According to the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, overuse injuries account for 50% of all sports injuries. While all overuse injuries differ in location and severity, these injuries are mostly preventable.
An overuse injury occurs when bones, ligaments, muscles, or tendons are put under ongoing stress with little time to rest or heal. Because they are the result of repetitive trauma, overuse injuries develop over time, due to training or technique errors like incorrect form, not giving the body enough time to rest and heal, or focusing on one activity for too long.
Common Overuse Injuries
- Tennis Elbow: Lateral epicondylitis, known as tennis elbow, occurs when the tendons in your elbow are overworked, caused by repetitive gripping activities, like tennis or weightlifting. The pain of tennis elbow occurs primarily where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the outside of your elbow.
- Golfer’s Elbow: Similar to tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow develops in those who repeatedly use their wrists in gripping activities. However, pain associated with golfer’s elbow occurs in the inside, rather than the outside of the elbow.
- Rotator Cuff Injury: The rotator cuff tendons stabilize the shoulder joint by attaching muscles originating at the shoulder blade to the head of the humerus. These tendons are commonly irritated with repetitive overhead activities or lifting like swimming, tennis, or baseball.
Treatment for Overuse Injuries
- Cutting back the intensity, duration, and/or frequency of an activity
- Ice and/or heat therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medications
If conservative treatments don’t alleviate symptoms, a sports medicine doctor at Redefine Healthcare can evaluate your condition and suggest a proper treatment plan, which may include one or more of the following interventional techniques:
- Physical therapy
- Regenerative medicine
Preventing Overuse Injuries
- Warm Up: When your body temperature increases during a warm up, your joints loosen, allowing for increased blood flow to your muscles, which puts less stress on your joints and tendons.
- Pace Yourself: Instead of jumping right into a new sport or pushing yourself too hard during a new exercise routine, give your body time to acclimate by gradually increasing your intensity and activity level.
- Rest & Recover: Prioritize rest so your body can heal. Listen to your body and stop if you have signs or symptoms of injury.
If these injuries sound familiar and you think you may be suffering from an overuse injury, don’t allow your condition to get worse. Schedule an appointment at Redefine Healthcare with our experts in sports medicine by calling (732) 906-9600.