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Common Overuse Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Common Overuse Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Overuse injuries affect joints, muscles, and sometimes even bones due to the force and strain exerted by repeated activities. While often associated with athletics and sports, you can suffer overuse injuries on the job or when working on a hobby that requires constant repetition of motion. 

Regardless of the source of your overuse injury, turn to Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic for a solution. They have the knowledge and expertise to help you heal when you’re sidelined by injury. 

There are, however, several common overuse injuries, and knowing how to prevent them can minimize downtime, pain, and frustration. The best overuse injury is the one that you can avoid. 

Understanding overuse injuries

When you think of sports participation injuries, dramatic incidents often come to mind. Tendon damage, broken bones, and concussions grab the headlines when professional athletes get hurt. 

However, most overuse injuries develop over time, typically a product of two specific areas of activity: intensity and mechanics.

Intensity

When you’re excited about an activity, it can be tempting to jump in above your level of preparation, particularly under game conditions. Taking on too much too soon can strain soft tissue, leading to sprains and microtears. 

Mechanics

Depending on your activity, this area might also be called ergonomics or technique. It comes down to overloads caused by improper form. The motion itself may be causing the injury, such as when you throw a pitch or swing a golf club. In a job setting, the arrangement of a workstation may create conditions that cause strain.

Common areas for overuse injury

Three parts of your body tend to be the locations for overuse injuries. 

The feet and ankles bear your body’s weight while absorbing impact with every step. Ankle sprains and strains are common, as is Achilles tendinitis. It’s also common to accumulate microtears in the plantar fascia, the tough band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, creating a shock-absorbing effect in conjunction with the arch. 

Your knees also hold up your body. As large and complex hinge joints, knees do much more than the back and forth motion you associate with a mechanical hinge. Knees are prone to tears, fractures, dislocations, and more. 

Arm and elbow injuries are common in both sports and work situations. Baseball, golf, and tennis each have frequent overuse injuries of the elbow, while carpal tunnel syndrome is a common workplace condition. 

Preventing overuse injuries

Preparation is perhaps the key concept for avoiding overuse injuries. Warmups ahead of activity are always important to stretch and activate the joints and muscle groups you’ll call upon during the game. Your intensity stretches to match your participation level. 

Before that, though, exercise and workouts can help build performance levels. Perhaps more importantly, they provide a chance to work on the mechanics of movement, proper form, and technique that help you move efficiently and without added strain. 

Other factors to keep in mind include: 

The specific measures that work best for you depend on your body and the activities you enjoy. To learn more about protecting yourself or recovering from overuse injuries, contact Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic in Jacksonville or Saint Augustine. You can call the nearest office or book your session online. It’s not too soon to get started, so schedule your consultation now. 

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