Overuse Injuries

overuse injuries sport injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

There are 2 types of injuries : Acute injuries and overuse injuries. Acute injuries are usually caused by a single traumatic event. Here are some examples :

  • Wrist fractures

  • Ankle sprains

  • Shoulder dislocations

Acute injuries are less common in sport than overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are usually subtle and appear over time, making them difficult to diagnose and treat. Here is some example :

  • Tennis elbows

  • Swimmer’s shoulder

  • Pitcher’s elbow

  • Runner’s knee

  • Achilles tendinitis

  • Shin splints

Why

Human body is extraordinary to adapt to physical stress. We’re used of thinking that « stress » is bad for our emotional well-being, but physical stress is simply doing an exercise or activity. This is beneficial for our muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. This physical stress causes an internal process called remodeling. Remodeling process involves both the breakdown and the build up of tissue. It’s necessary to have a good balance between 2, if breakdown occurs more rapidly than buildup, an overuse injury occurs.

Causes

overuse injuries sport injury gym fail

Usually, it’s training errors that cause overuse injuries. These errors are too fast acceleration of intensity or duration or activity frequency. These injuries can also happen to people who return to the sport/activity after an injury. They try to make up for lost time as quickly as possible to reach the level they had before the injury. Doing an exercise with a good technique is important to avoid overuse injuries. When the exercise’s technique is bad, it creates overuse injuries. It’s for this reason that coaches, athletic trainers and teachers can play a preventive role so that athletes avoid overuse injures.

There are people who more easily have overuse injuries. An unbalance between strength and flexibility around certain joints predisposes some people to have this type of injury. Body alignment, such as knock-knees, bowlegs, unequal leg lengths and flat or high arched feet, also impact overuse injuries. There are also people who have weak links because of old wounds, incomplete rehabilitation of wounds or others anatomy factors.

Other factors must also be taken into account as equipment such as the type of running shoe or ballet shoe and terrain (hard versus soft surface in aerobic dance or running).

Diagnosis

Generally the diagnosis is based on the athlete’s history and physical examination. It’s recommended to make a diagnosis with a sports medicine specialist with a specific interest and knowledge of your sport. In some situations X-rays, bone scan and MRI may be necessary.

Treatment

overuse injuries sport injury ice

Here are some recommendations for treating an overuse injuries :

  • Cutting back the intensity, duration and frequency of an activity

  • Adopting a hard/easy workout schedule and crosstraining with other activities to maintain fitness levels

  • Learning about proper training and technique from a coach or athletic trainer

  • Performing proper warm-up activities before and cool down after

  • Using ice after an activity for minor aches and pain

  • Using anti-inflammatory medications as necessary

If symptoms persist, a sport medicine specialist may create a more detailed treatment plan for your specific condition. This may involve an exam of your training program and an evaluation of predisposing factors.

Prevention

Majority of overuse injuries can be avoided with a proper training program, common sense and learning to listen your own body. The quote : « No pain, no gain » doesn’t apply here. The 10% rule helps a lot to get things to the next level.

In general, you should increase the training’s intensity to a maximum of 10% per week. This allows your body to have enough time for recovery and response. This rule should be used to increase pace or milestone for walkers or runners. Or for the weights amount to increase for strength training programs. In strength training, add flexibility exercises and core stability exercises help tremendously to minimize overuse injuries.

It’s recommended to seek advice from sports medicine specialist or athletic trainer to prevent chronic or recurring problems. Your training program can also be modified to maintain fitness levels safety while you recover from your injuries. You must return to the sport only if an authorization is granted by a health professional.

Remember, it’s very important to warm-up before training and cool down after training.

Stats

3.5 millions of children are treated for overuse injures every year.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food. Click here .

Acromioclavicular Joint Injury

acromioclavicular joint injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Acromioclavicular joint is a joint between the clavicle and the scapula. Acromion is a continuation of the scapular spine and hooks over anteriorly. It articulate with the clavicle (collar bone ) to form the acromioclavicular joint.

Problems types

The most common problems are arthritis, fracture and separation. Arthritis is characterized by a loss of joint’s cartilage. Arthritis of acromioclavicular joint is common with weight lifter, especially with bench press and a little less with shoulder press. When there is a problem with the rotator cuff, it’s possible that there is also acromioclavicular joint’s arthritis.

Acromioclavicular separation

acromioclavicular joint injury type grade

When there is an acromioclavicular joint separation, it means that the ligament that connects the acromion and clavicle is damaged and that the 2 structures don’t align properly. Separation’s state can be weak or severe, that is why there is a system of « grade » according to which ligament is torn and the severity of the tear.

Grade I Injury – This is the weakest damage and the acromioclavicular joint is still aligned.

Grade II Injury – This is an average damage. Ligaments are only stretched but not fully torn. In case of stress (physical effort), the acromioclavicular joint becomes painful and unstable.

Grade III Inury – This is a serious damage. Ligaments are completely torn and the collar bone is no longer attached to the scapula, which creates a visible deformity.

