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Top Injuries and How to Prevent Them

If you enjoy golf, tennis, yoga or CrossFit, there is an injury for you. Runners get runner’s knee, yoga has lower back injuries, tennis players and golfers can develop elbow tendinitis. These are all common injuries for many fitness seekers. Injuries can happen from any activity. Physicians and pros see the same injuries over and over. Injuries are frequently caused from over and repetitive use, improper usage of the equipment, inadequate training or a combination of these.

With a little education, training and proper form, many of these nagging injuries can be prevented. If you fall prey to an injury, rest and proper treatment can get you back to working out.

Runner’s knee is an umbrella term for several conditions involving the patella or knee cap. This is largely due to the repetitive pounding on pavement. Runners overuse their legs and often have weak abductors and quads, tight IT band and weak cores. Improper footwear can contribute to poor biomechanics. The RICE method: rest, ice, compression, elevation, and anti-inflammatories where appropriate, is the recommended treatment. Recovery times vary. Stretching and foam rolling are also very affective. Long-term recovery means lifelong dedication to the prevention program.

Walkers can experience some of the same knee problems as a runner but to a lesser degree. Plantar Fasciitis is far more common. Ill-fitting shoes are the major cause. The RICE method is suggested, along with rolling a tennis ball or frozen water bottle on the bottom of the foot. Custom or off-the-shelf orthotics may aide in recovery.
Swimmers often get swimmer’s shoulder from overuse, which is likely due to impingement, bicep tendonitis or shoulder instability. It usually goes away in four to six weeks with therapy and anti-inflammatories. If left untreated, it can lead to a rotator cuff tear. Prevention is learning good stroke techniques, strengthening the core and cross training before the season starts.

Common injuries with cycling are knee, back and neck pain. A combination of soft tissue release, stretching the hips, psoas, back and quads are recommended. Make sure your bike is set up correctly. Cyclists mend from these common injuries in approximately four to six weeks.

Lower back injuries are the most common with weight training. CrossFit has its own shoulder injury named after it. Poor form and lifting weight over your abilities are usually the culprits. Know your limits and treat with the RICE method and anti-inflammatories. A few sessions with a fitness professional may improve technique and help avoid developing a chronic condition.

Yoga is associated with hamstring tears, pressure on the wrists and low back pain. Pilates shares a lot of common injuries with yoga. The forward bending postures and pushing too hard can cause pain. Listen to your body and ease into stretches. Avoid fast movements when performing deep stretching.

This is just a brief overview of some of the common injuries associated with physical activity. Use good technique, give yourself time for recovery and ease into more intense activities! Don’t forget to stay hydrated and stretch.


Carla Gray, BSES, HFS, CPT is a personal trainer and can be reached at or (504) 885-7855.

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