Featuring Dr. Michael Thieken
Q. Why do overuse injuries occur?
A. Unlike acute injuries, which result from a onetime injury, overuse injuries occur over a period of time. They are the result of subtle, smaller injuries (micro-trauma) to the tendons, muscles, bones or joints.
Q. What factors cause overuse injuries?
A. Anything that causes too much stress on the tendons, muscles, bones or joints can result in an overuse injury. Typically this occurs in someone who begins a new workout activity or sport and attempts to do too much too soon. It can also occur when an individual does not allow the body enough time to recover between a certain exercise or activity. This does not allow the body to build back up the tissue that the activity breaks down.
Q. What are the most common overuse injuries?
A. Common overuse injuries include shin splints, patellar tendonitis (“jumper’s knee”), lateral epicondylitis (“tennis elbow”), Achilles tendonitis and little league elbow.
Q. How are overuse injuries usually diagnosed?
A. The majority of cases can be diagnosed with a thorough history and physical examination. In some cases, X-rays or even further imaging studies, i.e. MRIs or bone scans, may be helpful to help confirm the diagnosis or rule out other potential causes.
Q. What is the treatment for overuse injuries?
A. The most important component of treatment is modification of the activity that led to the overuse injury. This may require cutting back on the intensity, duration or frequency of the activity.
Q. Can overuse injuries be prevented?
A. Yes. The majority of overuse injuries can be prevented with appropriate training. When an individual begins a new activity, it is important to slowly increase the intensity, duration and frequency. You must allow your tissues adequate time to recover between activities. Cross training with other activities allows individuals to stay active without overusing the same muscles, tendons, bones and joints.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Thieken please call 317.802.2863.