All of us, at some point in our lives, have gotten injured – it could be due to a fall, a sports injury, a car accident, or it can even be the result of strenuous physical activity. It goes without saying that getting injured is an extremely unpleasant experience. Not only does it cause pain and discomfort, it also prevents you from going about your day-to-day activities. Apart from a fall or an accident, injuries can also be caused due to a workout gone wrong.
Yes, you heard that right. Lack of proper technique, not following necessary precautions, and overexerting your muscles all at once can lead to injuries during a workout. However, an injury during a workout should not be confused with muscle soreness post-workout. Feeling sore after a workout is inevitable, as exercises cause microscopic tears to your muscle cells, which in turn leads to strengthening and rebuilding of the muscles. This feeling of soreness or discomfort after a workout is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
If you are just feeling muscle soreness, you tend to feel stiffness and dull aches in a particular area or a group of muscles, rather than just one specific spot. With the right diet, hydration, and adequate rest, muscle soreness will typically ease up after a day or two. However, when you are injured, you tend to feel a sharp, stabbing pain that doesn’t ease up over a few days. Soreness also subsides when you warm your muscles up and start using them again. But in case of an injury, the pain wouldn’t go away, and probably get worse. If you are not able to differentiate between a muscle soreness and an injury, it is important to talk to your doctor and rule out any possible injuries or complications. Your doctor can also help you create a specific workout plan to get you back on track. However, you can also follow these tips to ensure that you save yourself from potential injuries while working out.
Jumping straight into an intense workout without warming up properly is one of the most common mistakes beginners tend to make, and is a sure-shot way of hurting yourself. Always make it a point to warm up before you start your workout. Stretch your muscles through some stretching exercises, followed by a simple aerobic activity (like a brisk walk), to ensure proper blood circulation to the muscles. A warm-up can be done for at least 10-15 minutes before your actual workout. This will help prevent injury to the muscles while working out and aid recovery in case of soreness.
Don’t overdo your workout:
If you are a beginner, or if you have given a long gap between earlier workout schedule and now, make sure that you start slow. Just because you saw an influencer on a social media video pulling off a particularly complex workout with ease, doesn’t mean that you must follow it to perfection. Be mindful of your current abilities and set realistic goals while starting a new workout program. Take it slow and steady. Start off with simple workouts and give your muscles some time to get used to their new schedule before you move on decidedly difficult ones. Starting a difficult or complex workout in the first attempt will surely lead to injuries.
Learn the proper technique:
If you are new to a particular form of workout or starting a new regimen, take your time to learn the proper form before you move on. Proper techniques can be learnt by training with an expert for the first few sessions. Having an improper form or technique, especially during workouts such as weight-lifting, can cause serious injuries. If you are looking to achieve the best results, take things slow and learn the right way to work out!
Eat a balanced diet:
Following a proper diet, eating at the right time, and taking in the required nutrients play an equally important role in your fitness and health regime as much as exercising. In order to repair your muscles after a workout, your body requires protein. Carbohydrates are also required to provide energy for your next workout. Healthy fats are also needed to lubricate your joints. The key to preventing injuries and ensuring faster recovery from muscle soreness is eating right and eating on time. Eating an overall balanced diet will ensure that you don’t develop nutrient deficiencies that may lead to muscle damage during workout.
Drink lots of water:
Not drinking enough water can prevent your muscles from recovering. Dehydration may also make you further prone to injuries. In order to strengthen your damaged muscles your body needs fluids. Make it a point to drink about 230 ml of water for every 15 – 30 minutes of exercise. If you skip drinking water or drink less fluids, your soreness will not only feel more intense, it will also take longer to heal.
Get adequate rest:
While following a regular exercise regimen, it is equally important to ensure that you have your “rest” days. Though it may seem counterproductive to take a day or two off from your workout schedule, rest days are very much necessary. They give your body adequate time to rest and allow your muscles to rebuild, which in turn leads to strength and growth. While following the above-mentioned techniques can help prevent injury during workout, there might be instances where you may injure yourself by accident. In such cases, it is important to seek medical attention to prevent further complications. Apart from taking pain relievers prescribed by the doctor, you can also turn to home remedies for relief. This is where having a topical pain relief treatment such as Omnigel cream or Omnigel spray comes in handy. The best anti-inflammatory gel contains active ingredients that target a specific problem and treat it. You can use topical pain relief gel to help relieve muscle pain and aid in quick healing. Omnigel contains diclofenac, an active ingredient that is known for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the best pain relief gels in India. It is also conveniently available in a spray format.