By Coach Manny A.
Injuries are an unfortunate part of any fitness journey. Luckily the fitter you are, usually, the less likely you are of sustaining an injury. However, being really active can sometimes increase our risk of injury if we’re not aware of particular variables. When people experience gym related injuries they will often times blame exercise as the culprit. This is not entirely true. Blaming exercise for the injury is like blaming your hangover on that last shot of fireball. What happened to the 13 beers before that shot? Here are the factors that influence why we get injured:
- Exercise: Overloaded tissues.
- Work: Stress, poor posture, prolonged sitting.
- Home life: Pressures/stress, improper lifting techniques on chores, poor ergonomics.
- Diet/Sleep/Stress: Improper nourishment, lack of quality rest, and poor ways of dealing with stress all create an environment that exacerbates injury potential .
- Functional Diagnosis: how are current ROM affects our ability to function
- Anatomical dysfunction: Abnormalities in the structure or function of the body.
Theses variables alone, aren’t the sole source of injury. It is exceeding our capacity that leads to the eventual pain or injury. We call this Load V. Capacity. What we want to make sure is that we don’t exceed our capacity. If we stay below this threshold we have a low potential for incurring pain or injury. Once we cross that threshold, it greatly increases our change of injury. The better we get at controlling the variables below exercise, the higher likelihood we have for staying injury-free. If we cannot balance the variables below exercise, our ability to hold a high capacity becomes low, thus increasing our risk of injury.
This isn’t an absolute rule. For example, if you had the capacity to run 2 miles and attempted to run 3 miles, you likely would not get injured or experience pain. However, when a tissue has loads placed on it that exceeds its own capacity (load/volume/intensity), we face potential for injury or pain. The variables that effect the tissues capacity are work, home life, diet,sleep, stress, etc.
All of these factors can interact and contribute to the development of an injury. It is important for a professional to balance all of these variables in order to prevent injury and maintain optimal health and performance. A proper assessment and management of these variable by a professional coach can help prevent the likelihood of pain or injury from happening.