Overuse Injuries


If you are considering starting or are currently engaged in a new fitness routine, there is always the potential of an overuse injury.  An overuse injury is a type of muscle or joint injury, such as tendinitis or a stress fracture, that stems one of the following:

  1. Overuse of a Muscle or Joint– An injury resulting from overuse simply means that you are taking on too much in a short period of time.  Your body cannot handle what you are asking of it.  Progressing too quickly, exercising for too long, or doing too much of one type of physical activity can lead to an overuse injury.
  2. Technique Errors– Technique errors can also take a huge toll on your body.  If you use poor form while performing a strength exercise, simply throwing a football or swinging a golf club, you increase the risk for an overuse injury.

Although many refer to these injuries as “overuse injuries” the underlying problem may not always come from overuse or technique errors. Wearing worn-out shoes or performing exercises on uneven surfaces are also potential causes of this type of injury.

Some common ailments that might have overuse at their roots are pain around the kneecap, a sore shoulder, a pulled hamstring, shin splints, or a strained Achilles tendon.  You can lessen the odds of being a victim of an overuse injury by building strength.  While stretching is very important, building muscle has been shown to be a more effective form of overuse injury prevention.

Incorporating the following tips into your fitness routine will help to prevent an overuse injury:

  1. Progress Your Workout Gradually– Often times, when someone is first starting out with a new fitness routine, they are excited and enthusiastic about becoming healthy and fit.  Unfortunately, this excitement leads them to do an excessive amount of exercise in the first few days leading to…you guessed it, an overuse injury!  It is important to ease into a new fitness routine as you build endurance and muscle.  As you grow more accustomed to the routine, you can slowly increase the amount of exercise that you perform.
  2. Alternate Hard Training with Easy Days–  This is another important step in preventing injuries that many people often have a hard time with.  When exercising, your muscles experience thousands of tiny tears that need time to rest and heal in order to build and strengthen your muscles.
  3. Mix Up Your RoutineInstead of always focusing on one type of exercise, consider combining two or more types of physical activity, also known as cross-training. Doing a variety of low-impact activities, such as walking, biking, swimming, and jogging, can help to prevent overuse injuries by distributing consecutive workouts to multiple muscle groups rather than overworking a single set.

By Jennifer Duncanson

  • Trackback are closed
  • Comments (0)

Let us know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: