How to Exercise with an Injury

Many exercises enthusiasts feel the need to push through the pain of an injury during workouts. This pain you are experiencing may be doing more harm than good. An injury is not an excuse to cut out exercise completely, but you should modify your workouts to avoid aggravating your injury further. Below are some safe exercises you can do:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by repetitive motion like typing, golfing, or using vibrating construction equipment, or swelling from diseases such as rheumatoid.

Women are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel because they tend to have narrower wrists. Push ups, planks, and other exercises that causes the wrist to bend forward or backwards excessively can cause a flare-up. Instead, try chest exercises in which you can keep the wrists straight. Machines and dumbbells are great alternatives.

Back Pain

Back pain can be caused by a number of factors including but not limited to: arthritis, disc disease, sports injuries, soft-tissue injuries and muscle strains. Running, especially downhill running, overhead lifting and the leg press machine should be avoided as these activities put an additional strain on your already painful back. Low impact exercises like swimming, walking, yoga, and tai-chi are a safe way to strengthen your muscles without aggravating the injury.

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is often times caused by an impingement, which occurs when the area between the rotator cuff and the bone atop the shoulder narrows and pinches the tendons.

Other possible causes of shoulder pain are arthritis and bursitis. It is the repetitive overhead exercises like the overhead press that should really be avoided to protect the shoulders from further injury. Try doing front shoulder raises as opposed to lateral raises and overhead press. You may also need to postpone sports that require repetitive movement, like tennis and golf, until the injury is healed.

Shin Splints

Painful shin splints are caused by an abrupt increase in running distance or intensity. Until the pain subsides, it is important to discontinue frequent running. You do not have to avoid running altogether unless the pain is becoming increasingly worsened by the exercise. Cross training with other types of cardiovascular exercises like swimming and other sports that do not involve repetitive impact.

Neck Pain

Pain in the neck caused by an array of things such as osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, poor posture and heavy backpacks slung over one shoulder can be irritating and frustrating. Avoid exercises that put pressure on the neck including running and certain yoga positions like headstands. Instead, low impact activities such as walking, Pilates, swimming and cycling should be performed to avoid further injury.

Sprained ankle

A twisted ankle is often caused by rolling the joint in a way that overextends or tears ligaments in within the ankle. Postpone running, jogging and other high impact exercises until the pain has subsided as these high impact exercises can aggravate the injury.

Until your ankle has healed, try focusing on upper body exercises or activities that do not require you to bear weight on your injured joint such as swimming or stationary cycling. Stretch and strengthen your ankle by drawing the alphabet with your toes in order to regain full range of motion.

Inflamed knee

A meniscus or ACL can lead to a painful, swollen knee. Avoid any exercises that make the pain worse. Running, lower body weights and exercises that require jumping and changing direction place stress on the knees and should not be performed until the joint is pain free. Swimming, modified yoga and Pilates and daily hip and leg strengthening workouts like leg raises can also be performed.

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