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HomeHealth articlesworkout injuriesWhat Are the Types of Workout Injuries?

Workout Injuries - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

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5 min read


Workout injuries are more common in sports. Basic safety precautions during exercise can lower a person’s risk of injury. Read to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Anuj Gupta

Published At April 4, 2023
Reviewed AtApril 26, 2024


The term "sports injury" or "workout injuries" describes the various injuries that include a network of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and other tissues known as the musculoskeletal system, which gives stability and permits movement. Sports injuries are distinguished into two types,: acute and chronic injuries. Acute injuries occur suddenly, such as when someone spills, gets struck, or bends a joint. Chronic injuries typically arise from overusing a particular body part and manifest progressively over time. For example, sprains and dislocations are acute injuries, whereas stress fractures and shin splints are examples of chronic injuries. Most workout injuries recover faster, although some conditions require time for healing, followed by treatment with a splint or brace and starting a physical therapy program for rehabilitation. Unfortunately, surgery is indicated in severe conditions.

What Are the Types of Workout Injuries?

Workout injuries are distinguished into two types, acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

The most common musculoskeletal injuries are

1. Sprains: Ligaments, the bands of connective tissue that connect the extremities of one bone with another, eventually can stretch or rupture, resulting in sprains. It is categorized into three degrees of the sprain. A first-degree sprain (a mildly strained ligament) can progress to a third-degree sprain (a complete tear). Ankles, knees, and wrists are most prone to sprains.

2. Strains: A muscle or tendon strain is a twist, pull, or partial or total tear of the string in the tissue linking the muscle to the bone. Strains can occur in athletes who participate in contact sports but can also result from repeatedly doing the same action, as in tennis or golf.

3. Tendinitis: A tendon is a flexible band of fibrous tissue connecting muscles to bones. Tendinitis is the inflammation of the tendon, the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle. Growing older, the tendon's flexibility decreases, increasing the likelihood of developing tendinitis. Tendinitis is more common in carpenters, gardeners, musicians, and some sports players.

4. Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursae, which are tiny, fluid-filled sacs that cushion between a bone and muscles, tendons, or skin, is known as bursitis. Repeated actions, such as throwing a ball or applying pressure for a substantial period, such as bending over or leaning on one's elbows while kneeling on a hard surface, result in bursitis. Typically, the shoulders, elbows, hips, or knees are affected.

5. Fracture of Bone: Aggressive workout may lead to fractures of bone and are categorized into acute, stress fracture, and growth fractures

  • Acute Fractures: A partial or complete fracture of bone may result from a fall, accident, or blow, and the degree of the fracture depends on the force of trauma. Compound fractures, or wounds that penetrate the skin to the bone with an increased chance of infection. Most acute fractures require immediate attention.

  • Stress Fractures: The lower extremity's weight-bearing bones, including the femur, tibia, fibula, and foot bones, are particularly susceptible to stress fractures. The femur, tibia, fibula, and foot bones are some of them. They are frequently involved in running or jumping sports like gymnastics, tennis, basketball, or track and field, which results in repetitive pressure.

  • Growth Plate Fractures: Growth plates allow the bones to lengthen until a kid reaches their adult height and are particularly prone to damage until they become bone, which usually happens by the time a child is 20 years old as a result of fall or road traffic accident, chronic stress, and usage can also induce growth plate fractures.

What Are the Causes of Workout Injuries?

A force of contact higher than the body component can sustain the major cause of an acute workout injury; however, repetitive usage of a similar motion frequently results in a chronic injury. In addition, overuse injuries can occasionally deteriorate tissues and joints and pave the way for an acute injury.

What Are the Symptoms of Workout Injuries?

Depending on the sort of injury, symptoms differ. Acute injury symptoms include

  • Abrupt, significant pain.

  • Bruising or swelling.

  • Abnormal joint movement.

  • Limb fatigue after injury.

  • Inability to stand because of being incapable of supporting weight on a leg, knee, ankle, or foot.

Chronic overuse injuries display a wide range of symptoms, include

  • Pain when playing or working out.

  • Swelling and a dull pain even when sleeping.

What Is the Treatment of Workout Injuries?

Most workout injuries recover on their own in four weeks or less. Minimal workout injuries are treated with the R.I.C.E method.

  1. Rest: Plenty of rest prevents muscle retraction and reduces blood clots within the muscle.

  2. Ice: Using a cold pack for 15 to 20 minutes reduces the swelling and promotes healing.

  3. Compression: The combined use of ice packs and compression at 30 to 60-minute intervals decreases muscle temperature and swelling.

  4. Elevation: The elevation of the affected site with the help of a pillow decreases vascularity (blood flow), which aids in swelling and inflammation.

  5. Palliative Care: Palliative care relieves both signs and symptoms with the help of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), steroids, and analgesics (Ibuprofen, Aspirin, and Acetaminophen).

Workout Injuries

What Are the Treatments for Intense Injuries?

If patients are experiencing signs of a severe injury, it is advisable to get medical attention from a healthcare professional. The following symptoms are included:

  • Severe pain, swelling, or discoloration.

  • Prolonged discomfort and swelling.

  • The sensation of being unable to tolerate any additional pressure on a specific region.

  • Deformity of bone.

Potential treatments for severe injuries may encompass:

Restriction of Movement- Prompt immobilization is a prevalent approach for treating musculoskeletal sports injuries, and it can be promptly administered by an athletic trainer or paramedic. Immobilization restricts movement in the affected area, facilitating more direct blood flow to the injury or the site of surgical treatment. Immobilization diminishes discomfort, inflammation, and muscular contractions and facilitates the initiation of the healing process.

The following are several devices utilized for immobilization:

  • Slings- Slings are used to restrict movement in the upper torso, specifically the arms and shoulders.

  • Splints, Braces, and Casts- They are used to provide support and safeguard broken bones and soft tissue. Splints and braces typically provide inferior support and protection compared to a cast. Hence, they may not always be a viable treatment option.

  • Medical Procedure- In certain instances, surgical intervention is necessary to mend damaged connective tissues or to reposition fractured bones. Most musculoskeletal sports injuries can be treated without the need for surgical intervention.

How to Prevent Workout Injuries?

The standard guidelines for preventing workout Injuries are

  • Warm-up and Cool-Down: Every exercise session should start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down. The body prepares for exercise with the aid of a warm-up. Both muscles and joints will become looser as the heart rate progressively rises. The activity involved in the warm-up is jogging, skipping, and cycling. Cool-down involves five to ten minutes of walking.

  • Stretch: Flexibility will be improved as a result of stretch. Stretching is best done after warming up and cooling down to prevent injury.

  • Cross-Train: Repeatedly performing the same muscular motions might result in overuse and repetitive-use injuries, including tendinitis and shin splints. Hence, to avoid overuse, one group of muscles is employed by changing the workout.

Start gently or slowly with a new exercise routine or training program. Later on, the strength, duration, and frequency are to be increased progressively.


Everyone can acquire a workout injury, regardless of expertise or fitness level. Even walking itself can result in significant damage. Yet simply taking basic safety precautions during exercise can greatly lower the risk of getting wounded. Most workout injuries recover on their own in four weeks. Start doing workouts gradually after recovering from the injuries and pain-free for over a week. Frequent exercise may be required for three weeks to return to the pre-injury fitness level.

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Dr. Anuj Gupta
Dr. Anuj Gupta

Spine Surgery


workout injuries
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