Many weightlifters will have some injuries throughout their lifetime while pursuing their goal of the perfect male body. Some may have minor strains and muscle pulls, but there are others that will push themselves and their bodies beyond its capability and cause much more serious, if not lasting, damage. Excessive weight training or the use of improper training techniques (or a combination of both) can lead to chronic injuries in weightlifters. Among the most common weightlifting injuries are sprains, strains and muscle tears. Injuries to the knees, shoulders, and low back are also frequently reported.
There are medical terms specifically for weightlifting injuries. There is "Weightlifter’s blackout" (improper breathing, i.e. the lifter holds his breath during the lifting phase), and Weightlifter’s cephalgia, (which is weightlifters headache) that is generally sudden in onset and occurs during active lifting. In many cases, the weight training exercise being performed at the time of headache onset was the bench press. Physiologic stress on the cardiovascular system during weight training changes the thickness of the heart in "weightlifter’s heart. The condition may be inaccurately diagnosed as hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM).
The most probable risk factors for injury include errors in technique, skeletal immaturity, and anabolic steroid abuse. Common serious injuries in weightlifters include not only the above, but compartment syndrome (a painful condition that results when pressure within the muscles builds to dangerous levels. This prevents nourishment from reaching nerve and muscle cells). Extensive weightlifting may also cause nonmusculoskeletal problems, which include retinal hemorrhage, radiculopathy (pain and other symptoms like numbness, tingling, and weakness in arms or legs that are caused by a problem with nerve roots.), and various cardiovascular complications.
The repetitive nature of weightlifting and the often heavy loads men are induced to perform are almost asking for chronic injuries. Common chronic injuries to weightlifting include rotator cuff tendinopathy (type of tendon injury that occurs when the tendon becomes painful or torn) and stress injuries to the vertebrae, clavicles, and upper extremities. In addition, muscle hypertrophy, poor technique, or overuse can contribute to nerve injuries such as thoracic outlet syndrome (damaged nerves and blood vessels that pass into the arms from the neck and between the base of the neck and armpit).
The most common body parts injured by weightlifters are the rotator cuff and the elbow. Devotees who spend a high percentage of their weight training on the bench press, failing to spend equivalent time rotating the arm the opposite way (under the same sort of load) cause themselves untold misery on said cuff. It’s reasonably common to hear someone complaining of ’tennis elbow’ after lifting weights, although this condition is only one of many that could be causing grief. Direct tricep work seems to be the usual point of blame (which is quite likely in many cases).
There are many, many causes of lower back pain in weightlifting and appropriate treatments for each. Weightlifters are more prone to compressed, stressed, herniated or cracked vertebrae. The only real strategy when severe pain arises is to stop whatever you’re doing and seek professional advice. Don’t push through the pain. If it hurts, don’t do it.
Hard to believe, but Osteoarthritis is also common among weightlifters, reported as 31%, vs. 14% in competitive runners, for example. One likely cause for osteoarthritis is poor technique; for example, squats performed with heavy loads and in which the thighs descend below parallel to the floor place significant load on the thinnest part of the femoral articular cartilage. Repetitive shear force likely takes its toll on the cartilage.
Stress fractures are also quite common. Typically, stress fractures occur in the lower body from repetitive excessive impact loading. The demands placed on the upper extremities during weight training may cause similar overload-induced stress fractures. Stress fractures of the major bones of the arms and legs have been associated with weight training.
Prevention methods for back pain weight lifting are common sense.