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Tips for Avoiding Overuse Injuries

Apr 01, 2023
Overuse injuries occur gradually following repetitive activity — through sport and daily life. These kinds of injuries cause irritation and keep you out of your game or daily activities for weeks or months. Avoid them by following these tips.

Almost any part of your body is subject to overuse, but the most common injuries happen to the wrists, shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. Sports like tennis, golf, pickleball, and running require repetitive movements that, eventually, overexert certain tissues, causing pain, strain, or damage. 

Everyone who participates in repetitive movement is at risk of an overuse injury, but women are more likely to develop overuse problems as compared to men. Both sexes want to avoid overuse injuries, though, because they cause pain, movement dysfunction, time away from sport, and potential compensatory injuries.

The team at Chiropractic, Rehab, and Sports Injuries of Louisville, led by Michael Young, D.C., effectively treat overuse injuries if they should occur. We agree, however, that it’s best if you don’t suffer one at all. Here are some tips on how to avoid overuse injuries. 

Ease into a new activity

Overuse often occurs when you take on too much, too soon. For example, when a casual runner suddenly increases mileage to train for a marathon, they’re at risk of overuse injury in areas like their ankles and knees. 

Taking on too much can also happen if you return to an activity after a hiatus. Just because your body once had the endurance and stamina to tolerate repetition, you can’t just pick up where you left off. 

To avoid overuse, ease into an activity gradually. Increase training by about 10% each week. Temper your enthusiasm by adding plenty of cross training and rest. 

Cross train

Cross training is critical to novices and exercise veterans. Cross training means you avoid focusing only on one type of exercise and incorporate plenty of variety. Hike, bike, swim, kickbox, and do yoga in addition to the sport you love. You want to move your body in multiple directions every week and not overload any one particular muscle group.

Focus on form

Using correct technique helps you avoid overuse injuries. Even if you’ve been playing a sport for years, you benefit from hiring a coach or taking a few lessons. You learn tips that can improve your performance and keep your body healthy. 

Wear the right shoes

Wear shoes appropriate for your sport and replace them regularly. Running shoes provide optimal support for about 300-400 miles when walking or running. 

Other sports have specific types of shoes that best support the nature of the activity. For example, basketball shoes support the quick stops and starts and fast pivots on the court. If you aren’t sure what shoes you should be wearing for your activity, talk to us; we can offer recommendations.

Don’t be a weekend warrior

Spread your activity throughout the week. Doing a high concentration of activity all at once on just Saturday and Sunday puts you at greater risk of overuse injury. Plus, it makes it less likely you’ll achieve your fitness and health goals. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes per day of moderately intense activity. 

If you do develop an overuse injury…

Consult our team if you do think you have an overuse injury. We can offer recommendations and treatment that include rest, rehabilitation, medical massage, movement modifications, and chiropractic adjustments, and other holistic therapies to help you heal. Getting treatment at the first signs of pain helps you avoid major damage that can take months to resolve. 

If you live a physically active lifestyle, Chiropractic, Rehab, and Sports Injuries of Louisville is here to help. Visit the office to be evaluated and treated. Call today, or use the online tool to schedule your appointment.