Injury—the word alone is enough to strike fear into the heart of any athlete. We’re in our fitness mode, setting personal bests and seeing results, only to find ourselves suddenly sidelined by unexpected pain.

But rather than being depressed about the gym sessions we’re missing, we can take this opportunity to analyse why the injury occurred and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Here are 10 of the most common workout injuries—plus crucial tips on how to prevent them.

1. Shin Splints

Pain that seems to radiate along the inner edge of your shinbone (or tibia) may be a sign of media tibial stress syndrome—more popularly known as “shin splints.” Common in runners, and athletes that do a lot of running and jumping, shin splints occurs when over stressed muscles in the front lower leg cause pain along the shinbone.

This muscle inflammation can crop up after only a few workouts, and the risk becomes especially high if you’ve recently increased the intensity or frequency of your training. Running hills or on hard surfaces (such as concrete or asphalt) or training in worn-out shoes also increases your risk.

How to prevent it:Wear proper shoes that are in good condition and gradually increase the intensity and frequency of your workouts. Warm-up before any hard training sessions to ensure you get the blood moving and prep those lower leg muscles for intense effort.

Related article: Yoga Poses To Relieve Back Pain

2. Knee Pain

A vague discomfort around the kneecap can signal knee patellofemoral syndrome, also known as “runner’s knee.” Often related to poor tracking of the patella, you may hear a creaking, crunching or grating sound as your knee moves through a normal range of motion.

Muscle imbalances can exacerbate the issue, as can performing weighted repetitions with compromised form and improper knee alignment. Using weights that are too heavy or performing too many repetitions can also damage the knee extensors and cause pain. For runners, knee pain may crop up after running hillier routes as downhills can increase stress to the patellar tendon.

How to prevent it: Weak hips and abductors can cause the knee to track inward during squats and lunges, or while running and jumping, which places strain on the patellar tendon. Keep your knees healthy by focusing on exercises that strengthen the hips and quadriceps. Also, when weightlifting, focus on keeping the knees in proper alignment to protect the extensors and strengthen the surrounding muscles.

3. Wrist Strain