hand injuries in weight lifters

 

UPPER LIMB INJURIES IN WEIGHT LIFTING

Weightlifting is among common athletic activities leading to injuries. Using proper technique during weight training and knowing your limits prevents workout injuries. And knowing proper rehabilitation after suffering weightlifting injuries helps maintain conditioning and recovery.

Such injuries are classified in two main categories: instability and impingement injuries. When shoulder joint moves out of its socket, weight trainers often suffer instability injuries, including pain and possible dislocation. Impingement injuries follow excessive friction between shoulder muscles and the shoulder blades during overhead activities such as weightlifting.

Weightlifting has many benefits for the human body that include increasing strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, bone density and flexibility. However, improper training like overloading muscles too much, neglecting certain muscles or creating muscle imbalances potentially injure muscles through weightlifting. Consult a doctor if you experience any of these problems.

SHOULDER INJURIES

Weight-lifting shoulder injuries arise from the repeated movement of soft tissues in the shoulder in conjunction with and sometimes between bones and joints.When you raise your arms during weightlifting, a series of muscles known as scapular stabilizers move to keep bones in the right place — sort of like the gears of a clock working together to move the hands. All at once, rotator cuff muscles coordinate movement of arm and shoulder bones. If any of these steps is off balance, bones bump into and sometimes sandwich tissue, leading to pain and injuries over time.

TORN ROTATOR CUFF

The rotator cuff is composed of six muscles that hold your shoulder blade and humerus — upper arm — together. There are multiple reasons why you can damage your rotator cuff, but a common reason for damage when lifting weights is because you may be lifting a weight that is too heavy for shoulder to support. Performing an exercise with poor technique, that loads the rotator cuff muscles improperly, will also make you susceptible to injuring the muscles. Lifting weights over your head and performing pulling motions are the most common types of exercises to hurt your rotator cuff through weightlifting.

If you experience shoulder stiffness,have pain on movement and difficulty in overhead lifting of arm, have trouble rotating your arms, feel the shoulder joint moving out of place and are too weak to carry out normal daily activities, you likely have a shoulder injury requiring medical evaluation or treatment

TENDINITIS/TENDONOSIS

The tendons attach the muscle to the bone. In order to achieve rapid movement and contraction, the tendons are housed in sheaths, allowing them to move smoothly. Overuse of the tendons, including shoulder tendons, can create friction in the sheaths, causing heat to build up. Excessive strain or lifting weights that are too heavy can eventually lead to inflammation, altered tissue alignment and irregular movement. These issues will not allow the tendon to move smoothly, and cause pain in the affected area.

BURSITIS

A bursa is a small fluid-filled sack that acts as a cushion and lubricating shield between tendons and ligaments and bone. There numerous bursa around the larger joints of the body. Direct trauma to the shoulder, like dropping a weight on it, can cause the bursa to become inflamed and irritated. More commonly though, the bursitis develops from overuse or repetitive strain from weightlifting and not appropriately treating existing shoulder injuries.

STRAIN/SPRAIN

These injuries can happen from a rapid stretch or change in direction of the tissue when the body is fatigued. Additionally, lifting a weight that is too heavy and trying to power through it by adding a swinging motion to the exercise versus a lifting motion can also cause injury to these soft tissues in the shoulder.

Treatment

Weightlifters suffering shoulder swelling and pain to visit doctors for immediate diagnosis and treatment, because continuing workout regimens under such conditions often leads to more serious injuries. However, doctors may clear patients for certain lower-impact exercises — sometimes under the supervision of trainers — to maintain conditioning and aid in the healing process. A number of modifications to weightlifting regimens, shifting stress and burden from the affected areas while allowing conditioning during the healing process. Such modifications include lifting and squatting exercises that avoid shoulder movement or securing a weight bar with crossed arms over the chest region, again shifting stress away from the shoulders.

Beside healing exercise doctors sometimes prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and discomfort. Early detection and treatment through exercise helps avoid the need for surgery.

Injury Prevention

Prevention techniques for shoulde injuriesinjuries include exercises to keep that portion of your body strong and avoiding overworking of the shoulder during weightlifting. The Sport Injury Bulletin recommends never increasing weightlifting workloads by more than 10 percent per week to reduce injury risk. Consulting sports medicine specialists before beginning workout regimens also helps identify existing problems in shoulder function and range of motion. And workout techniques evaluated by professional trainers often mean fewer injuries.

