This time of year many Americans, often sedentary for the previous several months, head for the tennis court, golf course, lap pool or track, resulting in an increase in the number of people seeking help with pain caused by overuse of muscles.
Take golf. Often golfers can't wait to get back to the course after weeks of working in an office, sitting at a computer. "Unfortunately, sitting all day leads to tight muscles of the torso and a poor biomechanical swing," Hachey says. "They generate force from the arms and shoulders instead of the hips, resulting in strain in the lower back, rotator cuff tears, or tendinitis of the elbow."
Overtraining is the Number One cause of painful sports injuries, he says, and he offers these tips on maintaining muscle tone while getting back in shape.
1. Take some time to warm up. It's been said numerous times, but bears repeating: Don't jump into a demanding exercise routine all at once. Gradually build up to it through a series of stretches and dynamic movements. Most people who are injured during a workout have ignored this advice.
2. Get lots of rest. A good night's sleep is the best way to let your body recover from the strain of exercise. Your body can't take advantage of the hard work you do if it doesn't have time to rebuild itself properly.
3. Listen to your body. You can push your muscles just so far. If you experience any sharp pain or muscle weakness during exercise, pay attention. This is often the only warning sign your body will give you. Don't try to work through the pain; that's the fastest way to develop a chronic overuse injury.
4. Stretch your muscles before and after your workout. Stretching helps prevent your muscles from pulling on - and possibly tearing - your tendons. Excessive muscular tension causes fraying in the tendon, so do it before an injury occurs; stretching after you have full-blown tendinitis is too late.
5. Watch your posture. You may have injured yourself with a strenuous physical activity, but years of poor posture have probably been setting the stage for that injury. Poor posture throws your body out of alignment and puts an unnecessary strain on your back and neck. Get a Postural Analysis and practice sitting and standing correctly until it becomes an unconscious thing.
And if you do get hurt, get help as soon as possible. Ignoring painful conditions such as tendon tears, pulled muscles and sprains only leads to further problems.
For more information, go to http://www.EclipseWellness.com.