When starting a new workout plan [first FitPlan, anyone?], it can be hard to tell whether the aches + pains are your body responding positively or negatively. You want to push your body while exercising to get the most out of it, but there’s a difference between soreness [mild-moderate discomfort] + serious pain. If you’re experiencing sharp pains while running or doing certain moves, there are a few injuries that could be responsible that you may not be aware of–
1] RUNNER’S KNEE
Runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome [PFPS], is often caused by overtraining or overworking the knee, lack of flexibility in the leg muscles, ++ previous injuries to the knee, ankle, or hip that didn’t heal properly. The pain is in front of or underneath the kneecap. The best ways to help relieve pain is to rest + ice your knee, focus on exercises that strengthen your knees + legs [squats!], ++ gradually increase the mileage // intensity of your runs when you start running again.
2] JUMPER’S KNEE
Jumper’s knee refers to an injury in the patellar tendon of your knee joint, most commonly caused by excessive jumping + stopping abruptly from high speeds. Similar to runner’s knee, a gradual build up in exercise intensity can help prevent this. There’s nothing like a good jump rope set in between hammer curls, as long as we’re careful doing it!
3] ROTATOR CUFF TEAR
An injury to the muscles that converge around the shoulder joint, it is characterized by weakness or tenderness in the shoulder + difficulty moving it. There is a risk for a rotator cuff tear for people who lift heavy weights, so make sure when you #CHAARGthegym, you have proper form + aren’t lifting too heavy too soon. You could always bring a fellow CHAARGie to check your form! : )
Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa, which is a sac of fluid between your bones, muscles, tendons, ++ skin. Since the bursa is meant to reduce rubbing between these tissues, injury can cause irritation + pain. It is most often caused by frequent, repetitive movements–another reason to build up your workout intensity gradually + add variety to your exercise routine.
5] SHIN SPLINTS
Shin splints [or, in fancy terms, medial tibial stress syndrome] refer to the pain in your lower legs, either on the front outer part of your leg, or inside your leg. Like runner’s knee, the primary cause of shin splints is going too hard too soon. They can also be caused by improper stretching, worn-out footwear, ++ excessive stress on the legs + hips. Runners who increase their mileage or the terrain of their runs without adequate training will experience pain.
To help lessen the pain of shin splints, increase the intensity of your workouts slowly, always stretch after a workout, ++ focus on cross-training until the pain stops. Running, jumping exercises, ++ dancing can worsen the pain, so take a break from these workouts for a bit if you experience pain in the lower shins.
If you’re feeling sharp pains while working out, stop. Listen to your body + give it the rest it needs. If you’re concerned you may be dealing with a serious injury, talk to your doctor right away. It might be annoying having to take a short break from exercising, but the sooner you start resting + healing, the sooner you can get back to sweatin’ that booty off ; )
++Ashleigh Monaco [ashvm_inchaarg] // University of Iowa