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Common Orthopedic Injuries with New Workout Routines

Common Injuries With New Workout Routines

For many a new year means a new commitment to fitness and possibly a brand new workout routine.  At Complete Health Partners we believe that fitness is an essential component to complete health, and we love to watch our patients as they improve their strength, flexibility and endurance.  But what happens when a new fitness routine results in a new injury?  Here are the most common injuries we see with new workout routines and what you can do to help stay on track with your new fitness resolution!

Acute Injuries

Unexpected injuries, while inconvenient, do not have to end your new workout routine.  With expert urgent care providers and onsite x-ray available every day, Complete Urgent Care can evaluate and treat your acute injury the same day and get you back to doing what you love.  If further evaluation is warranted, our double board certified sports medicine physician is equipped with in-clinic ultrasound and has the ability to order convenient outpatient MRI scans to best diagnose and treat your injury.

Ankle Sprains and Strains

When ankles are weak and suddenly placed under new strain such as a new workout regime, ankle sprains and strains can occur.  Sudden instability, localized ankle pain, swelling and bruising are all signs of a possible ankle sprain or strain.  Sprains and strains differ based on whether a tendon or muscle is the injured tissue, however treatment for both are rest, elevation, ice and rest.  With more severe sprains, immobilization or casting may be required.  X-Ray evaluation of the injury may be warranted to determine if a bone is broken.  See Dr. Hadley’s post from last year for more in-depth information about sprains, strains, and broken bones.

Muscle strain or tear (hamstring/bicep)

When muscles get subjected to a load they are unused to bearing they can tear.  A strain is just another word for a minor tear.  These injuries can be avoided by gradually increasing the amount of activity you are performing or weight you are lifting, warming up thoroughly prior to exercise, and recovering fully before the next workout.  If you suffer a strain or tear, then rest, ice and compression are the initial treatments.  If you are having significant muscle spasm, loss of function, or visible bruising, you should seek medical attention.

Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator cuff tears are any tear in one of the four muscles that help rotate and move the shoulder.  They can occur suddenly during a workout or after a trauma such as a fall, however some tears are secondary to repeated trauma to the shoulder area.  Ultrasound can be used to diagnose these injuries, however an MRI may be necessary.  Rest, immobilization, physical therapy and/or surgery are the most common treatment options for rotator cuff tears.

Rhabdomyolysis: When muscle soreness is more than just soreness

Characterized by the worse muscle pain you have ever had, swelling, and in severe cases dark colored urine and jaundice.  This can be potentially very severe requiring hospitalization and can put your kidneys at risk.  It is important to seek medical care early as you can sometimes avoid hospitalization and permanent damage.  Some cases do require hospitalization, but can be diagnosed with a blood test in our clinic.  In-clinic blood testing for rhabdo looks at elevated creatine kinase and in-clinic urine testing looks for blood or protein in the urine.

Overuse Injuries:

New running and weight lifting routines are extremely popular fitness options for those looking to improve endurance and strength, however with all the repetitive motion can come stress to the muscles and ligaments of your extremities.  Overuse injuries are often micro-traumas that can become full blown injuries such as bone fractures or tendon tears,  if not given opportunity to heal.

Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

This inflammation of the tendons on the outside of the elbow can occur with new weightlifting routines, and we often see it in tennis players, baseball pitchers and patients who complete repetitive motion for their work, such as painters and even musicians.  Lateral epicondylitis is characterized by tenderness and pain on the outside of the elbow, stiffness in the elbow, and occasionally weakness and numbness in the hands, fingers and wrists.

Shin Splints

Characterized by pain and tenderness over the shin area, shin splints are caused by micro tears of the anterior tibialis muscle.  As the injury progresses, the pain will occur more often, with less activity and earlier into running.  Often caused by running on hard surfaces and improper shoe fit, shin splints can result in stress fractures in the most severe cases.

Runner’s Knee (patellofemoral syndrome)

If the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the kneecap (patella) are out of proper balance, knee pain can develop.  Many people complain of a dull, aching pain around the front of the knee, especially when kneeling, squatting or traveling up/down stairs.  Some experience a “creaking” of the knee or a sensation of the knee “catching” with movement.

Tips for Treating an Overuse Injury:

  • Reduce the intensity, duration, and/or frequency of an activity
  • Develop a cross-training workout schedule that varies in intensity to give certain muscle groups “rest periods”
  • Complete appropriate warm-ups before engaging in an activity
  • Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and ice after workouts for pain
  • Work with a coach or athletic trainer to improve technique
  • Work with a physical therapist or chiropractor to identify and treat incorrect movement patterns.
  • If pain or injury persists after these strategies, a visit with our sports medicine physician may be appropriate.  Dr. Blythe is double board certified in emergency medicine and sports medicine and can evaluate and treat your injury with state-of-the-art techniques such as ultra-sound guided evaluations and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) joint injections.

Evaluation and Treatment at Complete Health Partners

At Complete Health Partners, we have a highly skilled team for both orthopedic urgent care and sports medicine to help you through all phases in your recovery after an injury.  We can treat you for both the initial injury as well as get you follow up in our Sports Medicine Clinic in West Nashville or Hendersonville, where we employ cutting edge technology and treatment to help get you back on the field, on the job, or just back to enjoying your life as quickly and safely as possible.

Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Clinics     

Nashville West Clinic    

6749 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209   


9am – 7pm, 7 days a week  

Hendersonville Clinic    

166 E Main Street, Hendersonville, TN 37075   


9am – 7pm, 7 Days a week

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