Most common injuries for weightlifters

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that weightlifting can take its toll on the body, especially if people use the wrong techniques or don’t warm up properly. Here are three of the most common injuries suffered by weightlifters.

Shoulder impingement

One problem weightlifters can suffer from is shoulder impingement. This results in pain in the front or side of the shoulder, especially when people are doing presses, incline bench presses and upright rows. It can also lead to weakness when the arm is raised.

It’s caused by a muscle tendon ‘catching’ in the shoulder.  The tendon involved is called the rotator cuff tendon and it stretches from the shoulder blade to the arm bone. It runs through a narrow space that is positioned between the shoulder blade and the top of the arm bone. When people suffer a shoulder impingement, this tendon becomes trapped in the space and  it gets scraped against the shoulder blade.

A slipped disc

Another part of the body that comes under strain in weightlifting is the back and, if people are not careful, they can sustain a slipped disc. This is also referred to as a prolapsed or herniated disc and it happens when one of the discs in the spine ruptures, causing the gel inside to leak out.

As well as causing back pain, this can lead to discomfort in other areas of the body. For example, it can affect the sciatic nerve. Running from the back of the pelvis through the buttocks and all the way down to the feet, this is the longest nerve in the body and if pressure is placed on it, people can suffer a lasting aching pain, tingling in one or both legs and numbness.

A shifting of the kneecap

The legs are at risk of injury during weightlifting exercises too. For example, people can suffer a shifting of the kneecap (patella). The technical term for this is patellofemoralmaltracking.

The patella is located in a groove at the bottom of the thigh bone and it is controlled by the quadriceps. However, if there is a muscle imbalance or overload, the patella can move off this grove, causing inflammation and discomfort.

Prevention is better than cure

There are various treatments available for these injuries, but as a general rule it is always better to prevent them from occurring in the first place. If you ever lift weights, it’s really important that you follow the correct procedures. If you’re not sure of anything, don’t just guess. There is plenty of information and guidance available from personal trainers and reputable online sources.

Also, always ensure you warm up using effective stretches and exercises before you pick up any weights and avoid the temptation to push yourself too far.

First aid 

The most serious weightlifting injuries may require emergency first aid. Prompt and effective action can help to minimise pain and reduce any damage. This is why first aid training is so important. Luckily, it’s now easier than ever to access these courses from organisations such as St John Ambulance.


Ways to Make Recovering from Surgery a Piece of Cake

Having surgery is never easy, but there are many ways that you can make your experience better. Recovery does not have to be miserable if you take the time to prepare yourself and make getting better your full time job. Here are a few suggestions of ways to improve your recovery time and speed up your body’s healing process following surgery.

Ask for Help

It is tempting to want to do everything on your own, especially if you are a naturally independent person. While there are some things that you may be able to do by yourself following surgery, the reality is that you will likely require help doing even the most basic tasks. Don’t be afraid to ask a close friend or family member for help with all the things that you think will need to be taken care of while you are down and out. Some of the most helpful things that another person can do for you include:

  • Driving you home from the hospital
  • Picking up prescriptions
  • Preparing meals
  • Cleaning up around the house
  • Ensuring that you are following directors

If you can rely on someone else to take care of you and your household, you can spend the extra energy on recovery.

Doctor’s Orders

Some patients find it hard to follow instructions and think that they know better than their doctor’s do. While you might want to stray from the direction that you were given by your surgeon, it is important to follow their orders very closely. They know from time and experience what should be done after the specific procedure that you have had. You might feel like you are ready to get up and live life normally, but it is better to take the time you were instructed to take for optimal healing.

Eat Right

Eating food after a surgical procedure is difficult for many people, as they feel nauseated. Sometimes the surgery itself causes nausea, while other times it is caused by pain medication. Even if you don’t feel like eating, it is best to stay hydrated and eat the healthiest food that you can so that your body has the fuel required to heal itself more quickly.

Manage Pain

Controlling your pain is essential if you want to feel better after a surgery. There is no need to feel as though you have to prove anything by not taking prescribed pain medications. Keeping pain at a tolerable level makes it easier for your body to move and speed up your healing. Following your prescription instructions closely will ensure that you take your medications at the right times.


When your pain is under control, it is easier to feel comfortable enough to sleep, which is necessary for good healing. Rest and sleep gives your body the energy that it needs to fight off infection and promote the healing process so that you can feel like yourself again much more quickly.

While undergoing surgery is not always a pleasant experience, your recovery can be improved by taking good care of yourself and remembering to give your body the time that it needs to get back to normal.

Source:, “Getting Ready for Surgery,” Andrew Seibert, October 21, 2011.