Treatment of acromioclavicular joint arthritis

If the rest, ice, medications and change of the training program (changing the exercises) don’t work, the next step is a shot of cortisone. A shot of cortisone in the joint may have calmed the pain and may be permanently swollen. As each individual is unique, the effects may vary and it’s possible that it doesn’t swell permanently.

If non-surgical methods fail, it’s possible to perform a surgical operation. The pain is localized at the bones end that make contact with each other and the goal of the operation is to remove some of the end of the clavicle. This ambulatory surgery can be done with a small incision of 1 inch (2.5 cm) long or with the arthroscopy technique with 2-3 incisions. The results and recovery of these 2 surgical techniques are about the same. Most patients have a full movement by 6 weeks and can return to do sport by 12 weeks.

Treatment for acromioclavicular separation

Separation can create very painful injuries, so the first thing to do is to decrease the pain. Hold the arm in a sling, put ice and pack the shoulder for 20-30 minutes every 2 hours as needed. Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can also help calm the pain.

When the pain begins to subside, it’s important to move the fingers, wrists and elbow (and eventually the shoulders) in order to avoid having stiff or « frozen » shoulder. The length of time needed to regain complete movement and function depends on the severity or injury’s grade.

Recovery from Grade I acromioclavicular separation usually takes 10-14 days while Grade III takes 6-8 weeks.

When surgery

Grade I and II separations require very rarely surgery. With a Grade III injury, after surgery, it’s possible to have full body physical activity with some restrictions.

Statistics

  • More males than females suffer acromioclavicular joint injuries

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-Steph

Understand How Your Workout Works In Your Body (Part 1)

body anatomy

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned good stuff.

I will talk about the training or workout. It’s a simple subject but everyone is lost because of theories and training systems.

A training is a physical activity and we will return to the basic seeing the effects of a training in your body.

Why when we train we like to look at ourselves in the mirror and that makes us happy ? This is what we will see.

Training

training workout

Whenever we do an action, there is a reaction. When we’re training (lifting weights), there is an increase in oxygen consumption then, an increase in blood circulation and then, congestion of the muscle. Congestion depends on 3 important things : nutrition, H2O and muscle isolation.

Nutrition must be the best as possible. Water consumption must be high. Learning to master to isolate the targeted muscle during a exercise allows you to increase the possibility of having a huge muscle.

After the congestion (nutrition, H2O, isolation), there is sweat then, there is the release of hormones called endorphins. Endorphins will make you feel good. It’s happiness and it’s at this moment that you will look at the mirror to appreciate your body.

It’s the process of your body when you do a physical activity (training).

All training programs don’t work for everyone

training workout program

There are training programs that are good for you and some are not. To discover this, there are 2 principle :

  • Execution and mastery of the exercise

  • The experience that comes with time

These 2 principles aim to improve your ability to isolate muscle during exercise. Which means working the targeted muscle without the help of another dominant muscle. I wrote an article about it .

Joints

joints body

To master an exercise, it’s also necessary that you know your joints like oversupination, overpronation or valgus. Choose intelligently your exercises allows you to not break your joints (injury, tendinitis and muscle tears). Don’t do an exercise because someone told you it’s the best exercise in the world, choose an exercise adapted to your morphology.

For example for me, I know that I have the valgus , which means that when I do barbell curls to work my biceps, I have pain wrist. When I do barbell curls with an EZ bar, I have less pain. When I do dumbbell curls, I have no pain, it’s perfect. So for me, the best exercise for my biceps is the dumbbell curls and not the barbell curls because I know my joints.

Another example. When I walk, my feet are outside so when I squat my feet are outside and that’s happiness. If a person tells me that I have to squat with my feet in parallel because it’s the best position in the world, I could say : « Shut up, I know my morphology better than you because I have studied my morphology ».

The elements that influence the exercice’s performance are experience, joint’s flexibility and the respect of the biomecanics laws.

That’s why I’m telling you that you shouldn’t validate a piece of advice without having tested it on yourself. On internet, you can find video like « The 5 worst exercises ». These videos aren’t based on different type of morphologies, so they are not relevant information, it’s just to make buzz. If you want to work on your biceps, try several different exercises and keep the one that suits you best.

Here is another story. I watched a Christian Guzman’s video where he was doing the overhead triceps extension with an EZ bar. I did this exercise for 1-2 months and I noticed that I didn’t have a good feeling even if I had a good execution of the movement. I started looking for another exercise of the same type to work my triceps and I found the lying dumbbell triceps extension and now, it’s perfect.

I needed time to learn the exercise, realize that this exercise didn’t fit my morphology and find another better fit.

You may think I lost time testing this exercise for 1-2 months but I gained experience with this story. It’s by testing yourself the things you can know what is good and what is not good for you. Experience is the knowledge of things voluntarily acquired through pratice in the reality of life.

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-Steph

Deadlift Correctly (Part 3)

deadlift

If you didn’t read the first parts, click Part 1 and Part 2 

I read a Nerd Fitness article and I learned good stuff.

