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Everyone gets injured from time to time. Even those who follow the strictest form, warm up and down sufficiently, recover correctly, and get good quality rest will at least pick up the odd niggle every now and then. Don’t panic! Educate and move forward…

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Fitness training, especially resistance training, is a risky business. Yes, the rewards are great, but pushing the human body to its extremes will always have its pitfalls. Injuries are par for the course.

With smart training, adequate rest and recovery, and more than a little bit of listening to your body, hopefully you’ll never fall afoul of anything really serious. However, the painful little problems that every athlete is bound to face should be taken seriously. Forget that ‘NO PAIN NO GAIN’ nonsense, and certainly turn your back on the age old ‘FIGHT THROUGH IT!’ motto. You need to educate yourself, listen to your body, treat your injuries, then make a full recovery and return with renewed vigor.

In most cases of prolonged pain, lack of mobility, or discomfort, expert help should be sought, but here are some tips to speeding up your recovery

R.I.C.E.R.

As soon as you know an injury has occurred, R.I.C.E.R. is your first port of call.

  • REST- You’re getting some shut-eye and relaxation, no argument. Whatever you’ve hurt needs immediate relief from further stress. It’s rest time.
  • ICE- Next it’s time for the cold treatment. The body will often over-react to damage, dilating the blood vessels for increased blood flow, causing pain, swelling, and possible damage to surrounding tissues. NEVER put ice directly onto the skin. Instead, grab a well sealed bag of ice, or good old frozen vegetables, and wrap well in a towel, before applying. Unless instructed by a medical professional, only apply ice for 15-20 minutes at a time. Allow the skin to regain temperature before repeating. Commercial cold packs are available and may well be stocked in the first aid box at your gym.
  • COMPRESSION- After hopefully reducing swelling with cold treatment, you need to keep inflammation at bay with compression. Use either specialist strapping, or wrap with ace bandages. You must cover the injured site, as well as above and below. Strapping should be tight, but not so tight as to cause excess pain, or to restrict blood flow or nerve signalling.
  • ELEVATION- Now let gravity help you. Elevate the injured area to a position above the heart. This will further restrict blood flow and reduce swelling.
  • REHABILITATION- If, after following R.I.C.E. and a little time haven’t helped, or if you suspect your injury is serious enough, you should certainly seek immediate medical attention. Anything around the spine or head areas should be taken extremely seriously. So begins your rehabilitation. For less serious pulls, sprains, and overuse problems, a night’s rest will often point you in the right direction. For non-emergency injuries, seeking help from your GP, as well as a good sports physio, is the way to go. And don’t go jumping back in too soon and setting yourself back to square one!

To aid injury recovery, or simply recovery from workouts, supplying the body with enough of the correct nutrients is essential. Sheer Total is designed to do just this. Packed with all the little extras that can help your body fight any battle, this handy little supplement is an invaluable addition to your sports nutrition.

Lifter’s Elbow

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One of the most commonly injured body parts are the elbows. The most common elbow injury is an overuse problem called lifter’s elbow. For the full low-down, see the Sheer Strength Blog HERE.

For recovery from lifter’s elbow, follow R.I.C.E.R. Assuming inflammation isn’t causing a major problem, and day-to day tasks aren’t overly affected, you may be able to treat this yourself.

Over the counter anti-inflammatories are a good idea, but always follow the instructions on the packet. Keep the elbow(s) strapped and avoid strenuous activities wherever possible. Obviously upper body gym work is out. You can attempt leg day, but you will probably soon gain an appreciation of just how many exercises your elbows are involved in.

Now may be a good time to work on your cardio.

Stay away from upper body work for at least a fortnight, or longer if pain and/or swelling persists. When you feel ready, ease back in gently. Keep the weight and volume down, and don’t go full on right away. Knee injuries generally follow the same protocol, except, obviously pec Monday may still be on!

Over-Training

Aptly moving on… while this may not strictly be an ‘injury’, it is one of the leading causes of injuries, and in chronic cases, requires treatment.

