7 Common Gym Injuries That Can Easily Be Prevented

Going to the gym to stay in shape is great, but it’s important to take precautions so that you reduce your risk of getting injured. When you know the common injuries that can occur while you’re working out, you’re more likely to avoid them. Understanding the causes of common gym injuries and how to prevent them will ensure that your time at the gym gets you the results you want. Here are the most common gym injuries that you can easily prevent if you know what you’re doing when you’re working out.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries are quite common among gym-goers. They happen for a variety of reasons and can result in several issues. You might suffer a knee injury if you’re lifting weights with bad form, as you can easily put too much stress on the joint or move it improperly. Running is another cause of knee injuries because it can wear down the cartilage in the knee. You may hear creaking, cracking, or bone rubbing on bone when you walk or stand up.

To prevent knee injuries, make sure you wear good shoes that provide support. You’ll also need to ensure you’re doing squats and other exercises that put strain on the knee using good form. Keep your legs aligned properly, and don’t move too rapidly.

Shin Splints

Are you having pain along the inner edge of your shin bone? If so, you’re probably suffering from shin splints. This condition often occurs in runners but can also happen when you work out on the treadmill at the gym or use other running or walking simulation equipment. When you increase the intensity of your workout, you risk getting shin splints, which is sometimes called medial tibial stress syndrome. It’s caused by inflammation of the muscle that runs along your shin. If left untreated, a shin splint can turn into a fractured tibia.

You can avoid shin splints by wearing proper shoes. Having shoes that provide the right support reduces stress on your bones and muscles. Avoid ramping up your workout routine too rapidly as well. This lets your muscles grow and stretch slowly.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when pressure is put on the median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel in your wrist. So, gym exercises such as holding the plank position, doing push-ups, and even lifting weights can cause this issue. Any type of repetitive hand motion puts stress on your carpal tunnel and causes the tendons in your wrist to swell. This makes it painful to move your wrist back and forth.

Some things you can do to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome include switching hands when doing things that require repetitive motions with your wrist, avoiding exercises that require you to put a lot of pressure on your hands and wrists, and reducing your salt intake. You can also do stretching exercises to help with flexibility.

Pulled Muscles

Pulled muscles are often the result of improper stretching before a workout. They can happen when you put too much stress on your muscles as well, such as lifting more weight than your body can handle. Not drinking enough water and becoming dehydrated will exacerbate pulled muscles because it causes them to be tighter than normal. A pulled muscle will make the area sore and difficult to move. If you tear your muscles or tendons, the condition can be very serious.

It’s easy to prevent a pulled muscle. Make sure you stretch properly before working out. You can also make sure you have good form and posture during any of your routines. Keep yourself hydrated both before and during your workout session to keep your muscles loose. Don’t do more than you can handle and don’t push yourself too hard.


Both ankle and wrist sprains are common for those who frequent the gym. A sprain happens when you move too fast in one direction, causing the joint to jerk rapidly. This results in the ligaments in the joint tearing or stretching. A sprained ankle or wrist is painful and can make moving the joint difficult and uncomfortable. Doing aerobics, jumping, and running are just a few things that might cause an ankle sprain if not done properly. A wrist sprain can happen when lifting weights improperly, doing push-ups, or even if you just fall, landing on your hand.

If you’ve suffered a sprain before, you can prevent it from happening again by wearing a brace on the joint. Warming up and doing stretches before your workout can also help prevent sprains.

Lower Back Pain

While some lower back pain after a workout is normal, if the pain is extreme, sharp, or persists for more than a few days, you may have a more serious problem. Sometimes, lower back pain is caused by poor posture during a workout or lifting more weight than you should. If you put too much pressure on your lower spine, you could sprain your lower back muscles. Keeping your spine neutral and having good posture during your lifting session can help prevent lower back pain. You may also need to wear a support brace to help you keep your posture.

Shoulder Injuries

There are several shoulder injuries that can happen while you’re at the gym. One common shoulder issue that occurs while working out is a rotator cuff tear. You can tear the rotator cuff when you’re lifting weights above your head or doing exercises that require you to lift something over your head. This is because the muscles in your shoulder aren’t strong enough to hold the item up, and the ligament tears. By ensuring your shoulder muscles can bear enough weight, you may be able to prevent this and other common shoulder injuries.

If you have any of the conditions listed above, you may need to seek medical attention to prevent further injury. Any problems with your hands or wrists can be treated by Dr. Knight at The Hand and Wrist Institute, the premiere orthopedic specialist in the Dallas, Texas, area. Contact the office today to schedule an appointment.

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Dr. John Knight
Dr. John Knight

Dr. Knight is a renowned hand, wrist and upper extremity surgeon with over 25 years of experience. Dr. Knight is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Fellowship trained. Dr Knight has appeared on CNN, The Doctors TV, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Oxygen network and more.