Symptoms of an ‘overuse injury’ and how to prevent it

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Dr. Brett Martindale from Ogden Clinic joined Good Things Utah with how to know if you have an overuse injury, how to treat it, and how to prevent it.
 
Dr. Martindale says an overuse injury is any type of muscle or joint injury, such as tendinitis or a stress fracture, that’s caused by repetitive trauma. An overuse injury typically stems from errors in training and technique.

An overuse injury is different from other injuries. An acute injury is usually the result of a single, traumatic event. Common examples include wrist fractures, ankle sprains, shoulder dislocations, and hamstring muscle strain. But overuse injuries are more common in sports than acute injuries. They are subtle and usually occur over time, making them hard to diagnose and treat. They are the result of repetitive micro-trauma to the tendons, bones and joints. Common examples include tennis elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, youth pitching elbow, runner’s knee, jumpers knee, Achilles knee, Achilles tendinitis and shin splints.

Although an overuse injury can happen to anyone, you may be more prone to this type of injury if you have certain medical conditions. Overuse injuries are also more likely to occur as you get older, especially if you don’t recognize the impact aging can have on your body and modify your routine accordingly.
 
A diagnosis can usually be made after a thorough history and physical examination. This is best done by a sports medicine specialist with specific interest and knowledge of your sport or activity. In some cases, X-rays are needed and occasionally additional tests like a bone scan or MRI are required as well.
 
If you suspect that you have an overuse injury, consult your doctor. He or she will likely ask you to take a break from the activity that caused the injury, but you may be able to perform alternative training as long as it does not stress the involved body part.
 
Dr. Martindale provided tips for preventing an overuse injury:
  • Use proper form and gear
  • Pace yourself
  • Gradually increase your activity level
  • Mix up your routine with cross-training

 

Visit www.ogdenclinic.com for more information.

 

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