Never mind all those memes you see about rest days, over-training is easily done. In fact, a large percentage of gym goers are restricting their progress by pushing themselves too far. When it comes to weight training, you should be training with optimum intensity in order to get the best results and boost your testosterone, meaning that you must take complete rest from time to time. Speaking of testosterone, Sheer Test is the perfect product to supplement your intensity. Jammed with proven test boosting ingredients, it’s virtually guaranteed to produce results.

The great Dorian Yates, king of intensity, used to take a week or more away from the gym every three to four months. Don’t worry! You won’t instantly shrink!

Back Pain

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If you’ve never experienced back pain, you’re lucky.

The back is such a complex system of integrating tissues that rarely get complete rest, and as such it can suffer extremely complex and long-lasting injuries.

Don’t take the risk. If your back hurts in any way, stay away from the gym and seek expert advice. DIY will get you only so far.

 

All too many lifters are now retired due to ignoring the warning signs. Don’t be another statistic.

Many back injuries are caused by bad form, or irresponsible behavior in the weights room. There’s never any excuse for poor technique. Lift weights that you can effectively and efficiently perform full, muscle building reps with.

Torn Calluses

Those precious calluses! Lifters are proud of their iron-toughened hands… or most are in any case.

This may appear to be a superficial problem, and technically it is. But you try lifting anything with broken skin on your hands. Apart from the obvious discomfort, this presents a serious health risk. Not only would you be leaving your blood on gym equipment, you would be opening yourself up to infections from others.

  • Treatment begins with cleaning the area with warm, soapy water. Iodine may be a good idea.
  • Next you need to trim away the torn skin with sterile scissors. This skin will simply die anyway, then catch on everything, making life miserable, and prolonging recovery.
  • Apply some sort of balm, preferably one containing vitamin E. Failing this, reach for the petroleum jelly. The last thing you want is for your torn hands to become dry and cracked.
  • Wrap with bandages.
  • Wear surgical gloves at night time to prevent the skin from drying.
  • Repeat the steps above until healing has reached a satisfactory level.
  • Begin training again when you think you’re ready, but wear gloves, and stay away from the heavy deads!
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Pic: muscleandfitness

Rotator Cuff Injuries

This is a nasty business! Shoulder problems are one of the most common causes of short and long term injuries from weight training.

As soon as you feel that pinch… straight to R.I.S.E.R!

Aside from all out dislocation or torn tendons, the worst of the more common gym injuries is the damaged rotator cuff.

The shoulder complex is… very complex. At the center of this complex is a mass of intricate tendons, ligaments, and muscles, that work in unison right where the upper arm joins with the shoulder joint. This is the rotator cuff, a legendary monster in the world of the gym.

Rotator cuff injuries are often characterized by a dull ache deep within the joint, obviously worsened upon lifting, especially pressing exercises. Sleeping on the affected side is also often painful. If you suspect a rotator cuff injury, stop training and see a physio. It won’t get better by itself, and iron is not the correct medication.

Rehabilitation is often a long process, but, working with a good physio is essential. They will provide you with further DIY instructions and exercises routines, as well as advising when a return to the gym is favorable.

Hamstring Strains

R.I.C.E.R. again! Hamstring injuries either hit you there and then or appear as a gradual tightening shortly after training. Instantly excruciating pain may well be a tear, and needs to be iced, compressed, and packed off to the hospital.

Those slow building strains can provide real problems. In the initial stages, just apply a mixture of ice, compression, and elevation and stay off of your feet wherever possible. If your gait is heavily affected, using crutches is a good idea to avoid further straining surrounding areas, especially the lower back. When pain and swelling have subsided, you may begin LIGHT stretching after applying a little heat to the area. Massage therapy is often an effective treatment.

A key component in any injury rehab, and the first rule of R.I.C.E.R. is rest. The best rest comes when counting sheep.   is a potent sleep aid designed to help you drift off as well as to maintain good quality sleep rhythm. Containing the sleep hormone itself, melatonin, this great supplement is the perfect addition to your night-time nutrition.

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