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Injuries and Stupidity

I admit it, cardio is dangerous. But you still have to try it at home! For lots of MFPers, injury from exercising is a real threat which should be addressed.

I have had three surgeries since I joined MFP and none of them were liposuction damn it! I am not talking about breaking a nail doing preacher curls. I am the king of collecting stupid overuse injuries.

Injuries suck!

So what do I know that I should share with you? Lots. Before you stop reading because you just walk, or haven't had any problems, you might want to read on.

A lot of folks want to do C25K, run a race such as a 5K or 10K; even a half marathon or longer. Others want to do a warrior dash or just walk fast - at least as fast as the dog! (3.5 MPH according to MFP) And the rest want ripped abs! You know who you are!

I am tried of being fat and out of shape. I also have a 9-year-old that doesn't sit still for a minute. I need to be active!

Because the race season is pretty much over, I am not running as much as I used to (about 100 miles per month). In one year I injured my ankle, my knee and my shoulder; two of those required surgery. The truth be told, there is little else I would rather do than run. I also swim when I can, bike, rollerblade, ride a motorcycle, play catch, kick the soccer ball, and get on the ice.

Avoiding injuries is actually easy if you follow these steps.

Proper Equipment: If you run, get a running store to fit your shoes! If you bike, get the shop to choose a frame height and set up the saddle angle and distance to the pedal so that it fits you. Your joints and tendons will love you!

Bikers be sure to get riding shorts, and for the men, they have special seats. Runners, I suggest dri-fit so you don't grind off your nipples and catch your crotch on fire. I understand Vaseline and/or Hello Kitty Band-Aids work too.

If you pole dance make sure it's attached to the ceiling.

Warm Up: One of the things I love about running is flying out the door and heading down the street. The change I HAD to make was a 1/2 mile walk before I run and a cool down on the way home.

Stretching: One of the fastest ways to pull a muscle, or tear something is to avoid stretching.I happen to think yoga is a little gay effeminate. However; it's good for all the things that help you move. I also stretch before I run. I hate the time it takes, but it's worth it.

I do it again when I am done.

Stretching is essential - and sometimes erotic. :). And if you have ever had plantar fasciitis, you know what I am talking about!

Strength: If you are going to increase your activity, you need some basic strength. Even after months of running 100 miles per month I discovered my calves are weak. Because they control foot stability (strike) and when you are tried from racing, it's a recipe for an injury. I had one.

I am doing calf lifts or raises, squats, lunges, leg lifts, and high knees. I have added push ups and planks. (All done at home!)

Cross Train: Runners should bike and bikers should swim, and swimmers should run. Mixing it up takes the pressure of certain muscle groups.

Joints: Your joints need to be cared for. For those that are over 50, you know there is a big difference from when you were 31. For those that are younger, you can enjoy years of injury free cardio by mixing it up, taking rest days, and staying hydrated.

I also use joint supplements, and for me they work really well.

Rest: Even if you are healthy a certain amount of rest is important. Rest days, and time off from the running schedule always show up in faster times!

Overuse: As a conqueror, I always tend to overdo things. I did it with running, riding and weight lifting.

Start slow and increase as along as you do not have lingering pain. The problem with pain is that some times it is too late. Increasing runs by 10% might be TOO fast for YOU. Cranking up the weights too quickly could cause a joint or muscle injury. Running on a steep treadmill can cause foot issues.

If you are injured: See a doctor, don't just follow instructions in a Community thread! I have used a chiropractor and I am not certain that staying off an injury is always the best thing. I have also had injuries that required RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation along with anti-inflammatories. Other injuries responded to ultrasound, and some to electric stimulation. Then there is massage. There is no formula!

What do you do to stay injury free?

Thanks for the votes and comments!

