My name is Mark Russell. I was asked by Tom and Regie to write a few articles
about injuries commonly seen when we exercise. First I would like to tell you a
little about myself, then we’ll get to the good stuff.
I was born in Jackson, MI in 1956, yes that makes me 54. I graduated with a BS
degree from Michigan State University in 1977, and completed medical school at
Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1981. I completed my
internship and subsequent orthopedic residency at Lansing General Hospital in
Lansing, MI in 1982 and 1986 respectively. I’ve been in practice in general
orthopedics in the Lansing area since 1986. I specialize in sports related injuries,
adult reconstructive surgery including total joint replacements, and trauma. I
treat pediatric as well as adult patients.
Ok, enough about me. I’d like to start this series of articles with an overview.
Sports related injuries range from minor sprains to major joint injuries and
fractures. This month I’m planning on focusing here on the range of injuries that I
see with those individuals that are “working out”.
The etiology of most injuries I treat in the “working out” category are mult-
factorial. Although, many of these injuries have common denominators. By
identifying these factors ahead of time you can avoid many of these injuries.
Any trainer worth his or her salt will tell you that stretching out before every
workout can help keep you out of my office. Just like a high performance car
your muscles need to be warmed up. So take the time to stretch.
Know your limits if you’re 54 you can’t start your first workout by lifting what
you did when you were 30. If you’re 20 then I hate you already. All kidding aside
even at 20 you need to start out slow don’t try to get in top shape by running 5K
the first day. Again, know your limits.
If something hurts while you’re working out then back off on the weight and/or
reps. If that doesn’t work then move on, save that exercise for a later date when
you may be better prepared to perform it.
Improper technique is definitely one the top 5 reasons patients get hurt while
working out. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched someone working out
on a machine with very poor technique while staring at a picture of how to use
that machine. Usually these individuals are trying to lift too much so they have to
recruit other muscle groups to accomplish the move. DON’T use less weight
and perform it properly, you’ll burn more calories and avoid an injury.
Hydration. Can’t say enough about keeping yourself properly hydrated while you
work out. Drink plenty of water, you lose water not only by sweating but with
breathing as well.
The last thing I want to touch base on is DIET. I’m not a nutritionist, nor would I
want to be, I have a hard enough time following my own advice as it is. That
being said, it is very important to have the proper diet to meet your needs. You
need to eat three meals a day avoid high carbohydrate foods like white breads,
white rice, fried foods and pasta. I’m not saying you can’t eat these just be
reasonable, try to avoid them if you can. If you can’t then maybe you cut back to
once a week. You also need to snack, most trainers recommend a mix of nuts
and fruits between meals to keep the calories burning.
I know a lot of people that “work out”, if you truly want to get a good workout
then do some research. Sit down and write down what you want to accomplish.
Then learn how to do those exercises you want to do properly, and remember
stretch out first, drink lots of water and change your eating habits. Hey we’re all
Americans we know how to eat bad.
I’ll leave you with one more thought, and Tom and Regie didn’t tell me to say this.
If you’ve never had a trainer I would strongly suggest you hire one even if it’s only
for a short while they’re worth their weight in calories.
See you next time,
Mark Russell, D.O.