Bodybuilding is tough work, requiring many hours every week sculpting muscles in the gym. It also leads to numerous muscle and tendon injuries, particularly among those less knowledgeable about balanced workouts.
A complete series of articles on preventing bodybuilding related back pain should be required reading for anyone contemplating hitting the weights. Unfortunately, most people looking for this type of information have already sustained an injury.
Once a muscle injury has occurred the first thing one should do is STOP doing the activity that caused the injury – immediately. Allow the injured area adequate time to rest. Not just a day or two, but a week or longer is required to allow the body time to reduce inflammation and repair tissues.
Applying ice to the injured area as soon as possible, preferably within 5 minutes of injury, will significantly decrease the amount of swelling and pain. Use ice alternating 20 minutes on / 20 minutes off to start. Continue using ice for at least the first 2-3 days after injury. Alternating heat and ice treatments can speed healing even more.
Use compression and elevation to reduce swelling. For example, if you overstretch your hamstring try wrapping the area with an elastic compression bandage. Then lie down with your leg propped up on a pillow or other comfortable support.
Once your body has ample time to rest and recover a focused program targeting specific muscle imbalances will help you prevent re-injury. Stretch overly tight muscles to increase flexibility and focus strength exercises on weaker muscles. This type of well balanced program offers bodybuilders the best chance at building a well sculpted body without injury.