Weight-Lifting Injuries Are Increasing
< Apr. 07, 2010 > -- More Americans are participating in strength training -- and more are getting hurt as a result. According to a new study, injuries have increased by nearly 50 percent between 1990 and 2007. Such injuries are most common among people who use free weights rather than weight machines.
Men and Teens More at Risk
Men are more likely than women to sustain weight-lifting injuries, accounting for 82 percent of the injuries during the study. Teens and young adults also have higher injury risk. Nearly half of the injuries were in those ages 13 to 24, according to the new report in the April issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
Dropped Weights, Sprains and Strains Common
Some 90 percent of injuries occurred in people using free weights, such as dumbbells, as compared to machines. In 65 percent of cases, weights were dropped on people. Nearly half of all injuries were diagnosed as sprains or strains.
"Before beginning a weight-training program, it is important that people of all ages consult with a health professional, such as a doctor or athletic trainer, to create a safe training program based on their age and capabilities," says study author Dawn Comstock, of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
"Getting proper instruction on how to use weight-lifting equipment and the proper technique for lifts, as well as providing trained supervision for youths engaging in weight training, will also reduce the risk of injury," she notes.
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Build Your Strength Safely
Strength training, or weight lifting, can play an important role in your fitness program at any age, according to the American Academy of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Such exercise can increase muscle and bone density and is part of a well-rounded physical activity program.
Here are tips for preventing injuries:
Always consult your physician for more information.