Anyone who competes, works out, or has tried a new training program knows battle wounds are inevitable. We bear the scars, the raspberries, the broken bones, and the blood of common sports injuries. If you suffer from a workout battle wound, take care of it right away. Check out these 10 treatments for workout battle wounds.
5 Common Workout Wounds and Injuries
1. Skin irritation
Does your exercise make you itchy when you sweat? You aren’t the only one. Many of us suffer from skin irritations, bumps, and redness. You aren’t allergic to working out, but you may be experiencing a reaction to your clothing. Skin irritation can be caused be a number of things: new detergent, perfume, new workout clothes, seasonal allergies, and friction.
Symptoms of skin irritation: red bumps, scaly skin, swelling at the point of contact, itching, and in some cases, hives.
Treating skin irritation: to treat minor skin irritations, the best solution is to take preventative measures to avoid them in the first place. Wash your gym clothes after every workout, don’t wear perfume or lotion to the gym, avoid harsh laundry detergent, wear loose-fitting clothes, and take an antihistamine if needed.
Athletes and gym-goers suffer from blisters all the time. Blisters can pop up at the worst times and in the worst spots. Shoe and hand blisters are the most common. Blisters can be result of ill-fitting gear or shoes, hand rubbing during deadlifts, friction, poor body mechanics, body abnormalities, or just pesky socks that slip down in the middle of a run.
Common symptoms of a blister: Blisters are rather straightforward. If you have a blister, it is not a serious health risk but they can become infected. A sign of a blister that requires more attention is a blister that forms between your toes. This is not a wound; it may be athlete’s foot. Check with your doctor to be sure. Athlete’s foot requires an anti-fungal cream.
Treating a blister: Do not put thumb tack, razor blade, or hot needle through it! It is dirty, it is dangerous, and it can cause an infection. Sterilize it first. If you have a large blister from a workout or a run, try these treatments for relief:
- Sterilize a needle by wiping it with rubbing alcohol. Wash your hands thoroughly and clean the area where the blister is.
- Puncture the blister and drain it. Cover the area right away with a bandage or Band-Aid. Keep it covered until the blister heals.
- Do not treat blisters at home if they are under your nail, between your toes, or if they are infected.
There is nothing pretty about chaffing. Chafing is a skin irritation caused by friction. Regardless of the type of sports bra you wear or the gear you have on, chafing can still stick around as long as you sweat, you can chafe. Women can get it between their thighs, in their vaginal area, and under their breasts, and men can get it in their groin area. Chafing is also common in the armpits.
Symptoms of chafing: Chafed skin is evident by a patch of red skin that is painful to the touch. Chafing can cause blistering and peeling.
Treating chafing: For a chafe-free workout, prevent the chafe by reducing friction, drying out the area and protecting the skin. To prevent chafing, get properly fitted for your sports bra, use pre-lube, do not use new soaps, wear breathable clothing, and/or apply petroleum jelly to the areas where you are most likely to chafe.
If you are past preventing chafing, it is time to treat it. Wash the area with a mild hand soap, pat dry with a clean towel, apply an antibiotic cream or ointment, and cover with a bandage if needed.
4. Black and broken toenails
From long-distance runners to ballerinas, many athletes suffer from tow trouble. Two of the most common toe problems among joggers include black toenails and broken toenails; neither or which are fun or particularly attractive to look at.
Symptoms of black and broken toenails: If you experience a toe nail injury, it can cause the nail to break off, fall off completely, and even thicken when it does grow back. Black toenails are caused by constantly striking the toe. The area can be swollen, painful, discolored, and in some cases, throbbing. If your toe continues to throb, you need to see a doctor.
Treating black and broken toe nails: If your toenail is black, do not burn a hole in it! The blackness may be caused by a subungual hematoma—or slight bleeding under the nail—or bruising. Treatment usually consists of icing the area, resting your foot, and compressing the toe by wrapping it next time you work out. Do not attempt to drain the blood or remove the toenail on your own. See your doctor for that. You should also see your physician if the bleeding does not stop, you have injured the toe, or if the pain does not go away.
5. Knee Pain
There is a big difference between pain and discomfort. Will you feel a little discomfort during and after an intense workout? Yes. Should you feel pain? No. It is important to tackle knee pain before it becomes a bigger issue. Knee pain is common for most of use, and tackling and preventing the pain requires working more areas than the knee itself.
Symptoms of knee pain: If you experience knee pain, you might suffer from swelling, pain when you walk, throbbing, and discomfort. If you experience knee pain, remember that it is easier to prevent knee trouble than to rehabilitate from it.
Preventing and treating knee pain: To prevent knee pain, remember a few important tips:
- Always warm-up
- Improve hip mobility and work your glutes
- Consider losing weight
- Get off your knee when you feel pain
- Improve your technique and balance your training
- Improve your posture
If you experience knee pain when you are working out, top the workout. Working through the pain does nothing to relieve the pain. Rest your knee, ice it if necessary, and elevate it. Stay off your knee for a day or two to prevent long-term injuries.
What is the worst injury you have had while working out or competing? Did it require a bandage or did you need a trip to the doctor? Many times injuries can be prevented by making a few changes to your workout routine. Consider working a personal trainer in Santa Clara area to help you maximize your workout without suffering through workout pains.