Straining to finish that last hammer curl may be the difference between buff or broken when working out. The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the human body and is surrounded by muscles, tendons, ligaments, bursa, nerves and blood vessels. Damage to any one of these structures can cause pain and a loss of function in the shoulder.


ELBOW INJURIES

Weight lifting provides you with a number of benefits including increased strength, bone mass and metabolism, but it doesn’t come without risk.Elbow injuries do not occur as often as other injuries.

In addition to the bones, numerous ligaments, muscles and nerves run through the joint in a complex arrangement, all working intimately together to contribute to the movement of the forearm. The elbow joint is under mechanical stress that leaves it susceptible to injury during weight lifting.

Biceps tendinosis commonly results from repetitive elbow flexion while the forearm remains in a supinated position. Repetitive biceps curls are an example of this type of exercise.

Triceps tendinosis commonly results from repetitive elbow extension, particularly forceful extension. If you experience pain in the back of your arm, especially while forcefully extending your elbow, you might suspect triceps tendinosis. Performing too many triceps extensions could result in this injury.

Anterior capsule strain might occur when the elbow hyperextends. You might incur this type of injury during a preacher curl while using too much weight. If you allow your elbows to fully extend, but you cannot control the the movement your elbow might hyperextend.


Radial tunnel syndrome remains fairly uncommon, primarily because it occurs with repetitive pronation and supination of the forearm, or back-and-forth rotation of the forearm. Some athletes, like baseball players, perform internal and external rotation exercises of the forearm that could result in this type of injury.

Ulnar nerve entrapment results in pain in the elbow as well as tingling in the ring and little fingers. While it commonly occurs with weight lifting, no specific exercise is identified as a contributing factor.

Treatment and Prevention

To help prevent any weight-lifting related injury, including elbow injuries, it’s important that consult a professional before starting a weight-lifting program. Make sure you know how to perform exercises properly and that you don’t try to lift too much weight.Work your way up to lifting more weight, and don’t overdo it or lift more than you comfortably can. When lifting heavier amounts, recruit a spotter to make sure you don’t compromise your form. And, if you experience pain, stop the exercise and follow “R.I.C.E”: rest, apply ice, compress the injury, and keep your elbow elevated.

WRIST INJURIES

Wrist injuries can occur during to weight training and they can cause wrist pain. If you are weight training and experiencing wrist pain it is important to stop immediately and seek medical attention.

SYNDESMOSIS INJURY

This common injury is often seen in weight training when the athlete tries more weight than he or she can handle. It is characterized by interosseous membrane damage and this membrane is fibrous and connects the two lower arm bones. Pain is the symptom and as damage continues and starts to include other tendons and ligaments the pain can become very severe and the damage can become irreversible. Treatment can include cartilage-stimulating supplements, wrist braces and ice massages on the affected wrist.

TENDINITIS

Tendinitis is an overuse injury in which a tendon in the wrist becomes irritated, inflamed and swollen. Pain, redness and warmth are the usual symptoms. Treatment often includes immobilization or rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, icing the affected wrist and in severe cases, surgery.

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

Carpal tunnel is characterized by pressure on your median nerve and it is also an overuse injury. You may experience numbness or tingling, pain that radiates to thumb,index and middle finger, weak grip, wrist pain, muscle wasting in severe cases and weakness.Treatment usually includes splinting the affected wrist, not stressing the wrist, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.If these measures fail to resolve the sypmtoms then surgery is required.

WRIST STRAIN

A strain occurs when a tendon or muscle is pulled or twisted and is classified as an overuse injury. Symptoms include muscle spasms, pain, limited motion, weakness, inflammation, cramping and swelling.Treatment includes icing the affected wrist, splinting or bracing the wrist, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and in severe cases, surgery.

Treatment and Prevention

In initial phase, to reduce pain and swelling follow the R I C E protocol that is to take Rest, apply Ice and put on Compression/Elevation bandage .Do not go for weight training exercises as it will make the healing longer. If not cured, consult a specialist .

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