Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Avoiding injury during high intensity workouts

Working out at a higher intensity, like P90X or Insanity routines, can be beneficial to physical fitness--but too often, unprepared athletes are experiencing injuries.

Avoiding injury during high intensity workouts

Everyone has at least heard about, if not attempted working out with the latest trends in exercise like Crossfit, Insanity, and P90X. The allure is exciting; building better bodies, getting in shape with a guided workout routine and in the Crossfit world, developing close social networks with people of common interests. While all of these methods can be highly beneficial in improving your overall health and fitness, they can also lead to injuries.

An increasing number of patients have been coming to physical therapy for injuries obtained during their workouts. Some are major blow-out types of injuries like ACL tears, Achilles ruptures, and rotator cuff tears while others present with lingering tendonopathies, back pain, and exacerbations of previous injuries. In my opinion, most of these problems can be avoided with proper preparation, education and preventative exercises.

These styles of exercise require high levels of fitness, strength, coordination and endurance. Most people’s bodies are not used to performing at such high levels, and jumping from a sedentary or low level activity level type of lifestyle to high level is the perfect recipe for injury. There needs to be a transition period or ramp-up into such high levels. This is best accomplished by first participating in a supervised low to moderate level fitness program to learn about proper form, body mechanics and safe strength training progressions. Once this is completed, these principals will apply to higher levels of exercise.

Even for those who are used to exercising at high intensity levels, it is also important to ‘listen’ to your body. If a certain movement or lifting technique does not feel right, stop further attempts and try with less weight, less range of motion or by re-setting form.

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All too often I hear athletes say they think it is good to ‘work through the pain.’ This is a myth that needs to be addressed. Healthy muscles and joints will not cause you pain during a workout unless they are being overly stressed out and injured.  The only ‘pain’ that is acceptable during a workout is the burn of the targeted muscle, indicating fatigue. Any other type of pain should serve as a warning sign from your body to consult with a healthcare professional for evaluation and treatment as necessary. If athletes would come in sooner for treatment, we would be seeing a much lower incidence of all types of injuries.

One of the main goals of mine as a Physical Therapist is to encourage people to get fit, remain active and enjoy exercises of all types—pain free. If participation in Crossfit, Insanity and P90X accomplishes this goal, then it comes highly recommended by me.

Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS is the co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy.

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.

Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
About this blog

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

Robert Senior Sports Doc blog Editor
Alfred Atanda, Jr., M.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Robert Cabry, M.D. Drexel Sports Medicine, Team physician - U.S. Figure Skating, Assoc. Team Physician - Drexel
Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Symetrix Sports Performance, athletic trainer at OAA Orthopaedics
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician for the Phillies & St. Joe's
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician - Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon - Flyers
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director - The Center For Sport Psychology, Sports Psychology Consultant - 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Rothman Institute, Team Physician - USA Wrestling, Consultant - Philadelphia Phillies
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer at The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Cassie Haynes, JD, MPH Co-Founder, Trap Door Athletics, CrossFit LI Certified
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician - Drexel, Philadelphia University, Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Jim McCrossin, ATC Flyers and Phantoms
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales, Pa.
David Rubenstein, M.D. Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center, Team Orthopedist - Philadelphia 76ers
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute, Athletic Trainer - US Soccer Federation
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