.
Personal trainers will always be happy to help with advice or guidance on preventing, treating or returning to exercise after an injury. These tips are intended for guidance in the result of minor exercise-related injuries; always seek appropriate professional medical advice if an injury does not begin to heal after 48 hours or if you are at all concerned.