TAMPA, Fla. – As 2018 approaches, many people have resolved to get healthier and will be heading back to the gym for the start of the New Year, however a Tampa doctor is warning the public of the potential negative impact excessive or improper workouts can have on a person’s health.
“If you’re thinking of getting more active as part of your New Year’s resolutions, it is critical to use caution and pace yourself to avoid injury,” said Dr. David Siambanes, director of the Children’s Scoliosis Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “Many injuries that occur during exercise are a result of, improper stretching, overexertion and improper form. Knowing your limits is essential to avoiding a trip to the emergency room.”
A number of spine and back related injuries can occur during workouts and range in severity, including muscle and ligament strain/tears, disk injury, vertebral fractures, pinched nerves and more.
Dr. Siambanes recommends for people who are trying to get back in shape to know their individual fitness level and set realistic goals. Focusing on conditioning the body properly over time is more beneficial than trying to work off holiday weight overnight and risking burnout or injury.
Stretching and warming up before exercise is also important for preventing injury. Many people returning to the gym after a long break will experience muscle tightness, soreness and fatigue. Improving flexibility takes time but can help with the prevention of injury.
Additionally, certain exercises should be avoided or approached with caution. These include excessive running, sit-ups, crunches, overhead press, weighted lunges, twisting motions and others. Nearly every exercise can be dangerous if performed improperly or attempted with too much weight.
“Proper exercise can provide a number of benefits that promote spine health, and I encourage everyone to consult with their doctor about recommended exercises and a plan that’s right for them,” said Siambanes. “Most importantly, if you sustain a back or neck injury make sure to seek proper medical care immediately.”
Dr. David Siambanes, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and an expert in both operative and non-operative treatment of all forms of spinal deformities. In his current role at Children’s Scoliosis Center, Siambanes focuses on providing treatment for pediatric spinal deformities.