Injuries and Scarring that can Limit your Training Abilities

31st October 2019
Injuries and scarring can be caused by an accident, a surgical operation or the repetitive use of an object. They can limit training abilities and can even cause problems with posture.

Injuries and scarring from wounds or operations can interfere with your workouts. It’s very important to wait until they’re almost completely healed and, if necessary, modify your workout routine accordingly. Find out more about how to care for injuries and scarring in this article.

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Injuries and scarring: what you should know

The skin cells have many functions. One function is to repair tissues that have been damaged for different reasons. The dermis is one of the largest organs of the human body. As your skin is often exposed to the environment, it’s responsible for ‘exchanging’ information between the inside and outside.

When injuries and scarring occur, you might experience certain postural, sensory or motor problems. These disorders can even spread and affect other areas of the body.

For example, if you have a cut on the palm of your hand, it probably hurts to hold an object such as a dumbbell. As a result, you won’t be able to close your fingers around it properly.

Scarring can appear after surgery, cuts, traumas or burns. The process that the skin goes through to heal these wounds is probably more complex than you’d think. First, the bleeding carries elements such as blood platelets, glycoprotein or fibrin and attempts to constrict your blood vessels.

From that moment on, the body works tirelessly to heal that wound. Above all, your body tries to prevent bacteria from entering. The last phase of healing is also known as remodeling and can take days, weeks or even months. It all depends on the size and characteristics of the wound.

When injuries and scarring are a problem

If the dermis and fascia (inner layer of the skin, with pain receptors) are affected by deeper injuries and scarring, it can alter their delicate structures. As a result, this could lead to less internal-external interaction.

Wounds and scars deserve special attention to heal them completely.

Fascia fibers are less elastic during the healing process. Tightness and tension are the main problems when you try to train, pick up an object or use a lot of force.

In addition to the risk of the wound opening up or becoming infected, the pain can also worsen. With it, there are also changes in our habits or movements.

Of course, if you have an injury on your foot, you’ll probably transfer the weight of your body to your other leg. As a result, you could cause pain in your knee or overwork your hip, among other problems.

Another example is if you have a cut on one hand and, instead of using that side to lift a weight, you’ll do it with the opposite hand. Changes in your posture or workout can lead to many problems. This can affect not only your workout routine but also your day-to-day life. 

How to prevent and treat injuries and scarring

As a first step, you must be very careful when you’re exercising: try your best to avoid cuts and bruises, blisters or chafing that can worsen your workout or not allow you to train accordingly.

Depending on the type of physical activity you do, you must protect your skin and other areas that are the most prone to injury. For example, the palms of your hands can easily be hurt if you lift weights. Likewise, your heels could suffer if you run and your groin if you ride a bicycle.

In this sense, cloth bandages are an excellent way to prevent wounds but not the only way. You can also moisturize the dermis with creams and even use talc or flour to help prevent sweat and friction.

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Another important tip: don’t wear new clothes or shoes during an intense training session or competition. You must first ensure that the body adapts to these elements.

Additionally, it’s important to break in your new clothes and shoes to prevent or reduce the negative consequences of that initial friction or pressure.

If you have protein deficiency, wounds may take longer to heal injuries and scarring

How to act on these skin problems

In the event that injuries and scarring have occurred due to exercise or another external situation, it’s essential to consult a specialist. This medical professional will be able to tell you when it’s safe to resume physical activity. In addition, they’ll care for your injuries and scarring and teach you how to take care of them, too.

Covering a wound with a bandage or gauze will likely be enough to prevent contact with bacteria. However, with regard to pain and discomfort levels, you may have to wait a little longer to feel in perfect condition and return to training.

If the wound is due to a surgical operation, you can’t simply resume all activities once the stitches have been removed. There’s a subsequent process that must be adhered to so that the wounds don’t open and create further complications. As a result, it’s preferable to wait a while and avoid having emergency surgery.

  • Montequin, F. (2012). Heridas de difícil cicatrización. I Revista Cubana de Angiología y Cirugía Vascular.