Tips for Home Workouts During COVID-19

ShoreOrtho Sports Performance
& Injury Prevention Tips

A monthly
presented by:
Damon A. Greene, MD
Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon
Shore Orthopaedic University Associates

June 2020


As COVID-19 continues workout facilities have been temporarily shut down. This means that more and more people are turning to home exercise programs. Home exercise offers a great way to stay in shape and social distance. But what happens if you get injured at home. Keep reading to learn about a few common home workout injuries and steps that you can take to recover in your own home.

Common Home Workout Injuries:

If you have decided to lift weights increase or start running or even get that Peleton bike here are a few common injuries to look out for.

  1. Rotator Cuff Strain: This is a common injury which can be caused by many factors. Improper form or excessive weight progression or even excessive repetition. The deltoid may pinch the top portion of the rotator cuff against the collar bone. This often results in inflammation and swelling of the tendon causing pain.
  2. Sprained Ankle: A sprained ankle can occur anytime from running on uneven surfaces or even while preforming those at home HIT or Zumba classes. Common symptoms of this injury include pain and swelling and loss of range of motion.
  3. Shin Splints: Shin splints are one of the most common running injuries. This typically occurs from overuse or increase in training or improper footwear. Shin splints are caused by overloading the muscles tendons and bones of the lower extremity. Symptoms include throbbing, aching, or tenderness along the inside of the shin. The pain is often intense at the start of the run but goes away once the muscles are loosened up.
  4. Wrist Sprain/Tendinitis: A sprained wrist occurs when a ligament is forced to stretch beyond its normal range, or when the elastic fibers of the ligament are torn. They are often caused by a fall, such as onto an outstretched hand, or when the joint is bent forcefully or suddenly twisted

A Few Tips for at Home Injury Care.

After the injury you may experience pain, swelling, and bruising, as well as throbbing or a dull ache. Additionally, the injured area may also be tender to the touch or sensitive to movement. A popular acronym is R.I.C.E. which describes a method can be used at home when recovering from an injury:

  • Rest: This is one of the most effective ways to jump-start the healing process. Take a break from the activity that caused your injury allowing the injured area time to start recovering.
  • Ice:Apply a bag of frozen vegetables (I like frozen peas the best) or an ice pack to your injury. Not only will it help relieve pain, but it will also prevent swelling by decreasing blood flow to the area. Never place the ice directly on your bare skin to avoid frostbite. You will want to wrap it in a towel or cloth before applying it to the injured area. Apply the ice or cold pack for 15 to 20 minutes, three or more times a day.
  • Compress:Wrapping the injured area with an elastic bandage will help minimize swelling by allowing fluid to drain from the area. The bandage will provide support and remind you to remain still. It is important to make sure not to wrap the dressing is too tight. With over compression symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or even increased pain may occur.
  • Elevate:Elevate the injury at heart level or above your heart to help minimize swelling. If you are experiencing an ankle injury, for example, lay down with  pillows under your ankle.

Continue using the R.I.C.E. method for the first 48 to 72 hours after your injury. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or aspirin, if you are experiencing pain. You should also avoid applying heat to the injured area, as this can increase circulation and worsen swelling.

If you suspect your injury requires professional care, make an appointment with your sports medicine doctor.

  • Signs of severe injury include:
    Popping or crunching sound
  • Instability in a joint
  • Trouble breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Visible deformities like large lumps
  • Severe pain or swelling
  • Cannot support any weight on the injured area

Additionally, you should contact your Sports Medicine Physician if you have an injury that doesn’t improve with home treatment. You should have no visible bruising or swelling around the injured area after the first month. If you notice swelling after a month, make an appointment with your doctor.

Understanding the most common at-home injuries and care can help you get back to your workout routine soon.

Dr. Greene at Shore Orthopedic University Associates is a specialty-trained sports medicine surgeon who provides personalized care for all types of orthopedic injuries. He is also offering telemedicine and virtual appointments for any at-home injuries for those that cannot travel during this COVID crisis.





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