What is an overuse injury? An overuse injury is any type of soft tissue or joint injury that is caused by repetitive trauma. Overuse injuries are typically due to biomechanical imbalances as well as a sudden increase in exercise activity. (posterior chain weakness, limited range of motion in a joint)
Common overuse injuries include: plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinopathy, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow), patella tendinopathy, rotator cuff tendinopathy, medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints) etc.
The following steps will aid in preventing overuse injuries:
Ramp up your exercise slowly. Increasing at a rate no faster than 10% per week for all activities (running, weights, speed, etc.)
Getting enough sleep is also important in preventing overuse injuries. 7-8 hours of sleep per night has been recommended.
Always perform a warm up and cool down
Not performing the same exercise too often and allowing 48 hours of rest in between intense exercise.
Listen to your body: Pain is a signal that something is wrong in your body. Identifying this early can help speed up your recovery.
In order to safely progress your training, modifying the following training factors are important to avoiding overuse injuries:
Frequency: How often you train
Intensity: How hard you train
Time: How long you train
Type: The kind of training that you do
Treatments for an overuse injury include:
Eliminate the cause
Manage the inflammation
Slowly return to activity as tolerated
Seek guidance from a qualified healthcare professional to assess the underlying cause of the injury