Workout Injuries

Better.TV—May 14, 2012

World class athletes know all about sports injuries but let's talk about what can go wrong while you're shakin' it in Zumba class. Dr. Marci Goolsby, a sports medicine physician at the Women's Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery was interviewed.

I wouldn't think that Zumba is a particularly dangerous place to be at. But there are injuries apparently in a lot of the traditional classes that we need to be aware of. Is that right?

Dr. Marci Goolsby: It's a very fun sport. But just like any new sport you can have injuries. And in Zumba there's a variety of injuries that can happen. Most important is to become familiar with the sport.

So what are some of the common things that you look at. Are you looking at tears? Is there anything very serious in Zumba?

Goolsby: It can be. I kind of think about it in two sections, one is brand new injuries, the other is if there is any underlining problem that can get aggravated in Zumba--such as ankle sprains, or knee injuries like meniscus tears. Aggravation of hip problems can also happen in Zumba.

And these are things that can happen if you didn't have a previous injury before. Just because of the type of workout that it is.

Goolsby: Right. Especially if you don't warm up adequately. If you’re trying to do more than you're capable of doing, you can pull a muscle or injure something.

And I think a lot of it occurs because you're doing something totally new that your body isn't accustomed to doing yet. So maybe you don't know your limits. How do you know when it's time to see a doctor? Everybody is going to be sore after the first Zumba class. What's the difference for us between sore and injured? How do we know?

Goolsby: Well, soreness should linger for only a couple of days. If there is one specific injury or joint that's bothering you for more than a couple of days, if it's affecting you in your daily life, such as walking around and you're having pain, or if something just keeps recurring, then it's worth having it evaluated.

Now let's talk about spinning. Some of the more common injuries that you would see from someone who loves to go spinning.

Goolsby: Similar to Zumba, there can be injuries like pulling a muscle. Again, aggravation if there is any underlying hip problem. I've seen patients with knee or hip arthritis, where their bike fit might not be appropriate in the spin class, and that can injure.

And that is something that you have to check before you start doing a class?

Goolsby: It's helpful to have a teacher to help you get your bike set up.

So if you are going to spinning classes and you feel some of these things happening over time, when is it appropriate to go see the doctor? And when do you say, "You know, I need a few days to let this subside."?

Goolsby: Similar to the Zumba, if you feel like you are not able to do what you want to do in the class. If the pain is lingering past just the activity you're doing, involving other sports that you're doing, then it's worth getting evaluated. Swelling would also be an indicator that there is something more serious going on.

When it comes to strength training--doing a little bit of weight lifting and trying to make yourself stronger. What are some of the injuries we can see? This is where you're really dealing with moving weights, so there is much more potential for serious injury.

Goolsby: Right. And that is really important in having good technique, and having adequate supervision if it's a new activity for you. Start out with very light weight and make sure you have very good form when you do it. People can injure muscles and injure their joints similar to the other sports.

View the segment at better.tv.

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