Muscle strains are the most common injuries associated with bodybuilding. A muscle strain is when there's damage to a muscle or any of its attaching tendons. There might be immense pressure put on these muscles especially when bodybuilding. The damage can be in the form of tearing of the muscle fibers. This tearing may also lead to damage to the small blood vessels which may cause bleeding, pain, or bruising. Some ways to treat a muscle sprain may be applying ice packs, applying heat to decrease swelling, and maintaining the muscle in a stretched position.
Tendons are thick cords that attach the bone to muscle. Tendonitis is when a tendon becomes inflamed or irritated. Usually, this occurs when there is repetitive, minor impact on the specific area. Some risk factors for tendonitis are doing too much too soon or overusing the tendon, especially when the tendon is not used to making those movements. This is common in bodybuilding, especially if a specific body muscle has not been used or trained. Tendonitis can show up in any part of the body but some common areas include elbow, shoulder, knee, hip, and Achilles tendon. Some ways to avoid and treat tendonitis include taking it slow and gradually building up your strength and activity level. Also, it is important to stop if any type of pain occurs.
Movements such as squats, lunges, leg lifts, knee extensions, and jumps can potentially cause an injury to the patellar tendon in the knee. Tiny tears can develop in the patellar tendon when it is overused. The patellar tendon connects the patella (kneecap) to the tibia (shinbone). Overall, knee ligament injuries can feel painful, may develop swelling, and the person may be unable to put weight on that joint without pain. Some ways to treat this are by using a patellar tendon strap or physical therapy. These can help reduce symptoms but sometimes a mild injury may heal on its own time. Resting the knee is also important as putting weight on the knee can be painful.
Some overhead weightlifting and bodybuilding activities which include lateral raises and should and bench presses can cause shoulder impingement syndrome. This is when the rotator cuff is inflamed or starts swelling. This can potentially lead to pain in the side or front of the upper arm and shoulder. At first, this pain may only be noticeable when the arms are lifted, but as time goes on and the injury isn't taken care of, the pain may continue even when lying down or sitting still. Similarly, these bodybuilding activities may also result in a rotator cuff tear. Some treatments for shoulder injuries include anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, and regenerative techniques.
Bodybuilding and weightlifting activities such as rows, bench presses, and deadlifts may potentially lead to back strains and sprains. Sprains are acute injuries that are caused by direct trauma. They are stretches or tears in these ligaments. Most often, strains and sprains can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation which is also known as the RICE method. If the injury is severe, it is important to seek professional help. Another common back injury is the herniated disk which is when a person lifts heavy weights with their back muscles and not their leg muscles. This is when the discs between the vertebrae rupture or slip out of place. This should be treated with a mix of physical therapy and medications.