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Strength Training / Exercise-Related Injuries

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This chapter starts off by outlining some of the exercise or training activities that most Americans enjoy. These include bungee jumping, snowboarding, contact sports, and rollerblading. The author states that these activities present risk injuries to the sports people, especially given the fact that most Americans have indicated increased interest in such activities. It comes out clearly from the chapter that their increased interest in training and sporting activities has increased the number of injuries experienced by Americans. In this chapter, the author points out that these athletes’ injuries account to approximately 25% to 75% of the population involved in the exercises. The chapter essentially looks at the causes, prevention, and treatment of exercise-related injuries.

Evident from the discussion is that most injuries emanating from training come through improper training, inadequate shoes for training, and alignment disorders in the athletes’ legs and feet. It is true from the article that improper training is the main cause of injuries in consequence of overtraining syndrome that most people develop and end up experiencing exercise-related injuries. In this case, a person trains for long and allows limited time to recover from the training. This may eventually lead to increased resting heart beat, reduced appetite, and loss of weight, irritability sleeplessness and to some, elevated blood pressure. The two other causes of exercise related injuries have a small toll on people.

At the next level of the chapter, the author has categorized risk factors of increased exercise-related injuries into two major factors. These are the intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors. Intrinsic risk factors emanate from an individual’s body and personal characteristics like age, body size, physical fitness, bone density and structure, gender, muscle flexibility and strength. On the other hand, extrinsic risk factors are those emanating from the environment or outside the trainer’s control. These may include such factors as the environment (terrain, surface, and weather), tools for training, the type of exercise, intensity, and amount of activity.  

The next section of the chapter focuses on outlining common conditions and injuries that people undergo. According to the author, some injuries are more common than others. Among the most common injuries are back pains. This is prevalent both among athletes and non-athletes. It is stated that the main cause of back pain is inadequate muscle strength in the abdomen and lower back. It is therefore important in the case of back pains for an athlete to find out the cause before embarking on more training. Such injuries can be reduced through exercises that increase flexibility and strength; and at the same time, reduction of fat in the body is critical to preventing the injury. The section also informs about acute muscle soreness as a form of fatigue prevalent among trainers. This happens when there is an intense and long training session.

The author states that people, exercising, have to avoid abnormally strenuous or long exercises that are central to acute muscle soreness. Muscle strains are another injury pointed out in the chapter as being caused by unaccustomed movement involving loads that are unreasonably high. The main cause is overstretching the muscle or forcing it to shorten after an extremely heavy load. These strains have been grouped into three: first degree strain, second degree strain, and third degree strain. It is simple to prevent incidences of muscle strain since the main cause is excessive force put on the muscle. Therefore, the trainers are advised to reduce the level of force placed on the muscle.

Apart from the muscle strain, the chapter has explored other forms of injuries, called sprains. According to the discussion, sprains come about in consequence of damages, caused on the ligaments. Ligaments are found in the joints of the bones. The ankle forms a major ligament section of the body that easily gets sprains. Such injuries occur as a result of an abrupt twist of the joint. They are also categorized as the first, second, and third degree sprains. The author has gone ahead to look at arthroscopic surgery as a high-tech approach to joint repair after incidences of sprain. This is the best form of joint repair since it allows surgeons to carry out the activity without causing significant trauma to the joint. Lastly, torn cartilage is another injury discussed by the author in this section. Although it is pointed out that fitness programs are less likely to cause torn cartilage, swelling and pain can show that there is damage on the cartilage.

The chapter also explores techniques used to manage injuries. It is suggested that any form of injury that causes pain and indicates a likelihood of a broken bone should be examined by a physician. In most cases, the physician will order for an X-ray examination to establish whether there are any broken bones. Initial management of injuries includes application of ice to the injury to reduce swelling through reduction of blood movement to the cooler regions of the injury.

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