Moms, one of the common ways we get into shape after having our kids is by working out in the gym. But, if you don’t know basic safety rules when exercising, or how to use gym equipment, the consequences could be horrendous, as one woman recently found out. We bring you law student Marcelle Mancuso’s experience as a cautionary tale. She endured one of the worst women’s gym injuries and is now retelling her story to help save others.
Mancuso suffers one of the worst women’s gym injuries
In 2016, the Brazil-based Mancuso went about her normal workout.
After her regular training exercises, the 23-year-old added an inverted sit-up — a move in which you hang upside down from a bar and then do sit ups in the inverted position.
It was in the midst of this inverted sit-up that the harness holding onto her legs broke.
Mancuso reportedly fell head-first and broke her fifth vertebra.
“I lost all the movements from the neck down when I hit my head on the floor,” she told Independent. “I could move my eyes… had to keep calm and began to pray.”
She was immediately rushed to the hospital where doctors told her that she would probably end up being a tetraplegic. “The doctors did not know if I would walk again or if I would stay on a bed forever,” she recalled.
But she beats all odds and begins to walk again
However, Mancuso beat all odds and with a rigorous six-month physiotherapy regime, she managed to get back onto her feet.
The soon-to-be lawyer also posted a picture of herself walking again on her Instagram page.
Mancuso’s story is a grim reminder of why we must be extra cautious while using gym equipment — and not just the ones that come with a harness.
Gym equipment may look harmless and secure, but if you do not pay attention for even a second, you can be involved in a disastrous accident.
5 of the worst women’s gym injuries you must watch out for
Here are a few women’s gym injuries that you must watch out for while exercising at the gym.
1. Patella femoral overuse syndrome
This is an injury of the knee wherein you may feel prolonged pain in the knee cap, especially when you sit, run or climb stairs. It develops over time as the bones in the lower leg do not get enough rest to line up perfectly.
This usually happens to women who do a lot of squats and lunges or increase their running mileage too quickly. The best way to avoid this problem is by easing into running, taking it slow and strengthening the calves, hamstring and quadriceps muscles.
2. Rotator cuff tear
This is an injury related to the rotator cuff, which is one of the four cuff muscles that keeps your shoulder in its socket. This type of injury usually occurs over time and may happen if you lift very heavy weights and do not exercise with the proper form.
You may feel pain when you try to rotate your arms in doing simple things like hooking your bra.
If you have pain in the shoulder socket, modify your workout and make sure you do not lift very heavy weights. If your condition doesn’t improve, you must visit a specialist.
3. Hamstring strain
If you feel a sudden and sharp pain in the back of your thighs, especially when you run or sprint, chances are you have a hamstring strain. This is also called a pulled muscle.
Sometimes, this injury is mild and you will recover quickly. In other cases, you may need medical intervention.
To prevent this type of injury, you must warm up properly before each exercise and stretch after each session.
Women’s gym injuries: To avoid hamstring strains and even ankle strains, you must identify the amount of weight you can lift and avoid overdoing it. | Image courtesy: Pixabay
4. Ankle fracture
An ankle fracture, as the name suggests, is caused by a twist in your ankle. It could be due to running or lifting too much weight and may take time to recover from, depending on the severity of your injury.
It can be quite painful, but there is a way to avoid it. Make sure that you run at a pace that is comfortable and that you work your quads more than your ankle while doing so.
Also avoid uneven landing surfaces and try to opt for plain, road-like areas if you are running or walking outside the gym. And make sure you lift weights that are within your capacity.
5. Stress fracture
Stress fractures are hairline fractures and can cause severe bruising. They usually take time to develop. So you may feel a slight pinch at a particular place in your body at first. And this may, with time, develop into a fracture.
To avoid stress fractures, be mindful of your sore body to identify underlying issues. And also do not increase the strength of your workout by more than 10 percent in a week.
If you have never run in your life, don’t start practicing ways to run a marathon on your first day. Take it easy and slowly build your strength.
An active, healthy lifestyle is essential for all women. And by being aware of potential gym and exercise-related risks, you are in a good position to avoid them altogether.
Sources: Yahoo!, Independent, Prevention
ALSO READ: 5 Gyms where Singaporean mums can kickstart a healthy lifestyle
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore