Overuse Sports Injuries Can Be a Result of Mistakes During Training
Overuse sports injuries are a common aliment I see in my practice. They usually occur with some of my most active and “in-shape” people that I see. Fitness programs and health do not always go hand and hand and can lead to overuse sports injuries. Today I’d like to highlight some of the mistakes athletes make and some of the assumptions that are not correct.
1: Don’t assume that your fitness program is in the best interest of your health
Regardless of your favorite athletic pursuit it probably does not address all your health concerns, and can make you more vulnerable to overuse sports injuries. It doesn’t matter whether you are a long distance runner, a racquetball player or weightlifter, there are aspects of your health that are not being addressed.
2: Technique is key to safety
Again, whether you are weightlifting, running or hitting a ball, there will be a technique that decreases stress on your joints, tendons and ligaments and can reduce your risk of overuse sports injuries. Whenever technique is sacrificed to reach a goal, you are putting yourself at risk of injury. Technique and safe movement patterns are absolutely at the top of the heirarchy for safety while exercising.
3: Exercising through pain
Our bodies have developed a complex system to relay pain and warn us when our body is at risk of failing. Too often, athletes “tough it out” or continue to exercise assuming the the pain will fix itself or just go away but the reality is this makes you more vulnerable to overuse sports injuries. You got in this situation by doing what you are currently doing and if you want a different outcome you should change something.
4: Too much volume
I am absolutely blown away by the amount of training that some people do. It is an error to think that doing that much training will not have some negative consequences. This is especially true for busy people who try to take shortcuts in their recovery. If you are going to push the amount of volume that you are doing you need to take extra measures (sleep, hydration, nutrition) to make sure that you are recovering.
5: Assuming that stretching will cure all pain
Currently, there are all types of websites, products and practitioners whose sole purpose is to improve people’s mobility. Too often I see people who believe their pain is from a mobility problem when it is actually a stability or volume problem. There is a requisite amount of flexibility for any given sport more flexibility is not necessarily better. In fact there are situations and people who actually will get worse with more stretching.
6: Be realistic about your goals
You need to be realistic about your current ability and what you are willing to invest to get where you want to go. If you don’t factor these two variables carefully you may make yourself even more at risk for an overuse sports injury How much are you really wiling to invest to achieve your goals? Understand that there may be significant time, monetary and physical sacrifices that may need to be made to reach your goals.
Fitness pursuits add tremendously to people’s quality of life. However, you have to be smart about your approach to fitness and avoid some of these common mistakes. If your fitness program is causing you pain, if you have pain in general or you want to perform optimally and avoid causing an overuse sports injury contact us at Siskiyou PT.
As a reminder, all patients do not need a referral to go to physical therapy. Call now to make an appointment, and we’ll send all necessary communications to your primary care provider.
Jon Hill, DPT, Licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy with Siskiyou PT
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