What Are Overuse Injuries?

While acute injuries like wrist fractures, ankle sprains, shoulder dislocations, and hamstring strains typically result from a single traumatic event, overuse injuries develop gradually and are more subtle. They occur due to repetitive microtrauma to the tendons, bones, and joints. Common examples include tennis elbow, swimmer's shoulder, runner's knee, jumper's knee, Achilles tendinitis, and shin splints.

In most sports and activities, overuse injuries are both prevalent and challenging to diagnose and treat.

The human body possesses remarkable adaptability to physical stress, leading to positive changes as bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments grow stronger and more resilient. However, this adaptability can also result in the breakdown of muscle tissue.

Injury occurs when tissue breaks down at a faster rate than it can rebuild. Fortunately, most overuse injuries can be prevented through proper training and sensible practices. By listening to your body and allowing ample rest between workouts, you provide your muscles, tendons, and ligaments with the necessary time for recovery and regeneration.

Adhering to the 10-percent rule is recommended during training or conditioning. This means avoiding increasing your training program or activity by more than 10 percent per week. The rule applies to walkers and runners in terms of pace or mileage increments as well as the weight added in strength training programs.

If you have questions about an overuse injury or would like to speak with one of the sports medicine doctors at Appalachian Orthopedics, call (423) 434-6300 or request an appointment online.