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Overuse Injuries – What Are They And How Are They Treated And Prevented?

August 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Aris Eff in First Aid Injury Assessment | Muscle Injuries

Background to Overuse Injuries

From the term itself, overuse injuries mean that certain types of injuries are sustained from repetitive activities or actions. This is different from acute injuries that could happen because of an instant traumatic event. In contrast, overuse injuries are injuries that occur more subtly and develop over time. This means that the two basic types of injuries are acute and overuse.

With respect to overuse injuries, the kind of trauma received by a specific body part results from repetitive actions, but the most common sites of injury are the muscles, bones and tendons of the arms, wrists, ankles, legs and thighs.  Because of its repetitive action, overuse injuries are common among athletes engaged in various activities and contact sports.

What Is The Science Behind Overuse Injuries?

Physiologically speaking, the body has the tendency to adapt to tremendous physical stress. There are many benefits associated with this adaptation – exercise, for example, can make the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and bones more functional, more flexible and stronger. This adaptation happens because of the process known as ‘remodeling.” But remodeling does not only involve the build-up of tissues, because improper use of the body structures can result to tissue breakdown. Thus, there should be a clear balance between tissue break down and build-up, and if break down occurs more rapidly than build-up it results to damage, such as overuse injury and acute injury.

Overuse Injury can occur as a result of forcing the body to work more than it can handle, resulting in stress and imbalance.

Overuse Injury can occur as a result of forcing the body to work more than it can handle, resulting in stress and imbalance.

How Does Overuse Injury Occur?

Too much use of muscles, bones and other body structures for a prolonged period of time without proper training and condition can result to physical stress. If, for example, a person starts to play tennis for the first time, and he continues for several hours without proper conditioning and training, it can strain his muscles and end up in an overuse injury. This happens because that person is trying to stress his body, not allowing the muscles to fully recover from the stress. As beginners, it is very important to have basic knowledge about the sport and proper technique when executing movements.

How Can Overuse Injury Be Prevented?

Training and conditioning are keys to prevention. Overuse injuries can be prevented with proper use of muscles and execution of movements. It is important to give the body some time to recover after performing sports or other training programs and activities. Consulting the doctor or sports medicine provider could also help you have a well-laid training program.

Related Video On Overuse Injury:

Sources:

“Overuse Injuries.” Physioworks. Retrieved online on August 18, 2014 from http://physioworks.com.au/injuries-conditions-1/overuse-injuries

“Overuse Injury: How to Prevent Training Injuries.” Retrieved online on August 18, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/overuse-injury/art-20045875

 

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