For athletes and people with physically demanding jobs, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the physical toll this takes on the body. This is especially true for people who engage in physical activity that places a lot of strain on joints and muscles. An additional concern, is that oftentimes people engage in physical activities repeatedly without using proper technique or form or ramp up the intensity of their workout too quickly. In these situations it is not uncommon to develop conditions such as tendinitus or stress fractures which are caused by repetitive trauma. Understanding the risks of overuse injuries is especially important for older people who still intend to stay physically active, as these injuries become much more likely as everyone gets older.
Preventing Overuse Injuries
The best way to prevent overuse injuries is to use proper technique and make sure that you are increasing physical activity at a steady pace. Oftentimes, miniscule mistakes in form can build over time and erode at the strength and condition of joints and muscles which lead to them degrading over time with no ability to heal. Likewise, training too hard too fast places a huge burden on those areas that can lead to injury very quickly when done repeatedly over a short time. Stretching before exercise or work can also go a long way in preparing your body for the demand you are about to place on it.
Cross training can also help to prevent overuse injuries, especially when starting a new exercise routine or increasing intensity. This allows you to give the areas of your body time to rest and recover before being subjected to high intensity workouts again. Another important thing is to listen to your body. Oftentimes, your body will let you know when it is being worked too hard, and paying attention to any prolonged or unusual pains can allow you to allow that area to recover before you develop an injury from overuse.
Treatment for Overuse Injuries
Despite doing everything right sometimes injuries are bound to occur from repeated exercise. While nobody’s idea of fun, fortunately overuse injuries are very treatable. In most situations, your doctor will ask you to describe your pain and any changes you’ve made to your exercise routine recently. They will then likely just reccomend for you to take a break and allow your body some time to rest. Once you have noticed the pain has faded away your doctor will likely ask you to schedule one last examination with them to make sure you have full functionality and motion in the injured location. It is important to listen to your doctor’s advice and rest for the amount of time they dictate, or else you run the risk of aggravating or reinjuring yourself which can lead to more severe or long-term problems. Overall, with patience and time you will be back at the gym or on the field in no time.