Grip the barbell

deadlift grip

The strength of the grip is an important part of the deadlift. There are 2 types of grip:

  • Overhand grip => The palms of your hands are towards your body (pronated grip).

  • Over-under ou mixed grip => One palm of your hand is toward your body and the other towards the outside (one hand with a pronated grip and the other with a supinated grip).

  • Hook grip => Your thumb is under your fingers

For beginners, the double overhand grip is the best to have a safe grip.

Use the mixed grip when you have more experience and you lift heavy because there are disadvantages. Stress on the shoulders is uneven and can create problems or injuries in the biceps whose palm is outside. As the stress on the shoulders is uneven, it’s easier to lift heavy weights.

When you begin deadlift, your grip’s strength is powerful enough to lift the barbell because your back’s strength is correct. The day of your back’s strength is more powerful than your grip’s strength (your hands slips slowly), that’s when you need to think about improving your grip.

If you don’t like the mixed grip, you can use the hook grip.

Wrist straps

Straps can help you lift heavier because your grip is assisted by a strap that is wrapped to the barbell and is hooked to your wrist.

I advise you to use wrist straps only when you lift very very heavy. This is not a thing to use all the time otherwise you’ll lose the natural strength of your grip.

Gloves

The truth is that the gloves don’t improve the grip. Gloves create a space between your hands and the barbell, this increases the diameter of the barbell and make the barbell harder to hold. Gloves prevent you from having a secure grip, I advise you to use them only if you have ripped callus to your hands.

With this video , you’ll learn to take care of your hands to avoid having this type of injury.

Belt

Many people in gyms use the belt in the wrong way, but you’re a smart one. The belt is useful only when you’re lifting very heavy weights and it’s not only for your lumbar. With this article , you’ll learn how to use the belt in an effective way.

Note

Use a mixed grip and a belt isn’t necessary to lift very heavy. Watch this video of Anthony Mychan  who do a deadlift at 249.47kg (550lbs) at a Nerd Fitness Camp with a double overhand with no belt.

Common mistakes

common mistakes

Rounded back

Having the back rounded throughout the movement may cause injuries. It’s necessary to have your spine in a neutral position.

Note => there are some powerlifters that purposefully round theirs upper back to decrease the range of motion, but this is a sport specific move, still a fault, and something you should not consider as a beginner.

Head raised and look up

To have a raised head create a hyperextension to your neck. This can cause injuries. Keep your head in a neutral position like your spine.

Hyperextending at the top

In fitness competitions, exaggerate the top of the deadlift has become popular for quickly show the judges that hip and knees locking is done.

Use the squat position

Deadlift is not squat. Deadlift doesn’t have the same start and end position as the squat. Deadlift is a different movement than squat.

Barbell makes a forward movement

It’s necessary that the barbell stays above your shoe’s laces and the barbell needs to be lifted vertically all along your body.

Barbell’s movements towards the front are to be avoided.

Your torso rises after your butt

We call it the « stripper deadlift ».

It’s important that your torso guides the movement and that your body moves in the same rhythm upwards.

Bend your arms

Often people bend their arms to lift the barbell more quickly. Unfortunately, this is a bad tactic because this can tear biceps muscle. Keep your arms straight during the movement.

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-Steph

Deltoid And Trapezius And Neck Stretching

deltoid trapezius neck stretching

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing with legs slightly apart. Your back straight with an arm your the back, Take your wrist with the other hand and pull slowly outwards and downwards to fell the stretch of the deltoid (rear and middle) and trapezius.

Variant

To stretch the neck does the same movement by slowly tilting your head on the opposite side of the shoulder stretched.

This variant allows you to stretch the deep and complex muscles around cervical vertebrae and scalene muscles and sternocleidomastoid muscle.

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-Steph

Pec Deck Flys

pec deck flys

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Sitting on the machine with your arms spread horizontally. Your elbows are bent on the pads with your forearms and wrist released :

  • Inhale and tighten your arms to the maximum

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

This exercise works the pectoralis major by stretching it and a little bit coraco-brachialis and biceps short head. When the elbows brought together, the effort is in the sternal part of the pectoralis major.

With high reps, you can have intense pump.

This exercise is excellent for beginners to build strength to then do more complex exercises.

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-Steph

Close-Grip Bench Press

close grip bench press

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lying on a horizontal bench with your butt glued to the bench and your feet on the ground :

  • Takes the barbell with a pronated grip. The distance between your hands varies from 10 to 40 cm (3.9 to 15.7 inches) of your wrists flexibility.

  • Inhale and lower the barbell by controlling the movement to your torso.

  • Press and exhale at the end of the movement.

This exercise works the inner chest and triceps. This exercise can be part of an arm training program. By doing this exercise with the elbows along your body, it allows to work more anterior deltoids. This exercise can be done at the Smith machine.

Attention : There are several different morphologies so it’s possible that the close-grip create wrist pain. In this case, it’s advisable to spread the hands slightly.

Share this articles if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph