Physical therapy Downtown NY residents ought to know, is used for a variety of conditions including overuse injuries.
Overuse injuries come as a result of repeated actions. Typically, this type of injury affects the tendons, bones, nerves, bursa, soft tissue compartments, periosteum cartilage and the muscle-tendon structures. Overuse injuries include stress fractures, bursitis, shin splints, tennis elbow and tendinopathies.
How do overuse injuries occur?
When a person exercises, the body is subjected to stress. Over time, the muscles and tendons involved in an exercise adapt by becoming stronger and thicker. However, when muscles and tendons cannot adapt due to excessive overload, inflammation occurs.
Overuse injuries are caused by a variety of factors, the most common of which are muscular imbalance, poor core stability, lack of flexibility, poor exercise form and training errors. Among these factors, training errors are the most common reasons for overuse injuries. Training errors may mean increasing the duration, frequency or intensity of an activity.
Overuse injuries may manifest themselves in a variety of symptoms including muscle aches and soreness, swelling, pain during an activity and decrease in either strength or speed.
Overuse injuries are treated using a combination of methods. Patients suffering from these injuries are advised to take relative rest. This means that activities that contribute to these injuries should be avoided. Affected body parts may be used in non-painful ways in order to maintain range of motion. Complete bed rest is inadvisable. The application of ice on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time may also be recommended.
Doctors may also recommend physical therapy sessions wherein patients perform both stretching and strengthening exercises. The physical therapist may also recommend the use of ultrasound treatment to facilitate faster healing. Physical treatment sessions may be complemented with the use of anti-inflammatory medications.
Recovery from overuse injuries will vary from person to person, depending primarily on the patient’s healing rate. Some injuries can heal after about four to six weeks, while there are injuries which last for up to six months.
During recovery, it is important to give the body ample time to heal itself. Here, it is worthwhile to avoid activities that caused the injury. For athletes who wish to return to their sports, such may only be done when they experience no pain in the affected body part, when they have recovered at least 90 percent of their stress, and when they have full range of motion in that area.