2 Common Weightlifting Injuries And How To Avoid Them

Weightlifting is a popular pastime for many people. Whether it is to achieve the perfect physique, to build strength for athletic competition, or just to keep healthy, weightlifting can be a rewarding and enjoyable activity. However, if it is not done correctly, weightlifting can be dangerous and cause injury. Most weightlifting injuries are due to either poor technique, or attempting to lift more weight than you can handle. As a result, it is important to understand how you can avoid these injuries to keep yourself fit and healthy.

Shoulder Impingement 

The muscles in the shoulder are connected to the top of the arm by the rotator cuff tendon. This is a tough cord-like structure that runs through a small channel at the top of the shoulder, called the subacromial space. Shoulder impingement is where the subacromial space becomes narrowed and begins to rub on the rotator cuff tendon, causing irritation. This causes pain when raising the arms, especially during movements such as shoulder presses and incline bench presses.

Shoulder impingement is usually the result of poor lifting technique, which can cause the rotator cuff tendon to thicken. Sports medicine such as physiotherapy can treat shoulder impingement. This treatment usually focuses on improving rotator cuff activation and scapula control. However, shoulder impingement can be be prevented by avoiding exercises that put your shoulders in a vulnerable position, such as behind the neck shoulder presses. As a general rule, you should always ensure that you can see your hands during shoulder exercises. If you can't see your hands, it is likely that your shoulders are in a vulnerable position.

Lumbar Disc Prolapse

The vertebrae in the spine are layered with structures called intervertebral discs, which help to cushion the vertebrae. Each disc contains a soft, flexible structure called the nucleus. If these discs are put under stress or undue pressure, the nucleus can begin to protrude out (prolapse), which may put pressure on the surrounding nerves.

Our modern, sedentary lifestyles put pressure on the discs in the lower back (lumbar), meaning they may be weakened before you even set foot in the gym. Exercises such as squats, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts pile further pressure on the lumbar discs, leaving them very vulnerable to prolapse. Lumbar disc prolapse will cause lower back and buttock pain, especially when sneezing or coughing.

Exercises that improve lumbar posture and strengthen the surrounding muscles can both help treat and prevent lumbar disc prolapse injuries. Prolapse can also be prevented by spending ten minutes walking on the treadmill before performing exercises that pressurize the lumbar discs. This will help reduce the existing pressure on the discs. For more information, talk to a professional like Tedder Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center.