Common Injuries At the Gym

1. Muscle Strain– There are different degrees of muscle strains from a minor overstretching injury to a tear. To avoid muscle strains, make sure you warm up appropriately and do not lift more weight than you can handle.

2. Tendonitis-is caused by a repetitive strain to the tendon of the muscle. If you overwork a muscle, you can develop tendonitis.

3. Bursitis– is inflammation to the bursa. A Bursa is a fluid filled sac that provides decrease friction and helps to give a fluid movement to the joint. Avoid doing the same exercises all the time; change it up to avoid overuse of one particular area.

4. Back injury– due to placing increase stress on your back muscles with exercises. Avoid forward bent over postures at the gym. Bend with your knees and tighten your abdominal muscles during exercises. This will help decrease the likelihood of a back injury.

5. Shoulder impingement injury– can occur when you overuse the rotator cuff muscles. The rotator cuff muscle can rub against the top part of the shoulder blade, producing pain. Avoid overhead weighted exercises.

If you experience pain while you are working out, you should stop and apply ice. If the pain persists for more than 3 days, contact your physician or your local physical therapist at Harbor Physical Therapy.

Free Injury Screening at Federal Hill Fitness

Do you continue having that same ache or pain, which is preventing you from exercising or doing day-to-day activities? Are you unsure what to do about it? Or do you just not have the time to take care of it?
Join us on April 29th at 5:00pm at Federal Hill Fitness for a Free Injury Screening assessment with Dr. Amanda Macht from Harbor Physical Therapy. Dr. Amanda will assess your concern and provide you with recommendations for next steps towards healing. If interested, email info@machtmedicalgroup.com or stop by Federal Hill Fitness.

Auto Accident Injury

After an auto accident, sometimes it takes up to 48 hours before you feel discomfort from the injury. The delayed reaction is due to your body responding to the injury by tightening muscles. Your muscles stay in a contracted state which leads to discomfort and limited range of motion. Physical Therapy helps to decrease muscle tightness through manual techniques, postural education, modalities, and prescribed exercises. If you have been injured in an auto accident, please contact Harbor Physical Therapy to receive treatment.

Tips for Walking in Snow and Ice

1. Wear boots or shoes with textured soles. Avoid shoes that have smooth surfaces on the bottom.
2. Watch where you walk. Avoid dark and shiny patches. Walking on the snow will give you better traction.
3. Avoid being off-balanced by carrying things in your hands. Use a backpack if you are walking long distances and keep your hands out of your pockets so you can use them for balancing yourself.
4. Take small, quick, shuffling steps if you are walking through an icy spot and keep your weight slightly forward. It’s usually better to fall forward than it is to fall backwards.
5. Make sure you remove snow quickly from your steps or walk before it hardens and turns icy. Put some type of ice melt product down to ensure it won’t be slippery.
6. Avoid walking in shaded areas where ice tends to build up.

During the winter, physical therapists see many patients with injuries from falling on the ice. Thinking ahead and taking your time could prevent a lot of bruises, sprains and even fractures.

How to Decrease the Likelihood of a Running Injury

Most running injuries are caused by overuse, overtraining, wearing the wrong shoes, and overcompensating for a muscle imbalance or biomechanical problem. Here are some ways you can prevent the likelihood of a running injury.

1. Gradually increase your mileage. Increasing your weekly mileage by no more than 10% will help prevent injury.
2. Wear supportive shoes that are not worn out. It is suggested you replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles or every 6 months. Also, make sure your shoes address any biomechanical issues you may have with your feet and arches. Most running stores provide an analysis of your feet.
3. The best surfaces to run on that provide the least amount of impact is grass and woodland trails. Avoid running on concrete which is the hardest surface you could run on. Asphalt is a little better than concrete. If you run on grass, look for a flat area of grass. While running on a trail, watch out for slippery, muddy areas.
4. Stretch after you run to prevent your muscles from being too tight.
5. Cross train instead of just running. This way you will be strengthening various muscle groups and one particular muscle group will be less likely to be strained.

If you are unsure how to progress running safely to meet your goals, need help creating a stretching program, and or cross training programming, contact Harbor Physical Therapy for an appointment. We also offering running assessments to uncover your specific running stride and provide you specific tailored exercises to help diminish any muscle imbalances.

Core Strengthening

The core muscles include upper abdominal muscle, rectus abdominus , lower abdominal muscle, transverse abdominus, internal and external oblique muscles, and lower back muscles.

Strength and power originate from the center of the body. The core stabilizes the body with arm and leg movement. If the core is weak, you have a greater chance of back injury. If the core muscles are strong, it decreases the likelihood of back injury with pulling, pushing, lifting, bending, and reaching. A strong core improves posture, balance, stability, and endurance during activity.

If you want to learn how to perform core strengthening exercises, contact Harbor Physical Therapy.

Free Weights Vs. Machines

Free weights include dumbbells, barbells, ankle weights, and pulleys. Free weights are used for a variety of exercises for the entire body. Exercising with free weights, allow you to perform weighted exercises in a functional motion. This not only strengthens the muscle you are contracting, it allows contraction of many different muscles to stabilize the motion. This is the main difference between using weight machines versus free weights. However, one needs to be careful using free weights because you are more likely to cause an injury due to the freedom of motion.

Machines at the gym provide more structure. Usually machines focus on one part of the body at a time and provide support for the rest of the body. This insures isolation of a muscle contraction at the specific muscle group. Generally they provide diagrams on each machine that tells you how to correctly perform each exercise.

Ideally, one should incorporate both free weights and machines into your workout as they are both beneficial. Please contact Harbor Physical Therapy for details on how to structure your workout with free weights and machines.

The Relationship Between Personal Trainers and Physical Therapists

Personal trainers often see people with pre-existing or new injuries. A physical therapist provides rehabilitation for injuries to return you to your current workout routine or sport of choice. The physical therapist will provide education to you and your personal trainer to focus on specific workouts or avoid certain exercises to prevent re-injury. Therefore, it is helpful to have an ongoing relationship with both a personal trainer and physical therapist to decrease the likelihood of injury while working towards your fitness goals.

At Harbor Physical Therapy, we now provide personal training. If you do not already have a personal trainer, please contact us and we can help you to achieve your fitness goals. We will be happy to get you started on a safe exercise program catered to your specific needs.