T Nation

Injuries 101


This may sound like a beginner question, but how do you guys deal with training and sports injuries? Not the more serious stuff, I've had those (shoulder separation and back injury from squatting) in college, but the nagging kind, where you can still make it into the gym, but often with some exercises cut out, or reps raised/weight lowered.

I ask because, at the ripe old age of 24, I find myself noticeably stiffer in my joints, in spite of taking glucosamine/chondroitin and Omega-3s, and am also dealing with a shoulder injury from rugby. If I was back home in the U.S., I'd go get ART, which has worked great in the past, but over here in the UK that's not an option.

So what are some day-to-day things to do to ease pain and make nagging injuries go away? Ibuprofen, how much? Icing a lot, or just after initial problems? Stretching on off days, how often, how long? Are contrast showers (no access to a hot tub) any help, or just a recovery method? Those kinds of questions, thanks for any help.


I think I would be more concerned with why these "nagging" injuries are occuring.

Are you playing sports? which would be an obvious reason.

But if not, these types of things are usually signs of overuse injuries or overtraining.


Exactly. GDollars, how often are you taking a break from lifting? Or at least taking a "down" week of lower volume / intensity?


Good points. Well, I have one rugby match a week, and some of the problems come from that, but the majority are more gym related. I lift 3-4 days a week, about an hour a session, and take a whole week off every couple of months I'd say, although I kinda feel like a bum doing it. Haven't gotten into the whole deloading thing. But I've always had a pretty weak constitution, get sick relatively easily too, in the middle of my annual winter cold now, and I don't think that's really a function of overtraining.s


You might want to look at taking a week off more often than every couple of months.

I take a week off every 3 or 4 weeks, but it's not a "real" week off. I still lift, but I use much lighter weights than normal and cut my volume in half.


Ian King does a great job on flexability in a video series of his. Sport Specific something or other. He goes through three different techniques , how and when to apply them, and demonstrates them too.
One of the main things I credit to keeping me from being someone that "used to".

It won't prevent the impact and crush type of injuries, but it definitely has helped me with joint stability and the stuff that grinds away at the joints slowly.

I'm going to have to review that sometime soon. Thanks for the reminder.


I'm 34 and been lifting since about 17. Very consistent since early 20s. You eventually learn to ease off when neccessary and you really learn to research what muscles respond better to stretching and which ones are supporting muscles that you need to spend more time on. My nagging injuries started about the same time yours did and I'm still lifting with less pain than I had then. If your smart and leave your ego at the door when neccessary, you can beat them.


Hey man, I used to get sick when I trained more than 2 or 3 times a week... It may just be poor diet... I eat FAR better now than I ever did when I initially started working out... Another thing is try cod liver oil. It has a lot of vitamin D in it, which is apparently a very potent immune vitamin that most ppl are deficient in especially in winter. Since taking a spoon of that a day I can't remember the last time I got sick (almost a year now, which is unheard of for me).


I just recently injured my right shoulder while lifting fairly light weights. I am fairly sure I tore my rotator cuff. Now I'm no doctor, but I looked at many orthopedic medicine websites and I have all the indicators of a rotator cuff tear. This is basically the worst thing that has happened to me sports injury wise, and it was a freak occurrence. I was warming up, very slow dummbell overhead presses with 25 pound weights and felt like a warm, dull sort of pain in the front of my right shoulder. I am not a bodybuilder, I lift weights as part of an overall fitness program.

I play competitive racquetball and recreationally play golf, basketball, softball, and flag football. I am 27 and sports have been pretty much the most important thing in my life since I was in first grade, and now this. Any advice or encouragement is welcome, especially for people who have had this before. I am mentally preparing myself for surgery and physical therapy while hoping I dont need either. I still can't believe it happened to me.


I think my diet's pretty good, but thanks for the cod liver tip, will try that ASAP.