If you want to lose extra pounds or be physically fit, jumping rope is the way to go. It’s one of the most popular aerobic exercises because it works the entire body. It’s a great way to lose weight and tone your calves and arms. On top of that, jumping rope can help strengthen your bones. This exercise can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis as you age by slowing down your bone’s decaying process. That said, the exercise must be done right to avoid possible jump rope injuries.
Also, jumping rope is much more effective than other popular forms of exercise, particularly jogging and running. If you jump rope for 10 minutes, you can receive results similar to someone who has run for 15 minutes and jogged for 30 minutes.
In addition, jumping rope is also good for heart health. It can help you burn more calories and boost the performance of your body in a short time. However, other considerations should still be considered to determine if it’s best for you.
Although jumping rope can boost your physical health, you can still injure yourself. Below are the common jump rope injuries you should be wary of and how to treat them.
1. Shin Splints
Shin splints are one of the most common injuries you can experience when doing jump rope. It’s a painful injury that involves the lower leg bone or shinbone. This bone is located between your ankle and knee.
Shin splints occur because of the impact generated when you land with your feet after you jump. This usually happens for people who rarely exercise or do intense physical activities, such as running, tennis, and basketball.
You can treat shin splints by applying ice on the affected area at least three times daily. If your condition doesn’t improve, you might need to undergo physiotherapy.
If you’re concerned about the expenses and you’re living in Ontario, ask your state, is physiotherapy covered by OHIP? Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) can cover your therapy expenses, but you have to meet certain qualifications. Ask your local government office for more information.
2. Ankle Pain
Ankle pain is a common jump rope injury. It usually occurs when you make a mistake when you land after a jump, causing your ankles to twist and dislocate. If your ankle gets dislocated, the ligaments around it tear apart as well, resulting in bruising and inflammation.
If you continue to jump rope despite the dislocation of your ankle, you’ll most likely experience a lot of pain and discomfort. Aside from pain and discomfort, you may also experience other symptoms, such as knee swelling, skin discoloration, and pain when jumping using one leg.
To avoid ankle pain, don’t jump rope on a concrete surface, and don’t use shoes with high heels. Also, make sure to stretch and warm up your body before you start.
3. Heel Spurs
A heel spur is a bone-like growth located at the bottom of the heel, where the heel bone and the ligament are connected. Surprisingly, only 15% of people are often affected by heel spurs. However, it’s a common occurrence for those who jump rope.
The problem with heel spurs is that they don’t show early signs but develop over time. You can only realize that you have one when your heel is already in pain.
You can avoid having heel spurs by wearing orthotics and shoe inserts that reduce the impact when landing on your feet after a jump. Also, don’t use flip-flops when jumping rope. Not only does it promote discomfort, but it also increases the risk of having heel spurs.
4. Calf Strain
Calves are located below the knee at the back of the leg. Calf strain, also known as a pulled calf muscle, results from overstretching or tearing your calf muscles, particularly the gastrocnemius and soleus.
People with calf strain experience a tearing sensation and sharp pain. If it becomes more serious, the strain may develop bruising and swelling.
To avoid overstretching your calf muscles, make sure to warm up before you jump rope. You can jog for 10 minutes or stretch your legs, especially your calf muscles. And before ending your end your jump rope, slow down for at least 10 minutes.
5. Plantar Fasciitis
Acting as a bridge between the front of your foot and your heel, the plantar fascia is a ligament known to absorb pressure and shock, helping you run and walk without experiencing pain. Plantar fasciitis occurs if this ligament becomes inflamed, causing stiffness and pain in your heel.
To avoid plantar fasciitis, you might need to make necessary lifestyle changes. Wear shoes that provide good arch support, and don’t overwork your plantar fascia by running or jumping rope too often. And before you jump rope, make sure you stretch your calves, fascia, and tendons.
If you’re overweight, consider losing weight to reduce the stress and pressure you put on your plantar fascia whenever your jump rope. This minimizes the risk of injuring your plantar fascia and other ligaments and tendons.
How Are Jump Rope Injuries Treated?
Jump rope injuries can be treated with the help of the following medical procedures.
1. Applying Cold Compress
A cold compress can reduce the pain, swelling, and inflammation of the affected muscle. Also, its effects last longer than hot compress. All you need to do is wrap ice cubes in a towel or an ice bag and apply it to the affected area for at least 20 minutes. Do this at least three times a day.
If the condition becomes severe, consult a doctor and ask if you need to undergo physiotherapy. Physical therapy helps restore the patient’s function and well-being through manual therapy, movement, and exercise. Physiotherapy can also help patients prevent and reduce the risk of injuries through proper education.
If the condition persists for several months, you might need to undergo surgery. The surgery you need will depend on your condition. For example, if your calf muscles are completely torn apart, your surgeon will make an incision to reconnect the two ends of your muscles using stitches. Usually, surgeries will require you to stay for a couple of days in the hospital until you recover.
Jumping rope is a great aerobic exercise that can work your upper and lower body. However, you have to be careful to avoid the following injuries discussed above. If you experience mild pain and swelling, applying ice on the affected area may help alleviate the condition. But if it becomes, consult your doctor right away for better treatment.
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