looking to be more physically active? If you’re planning to
do more exercise or play more sports, beware of overuse
injuries are any type of muscle or joint injuries that are the
result of repetitive trauma, such as tendinitis or a stress
fracture. Overuse injuries typically occur because of training
or technique errors.
too fast, exercising for too long or simply doing too much of
one type of activity can strain your muscles and lead to an
overuse injury," says Dr. Steven Perkins, a Family
Medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System.
"Improper technique also takes a toll on your body. If
you use poor form when swinging a golf club or doing strength
training exercises, you may overload certain muscles and cause
an overuse injury."
most overuse injuries are avoidable. Perkins offers these
suggestions for prevention:
proper form and gear. Whether you’re starting a new activity
or have been playing a sport for a long time, taking lessons
can help ensure you’re using the correct technique.
yourself. Avoid becoming a weekend warrior by spreading your
aerobic activity throughout the week. It’s also helpful to
take time to warm up before physical activity and cool down
Gradually increase your activity level. When changing the
intensity or duration of an exercise or activity, do so
up your routine. Instead of focusing on one type of exercise,
build variety into your fitness program. Doing a variety of
low-impact activities prevents overuse injuries by allowing
your body to use different muscle groups.
think you have an overuse injury, Perkins recommends
consulting your primary care provider. "You will likely
be told to take a break from the activity that caused the
injury and use medication for any pain and inflammation,"
he says. "Tell your provider if you’ve recently made
changes to your workout technique, intensity, duration
frequency or types of exercises. Identifying the cause of your
overuse injury will help you correct the problem and avoid
your injury has healed, ask your provider to check that you’ve
completely regained strength, motion, flexibility and balance
before beginning the activity again. Pay special attention to
proper technique to avoid future injuries.