Toning and sculpting arms is an important part of any workout regimen. Those prominent arm muscles are not only a great way to show off your hard work but also boost your performance in many sports. However, arms are also one of the more delicate and injury-prone parts of your body. Read on to learn about four common arm injuries and how to treat and prevent them.
Rotator Cuff Tear
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that assist with lifting and rotating your arm. These muscles and tendons often tear during throwing sports like baseball and basketball or while lifting weights. Mild to moderate tears are treated with rest, pain medications and physical therapy, while a severe injury may require surgery. Prevent a rotator cuff tear with proper stretching before working out and using good form when lifting weights or playing sports.
Many fitness fanatics want bulging biceps to show off, but overworking this muscle can lead to painful inflammation called tendonitis. Bicep tendonitis is treated by using an upper arm sleeve to compress the muscle and NSAID medications like ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce inflammation. To avoid this injury, stretch and warm up your biceps before working out and don’t lift more weight than you can handle.
Wrist sprains are a common result of catching yourself with outstretched arms during a fall. Most sprains are mild and heal with a week or two of rest, ice and compression. However, severe sprains may require weeks of immobilization followed by physical therapy. If you participate in an activity like ice skating or gymnastics where falls are common, learn how to fall with proper technique to prevent wrist sprains. Wearing wrist supports while working out can also help.
You don’t have to play tennis to get tennis elbow. This repetitive strain injury to the elbow and forearm causes inflammation and loss of mobility and is treated with rest, immobilization and physical therapy. Severe cases may require orthotic devices or surgery. Reduce your risk of tennis elbow by taking a break if you feel soreness and using exercises to build strength in your forearms.
Do you suffer from repeated arm, wrist and shoulder injuries? Sustaining the same injury over and over is a sign that you need to improve your workout technique. Consider working with an experienced trainer or physical therapist to learn how to exercise without straining your body or injuring yourself.