I know what you’re thinking – yes, it’s another one of those articles that tell me this and that about proper bodybuilding form, proper weightlifting techniques, proper warm-ups, proper this, blah blah blah and yada yada yada, I’ve read this before and I am so moving on to the next bodybuilding site. Yes, I know I’m old fashioned, and yes, I know I can be like a prudish schoolmarm when it comes to these tips, but let’s face it – “it” happens, with the “it” referring to injuries, and that being said, I have written an article for all of you out there concerned with proper treatment for injuries when “it” has just hit the fan.
Bodybuilding induced injuries are commonplace, in fact, no matter how well you warm up and practice established techniques, and like other types of injuries, require immediate first aid. That is assuming that the injuries sustained are not too serious that need immediate medical attention.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you – bodybuilding exercises can cause pain. However, that hurt could be John Mellencamp (i.e. Hurts So Good) or Nazareth (i.e. Love Hurts, and I surmise you do love bodybuilding), and here’s how to tell which song represents your state of pain.
Good pain usually occurs once you have finished working out and would usually manifest itself with sort of a dull, aching grind on your muscles – this is called DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness. This type of ache usually indicates that you have been working on that particular muscle hard enough and is a response to the effectiveness of your weight lifting workout although not always necessarily so.
Now the bad type of pain is usually a harbinger of injury – it is a “shooter”, a sharp pain that is localized in a specific muscle or joint in your body. At first, it seems like a minor discomfort, and you would be confident it’ll go away soon enough. Soon enough, you’re wincing and writhing in pain, praying to a Higher Being to stop the hurting right now! Oh dear, what next?
What your bodybuilding injuries need, though, is RICE.
RICE is an acronym, not a food type, and is a general treatment that deals with joint pains, sprains, tendinitis, pulled ligaments and other common weightlifting injuries.
Rest. Do not perform any activity that might make your injury worse. In fact, it might be better if you pass on the gym and not work out for about two to three weeks. Rest could be the determining factor, the one thing that spells the difference between a quick lay-off and a long, LONG period of recuperation, which may include costly AND painful surgery!
Ice. Ice restricts the blood flow, thus reducing the effects of swelling. Give it 15-20 minutes per session, with three or four daily sessions, repeat as long as you are still feeling pain in the injured area.
Compression. Another way to reduce swelling would be to use compression against the injured part of your body. You want to wrap a bandage or a towel tightly enough to feel some pressure but not enough to cause numbness or affecting blood circulation.
Elevation. Elevate the injured area to reduce swelling.
In time, the RICE treatment can possibly improve your condition. Usually, there would be marked improvement about 20 minutes or so after treatment. However, your minor, yet painful injury might not be that minor after all if the pain worsens, or at the very least persists – this would require the advice of a health care professional, preferably a sports physician.