THIS POST IS PART OF THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SPORTS MEDICINE
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.
- Stress on the tendons, muscles, bones or joints
- Muscles stretched beyond its ability
- Beginning a new workout activity or sport and attempting to do too much too soon
- Not allowing the body enough time to recover between a certain exercise or activity
Common overuse injuries
- Shin splints
- Patellar tendonitis (“jumper’s knee”)
- Lateral epicondylitis (“tennis elbow”)
- Achilles tendonitis
To determine whether you have an overuse injury, your physician will ask you for a complete medical history, ask questions about your pain and how long you have been experiencing your symptoms, and conduct a physical examination. An X-ray or MRI may be necessary to rule out other injuries.
Treatment for an overuse injury is non-surgical and includes:
- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (RICE)
- Activity modification or immobilization: Such as avoiding activities that worsen symptoms
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen
- Home exercises to strengthen muscles
- Physical therapy to increase strength and flexibility
Prevention and recovery
- Avoid the activity that caused your injury for up to two weeks
- Condition muscles with exercise
- Warm up before exercise or sports activity
- Wear appropriate protective gear
- Cool down after exercise or sports activity
- If you feel pain, stop immediate and let muscles heal completely before returning to sports or activity
Learn more about treatment for sports injuries at OrthoIndy.
Schedule an appointment
Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no appointment is needed to see one of our physical therapists.