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OVERUSE INJURIES

What is an overuse injury?

An overuse injury is normally a long standing or chronic injury that gradually occurs over a period of time, rather than a sudden, acute traumatic injury. Repetitive minor or micro trauma to a muscle, joint, ligament or tendon such as a tendinopathy or stress fracture, are just a couple of examples of overuse injuries.

Overuse injuries occur due to performing repetitive sustained tasks at work, home or during exercise without adequate rest and recovery time. It’s based on the training principle that the body will adapt to specific demands you place upon it, however if those demands are excessive breakdown and injury occur. This often occurs when we take up a new hobby, sport or activity or increase training levels/load for an event.

They can go unnoticed for a long time and depending on the affected tissue or body part will depend on how it will feel. Common symptoms include:

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Pain on warm-up and then returns towards end or after activity
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Pinching or sharp pain on specific movements
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An persistent dull ache
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If you think you may be suffering with an overuse injury, it is important to get an assessment by a physiotherapist or sports therapist. The key to effective management of an overuse injury is accurately identifying exactly what’s causing it and addressing this. This will help to prevent any of those niggles turning into a bigger problem and possibly preventing you doing the sport of activity that you love.

Why choose goPhysio?

Don’t just take our word for it, we have hundreds of happy patients willing to share their thoughts on their goPhysio experiences. You can read more reviews here.

I have used various services at Go Physio; physiotherapy, sports massage and Pilates classes. I find these all really beneficial, the staff are all amazing and work with you to help you achieve your own potential. The facilities are light, airy, spacious and clean and you are always made to feel welcome. Appointments are available to suit you, whether early morning, into the early evening or somewhere in between. Highly recommended.

– A. Kelly

HOW WE CAN HELP

During you assessment the therapist will identify all the potential causes to your overuse injury which can be broadly classified into; Intrinsic: Within your body i.e. muscle strength, length, biomechanics, joint mobility, posture etc. or Extrinsic: External to your body i.e. training error, terrain, equipment etc.

Through a thorough assessment and listening to your injury story, our Clinicians will identify the act cause or combination of cause of your injury. Treatment success is all about raising your tissue load capacity above what you need to be able to do, from 5km runs to marathons and weekend walks to heavy gym sessions, we tailor it to whatever you want. In addition to treatments to ease your pain and help your injury recover, we’ll ensure you leave with a modified exercise programme to maintain the benefits and prevent recurrence.

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Book an appointment

To start your road to recovery, contact us to book your appointment. Call 023 8025 3317 or book your appointment online.

FAQs

What causes overuse injuries?
Overuse injuries are often linked to training overload in athletes, or sudden changes in activities that put stress through the body which they are not used to and therefore overload the soft tissue or bone. The overuse injury occurs when the body is not given adequate time to adapt (training effect) which results in repetitive ‘microtrauma’ to the tissues.
If I just rest for longer between training sessions it should go?
That’s only effective if the only cause was training error i.e. frequency, intensity or duration of training which is rarely the case. The body is good at compensating, but only up to a point, so when we see overuse injuries in clinic it’s often multiple factors combining at once beyond what the body can compensate for i.e. a chronic tendinopathy with adhesions & scar tissue, poor biomechanics, worn out trainers, training error and reduced limb stability resulting in poor technique all combined into a 3-6 month injury with all the yo-yoing in activity levels and frustration. Unless all these areas are addressed, your injury is likely to return.
What does a typical overuse injury feel like?

Depending on the affected tissue or body part will depend on how it will feel. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain on warm-up and then returns towards end or after activity
  • Pinching or sharp pain on specific movements
  • A persistent dull ache
How do the symptoms progress?
Overuse injuries can be slow in developing and last a long time. The longer the problem is ignored the worse or more frequent the symptoms can become. This may lead to pain every time you engage in your sport or activity and may also lead to pain/swelling afterwards.
How is it diagnosed?
If you think you may be suffering with an overuse injury, it is important to get an assessment by a physiotherapist or sports therapist. The key to effective management of an overuse injury is accurately identifying exactly what’s causing it and addressing this. This will help to prevent any of those niggles turning into a bigger problem and possibly preventing you doing the sport of activity that you love.
What is the best treatment for overuse injuries?

There are lots of treatments that can be used to help, depending on the injury. Treatment will often start with easing the symptoms of the injury, such as pain and inflammation. In parallel to this, addressing the underlying cause and working on strength and stability to prevent recurrence is key. Treatments may include:

What’s the long term outlook after treatment?

When the underlying issue is addressed and appropriate changes are made, overuse injuries can be solved. They can often be a very frustrating injury, as they inevitably need a bit of rest and trial and error to work out exactly what’s causing the issue. That’s where we come in, seeing an expert can guide you through the puzzle of injury and help get you back doing what you love as quickly and painlessly as possible.

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