Sudden affinity for recreational sports or over enthusiastic gym sessions can work against you, if you do not listen to your body. Over-stressing your ligaments, tendon, muscles and bones can lead to micro-trauma which will gradually develop into overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are treated with various procedures such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, medication and, in severe cases, surgery. These painful injuries can be easily avoided if you follow simple prevention measures and continue with your active lifestyle.
What is an overuse injury?
An overuse injury occurs when you stress your joints, muscles, bones, tendons or ligaments repeatedly without allowing it to heal. Overuse injury is more of an umbrella term for a range of injuries that occur due to overstressing such as oedema, tendinitis, nerve entrapment, tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and more. They are caused by a repetitive action using a body part like rotator cuff injury developed by a baseball pitcher who constantly uses his throwing arm.
Since overuse injury is a collective term for various repetitive stress related injuries, the causes differ for each type of injury for e.g. a person who works for long hours on a computer may develop carpel tunnel syndrome due to bad typing posture or a long distance jogger might develop a stress fracture in a foot bone from too much running. Even in the same body part varying force or repetitive action can cause different injuries.
Tips for prevention
The tips for prevention from overuse injuries are simple changes in your routine so that you enjoy your favourite activity and stay injury free.
Overuse injuries progress notoriously slow. So, you if have chronic pain after some physical activity, get it evaluated by a physician or therapist soon.