No one likes to experience a gym injury, especially in their campus weight room or gymnasium, but it happens more than you think. Using improper lifting form, being careless, or just twinging a muscle or joint can result in an unwanted minor injury. Fortunately, this is not the end of the world. Check out these best ways to recover from a gym injury to get back into action. If your injury persists, stop by Student Health Services for treatment.
Tone Down the Intensity
The main way to avoid furthering your gym injury into something more serious is to tone down the intensity of your workouts. If you’re used to the high intensity of CrossFit or any other high-impact workouts but you have a nagging soreness or ache that won’t go away, now’s the time to switch up your routine to something less strenuous. For instance, low-impact cardio workouts are ideal ways to still burn calories while reducing pressure on joints and muscles. Alternatively, weightlifters should opt for more repetitions with lighter weight rather than attempt a new personal record every time they set foot into the gym.
Try the RICE Method
You can also try the RICE method. This refers to rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The RICE method is crucial for treating acute soft tissue injuries. If you experience this type of injury, you’ll typically experience swelling, redness, and inflammation. Start with resting from exercise for two days while avoiding putting pressure on the affected area. Apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables covered with a light towel to the area for two to three hours to reduce swelling and pain. Then, compress the area with elastic medical bandages to prevent further swelling. Make sure that the wrap is secure but that it doesn’t restrict blood flow. Finally, elevate the area on a pillow to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Stretch and Massage the Affected Area
Of course, some of the best ways to recover from a gym injury are stretches and massage. Do this after the RICE method, as you don’t want to immediately stretch or massage a new injury. Light stretches promote better range of motion in the affected area. Injured joints, muscles, and ligaments stiffen during injury, but stretching helps blood and oxygen circulate throughout the body. Additionally, massage can be an effective strategy to reduce inflammation and soreness. You may need to ask for a personal trainer if your campus refers you to one. Otherwise, you can find many massage and recovery tools online for cheap.