96 votes + -


tonybalony01 wrote 116 months ago:
Great advice. Too bad you had to learn most of it the hard way. Keep up the great work.
cessnaholly wrote 116 months ago:
I shall learn from your mistakes. Thanks for sharing.
wisebadger53 wrote 116 months ago:
I just read about how you get injured, and then don't do that! :-)
jackflak wrote 116 months ago:
Try power yoga or P90X yogaX. in the beginning you're like wt hey! and then half way through it you're sweating like a pig, stretching and holding poses.
Jeneba wrote 116 months ago:
OK - so I failed to follow your advice and now I have tendonitis... in my, um, "upper hamstrings," WAAAAAYYYY upper! As for RICE: I can rest, I can ice - but compress and elevate? I do not even want to guess.... LOL
BeeElMarvin wrote 116 months ago:
The older I get, the older I feel. smh
odditblue wrote 116 months ago:
I feel ya. Let's do it right. Less injury means more time we are able to move and keep working out and lookin flabuless!
rwhawkes wrote 116 months ago:
Thanks for the tip on the pole!
mdcjmom wrote 116 months ago:
Considering I am currently recovering from a broken hip and knee this was perfect for me lol.
advan031 wrote 116 months ago:
"I happen to think yoga is a little gay effeminate." = LMAO I am starting to appreciate yoga and my boredom is starting to go away.
skvenus wrote 116 months ago:
I'm currently recovering from a plantar fascitis injury and you are very much right!
jaskthotmail wrote 116 months ago:
I was having knee and hip pain for a month or two when I first started running. I pushed through it and kept running anyway. Would you believe it resolved itself as I got stronger? If I would have stopped at pain, I would still be almost 200 pounds. Instead I'm 131 today and still have aches and pains every now and then but I push through it. *YOGA*(yes, gay but totally awesome-my husband falls asleep to my Rodney Yee DVD)
dsjohndrow wrote 116 months ago:
@jaskthotmail - yes, pushing through muscle soreness is important. And hey, you are 25 years younger than I am. But keep up the good work!
Sarahwillow wrote 116 months ago:
Oct 19 I tore my meniscus. Had to have surgery after the MRI, surgery was on Nov 19. I will be out of work for at least a month. (I was just at the doc office where he told me I had to have another two weeks off)
I was just walking...just...walking when I injured myself. Believe what is being told to you about warming up, and going slower than you think you should. I was walking at about a 4 mph pace. Take care of your joints, when they are gone well you will find out when you don't take care of them!
This does suck, thank the Gods I have short term disability through work :) or I would be screwed for money!
staroftheeast wrote 116 months ago:
I also try to make sure I have enough good fuel in the tank before I run/bike/swim. I know some like to workout without eating but it doesn't work so well for me. I also need to stay hydrated as otherwise I tend to get muscle soreness. Great blog.
rugbyplayer85 wrote 116 months ago:
My recipe for rugby injuries is as follows:


Play another game! :)
carolstartingover wrote 116 months ago:
I am kinda stuck with Arthritis in the knee plus a miniscus tear from a car accident. I don't do jumping exercises and I wear the ace knee bandages if they are swollen bad. I jog and don't run. I realize I have restrictions so I push as hard as I can with limitations. I have seen people just be walking along a twist their knee . Ugghh. I know how old I am and that Arthritis runsin the family but I am not sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I love your blog.
elrobinson762 wrote 116 months ago:
Your story sounds a lot like mine. About 5 years ago I ran off the equivalent of a 4 yr old. Then ended up with multiple injuries due to running and skiing. Sigh... I gained part of my weight back while recovering and just not knowing what to do since all I really enjoyed was running. Now I do yoga, walk, bike, rock climb (really like that), kayak when I can. Good news though, I was able to run today without any pain. :)

Great blog, thanks.
Saddlebags_R_Us wrote 116 months ago:
I'm in the 'I'm in my 50's, I'll never be a runner, okay I'll give running a try, I started running, now I want to run a 5K, now I want to run a 10K, now I want a new PR, now I'm injured and walk with a cane group.' Seriously, I had to use a cane to walk back in October. A few days before that I couldn't walk even with a cane. After a couple of months with an excellent PT, I am just now starting to run again. My injury ended up being a very well disguised blessing as I learned things I didn't know. The muscles in the back of my body (think butt muscle) were way too weak to endure the stresses of running. When I finally pushed myself too far they gave out. After hundreds of squats, lunges, planks, monster walks, whatever to strengthen my core I am bordering on buns of steel. Not only that, but I had chronic pain that I never investigated and assumed would just go away. Turns out the source of that pain was the cause of my injury. Now the pain is completely gone. Having my injury gave me knowledge. Knowledge is power. In this case knowledge is injury prevention and being pain free at last! To answer your question about what I do to keep injury free--strengthen my TOTAL body!
katz22 wrote 116 months ago:
Good post. Im not a runner, but Ive manage to twist or sprain my knees, ankles, feet ( sometimes my toes keep dislocating) and shoulder at one time or another. Like you I had to discover by experience - warm up and mobility drills before workouts , stretching after and getting enough rest days. The maintenance of the body between the exercise is just as important as the exercise itself.

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