Tips for Avoiding Overuse Injuries

sport woman stretching

Oh, you sporty people.  Always “pushing through the pain” to get to the gold.

It all sounds so noble.  But you can hurt yourself, especially when you’re in the zone and ready to rumble with your capacity.

This post is for you over achievers.  These tips for avoiding overuse injuries are helpful advice for those who reach a little higher.  You don’t have to hurt yourself to do that.  Here’s how.

Things You Should Know

50% of all sports injuries are caused by overuse.

Overuse occurs when the muscles, ligaments, cartilage and bones are not given enough time to rest and recover.  Rest (I can’t stress enough) is a crucial ingredient of any healthy, balanced, active life.  I know that when you’re training, it’s hard to take a day off but take it off you must, to prevent injury.

Repetitive trauma over time is what leads to this type of injury.  Sometimes, it’s your technique that’s causing a problem.  Other times, it’s jumping in with both feet to try a new sport when your body’s unprepared for it.

Finally, pursuing only one activity robs your body of needed balance.  When you’re not cross-training, you’re not giving your body everything it needs to perform at its best.

Common Types of Overuse Injuries

If you’ve got any of these injuries, you’ve got an overuse injury.

Shin splints in the front, lower legs are micro-tears in the muscles.  Usually caused by running, shin splints are no fun at all.

Tennis elbow is another common overuse injury, but it’s not just from sports.  Pain in the muscles running from the wrists into the fingers can be caused by activities like gripping tools for gardening.

Bursitis is an inflammation of bursae (fluid-filled cushions which absorb shock between muscles, tendons and joints) which can be very painful and caused by any number of activities.

And here’s a shocking thought – young athletes are the most prone to overuse injuries.  That’s not a good thing in consideration of the fact that their bodies are still growing.  So, all you mom and dad coaches remember:  make sure your junior superstar gets the rest required to avoid injuries like these.

They’re too young and promising to face a lifelong battle with recurring injuries.


Coaches and trainers are there to help.  Take the advice with humility.  And don’t even think about going out on the field without the right equipment and sport-specific footwear.  That’s just asking for trouble.

Do I need to say it again?  Warm up!  Increase your heart rate and warm up your muscles with stretching before throwing yourself into it.

Listen to your body.  Pain is a message in a bottle to you which reads, “something’s wrong”.  Don’t ignore sudden or nagging pain.  Go talk to someone who can help.

Back & Body Medical

Find relief for overuse injury pain at our award-winning clinic in Manhattan, with the team at Back & Body.  Our multi-disciplinarian model offers chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture and sports medicine to get you back in fighting form.

Got pain?  Book a consultation.

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