While feeling a bit stiff after working out can feel uncomfortable, this is generally not considered an injury – more often than not it is just the sign of a good workout! But if you have been injured and you’re going through recovery with a view to get back into exercise, you’re in the right place. With the help of our Digital Health Lead and qualified physiotherapist Fiona Sweny, we’ll cover everything from the most common types of injuries you can get from exercising, to preventing injuries after exercise in the future.
Regardless of your fitness level, exercise-related injuries can happen to anyone. But how common are they? While it is impossible to give an exact figure, a key insight comes from the US National Safety Council, who stated that the number of exercise and exercise equipment injuries increased slightly in 2021 (409,224 injuries in 2021 compared to 377,939 in 2020).1
It goes without saying that you can injure yourself in lots of other ways too, like when biking or playing football – not just in the gym!
Ready to try and start exercising again after an injury? Our Digital Health Lead Fiona Sweny highlights that recovering from an injury is very different for everyone and is dependent on many factors, such as type of injury, age and activity levels that you are trying to return to. For example, a stress fracture in your foot will require a different return to exercise protocol than a traumatic fracture, and it is best to do it under the supervision of someone who is experienced in injury management.
Once you’ve been given the all clear, then you can return to exercise using a gradual approach to allow your body to adapt to the increase in training load.
The expert opinion is that the level of exercise you should be doing is dependent on how long you have been injured for and what your level of activity and fitness level were like previously. The key is to progress it sensibly.
So, what can you do to reduce the chance of getting injured again in the future? Fiona Sweny MSc points out that rehabilitating from injury is essential and returning to exercise before you have healed is likely to lead to you being injured again.
It is very important to build strength and flexibility as you return to physical activity after an injury. Focusing on recovery, sleep, nutrition and a balanced training plan are all helpful to reduce chances of injury.
To help you along the way, our Digital Health Lead Fiona Sweny has provided some extra tips on exercising again after injury:
Getting back into exercise after an injury can be difficult, but with the right approach and advice it is certainly achievable! For a little extra support, you might want to consider taking some supplements or vitamins for bones, joints and muscles to help as you build up your exercise routine again. And of course if you have any concerns about your symptoms, do speak to a medical professional for advice that is tailored to your exact worries.