Fixing Overuse Injuries

An estimated 33-42% of athletes have overuse injuries. And many don’t even know it.

With it being so important to take care of your body and health, and especially for those whose careers are on the line, injuries can be a really scary thing.

So, what do you do if you get injured?

In this post, we will cover what overuse injuries are, and how to deal with them if you sustain one.

What Are Overuse Injuries?

Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive trauma to a muscle, ligament, bone, or tendon. More generally, they are any injury that is not caused by a specific traumatic event.

This repetitive trauma usually stems from incorrect training practices or technique errors. However, these injuries are not specific to athletes; they can happen to anyone who performs the same motion over and over again.

These injuries are often ignored since there is no specific incident that caused them. This makes them harder to diagnose and treat. Some common examples of overuse injuries are shin splints, tennis elbow, stress fractures, and Achilles tendinitis.

While these injuries can happen to anyone, there are some medical conditions that increase your chances of injury (as is the case with Carpal tunnel syndrome). Make sure to ask your doctor about your health and if you need to be extra vigilant for overuse injuries.

How to Deal With Overuse Injuries

When you suspect you have an overuse injury, the most important thing you should do is make sure you’re listening to your body. If your body is hurting, it’s a good sign that you need to rest. Exercising with an injury can exacerbate the pain and make the injury worse. 

Identifying where the problem is coming from and what may be causing it needs to be a top priority. Once you know what activity is causing the problem, you should cut back the intensity and frequency of that activity while the injury heals.

If the activity is something that you can’t avoid long-term, make sure you’re using the proper form and technique when performing it.

One way you can treat an injury is with RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Baby the injury so that it can heal and you can get back to what you need to do.

It is always important to take care of your body, but it’s especially important when you’re injured. Make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep and that you’re getting enough water and nutrients to help your body along in the healing process. Protein is especially important when healing from an injury.

If the injury doesn’t seem to be getting any better after cutting back on the activity that caused it and babying it for a while, you may need to see a doctor

Overuse Injury vs. Soreness

There is a difference between an overuse injury and just regular soreness, though it can sometimes be hard to differentiate. 

Soreness after exercising is often referred to as delayed-onset muscle soreness or DOMS. This is muscle soreness that typically comes on a day or two after a workout. Along with the soreness, it can include slight swelling in the affected area, muscle spasms, muscle fatigue, and stiffness. 

This can happen when your start a new training regimen, or if you are working on progressive overload to increase your strength, flexibility, or endurance. Any training plan is incomplete without time for recovery. Including extra time and effort for proper recovery will help you to deal with soreness, and not push yourself into an injury.

Being sore is normal after an especially hard workout, but there are some cases where it is likely an injury and not just soreness. If you experience any of these, it may be an overuse injury instead.

  • Physical pain lasting more than five days
  • Sharp, stabbing pain
  • Excessive swelling of the area
  • Significant loss of mobility or strength

Train Safely

It is important to always pay attention to what your body tells you. When training or performing any strenuous tasks, make sure to take care of your body by doing the appropriate warm-up and cool down, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting the proper nutrition and sleep.

Don’t risk overuse injuries anymore; work with us now!

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