Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive motions over a period of time. They differ from acute injuries, which are caused by sudden trauma such as falling. Overuse injuries are common among those who participate in sports like tennis, golf, or baseball that require specific repetitive movements. They also occur in people who perform repetitive movements during daily activities, such as typing or lifting a baby.
Overuse injuries have four stages:
- Pain in the affected area after physical activity
- Pain during physical activity that does not restrict performance
- Pain during physical activity that does restrict performance
- Chronic, persistent pain, even at rest
Most overuse injuries can be prevented with proper training. There are several ways in which overuse injuries can potentially be prevented, including:
- Limiting exercise time to allow adequate rest and recovery
- Limiting the number of specific repetitive movements
- Using the correct technique and proper equipment when starting a new activity
- Gradually increasing physical activity to achieve workout goals rather than increasing activity level too quickly
Some tips for treating overuse injuries include:
- Cutting back the intensity, duration, and frequency of an activity
- Adopting a hard/easy workout schedule
- Cross training with other activities to maintain fitness levels
- Using ice for minor aches and pain
- Using anti-inflammatory medications as necessary
The most common cause of overuse injuries is increasing the duration, frequency, or intensity of workouts too quickly. If you are returning to a sport after an extended break or after recovering from an injury, don’t try to make up for lost time by pushing yourself to get back to the level of activity you were at before the break or injury. Never try to push through the pain of a suspected overuse injury, especially if pain increases in intensity or frequency.
For help recovering from an overuse injury, contact the Vereen Center today.