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Most Common Overuse Injuries and How to Avoid Them

An overuse injury occurs when a repetitive action, either while playing a sport or performing manual labor, causes gradual worsening pain and loss of function in a part of your body. The first sign of an overuse injury is usually a soreness or stiffness that will disappear after a warm-up. At this stage, activity modification may help solve the problem.

Some of the common overuse injuries include:

  • Shin Splints: This type of injury is common among athletes who run on hard surfaces with improper footwear. Pain is typically felt on the inner side of your shin due to inflammation of the surrounding muscles and tendons. To avoid shin splints, avoid increasing the intensity or distances you run too quickly, try to run on softer surfaces such as dirt trails, grass, or a treadmill, and use supportive running shoes.
  • Stress Fractures: They are caused by repetitive low-intensity forces acting on the bone. These forces are not strong enough to cause an acute fracture, but over time, the bone is weakened until it finally breaks. To avoid stress fractures, ensure you incorporate sufficient calcium and vitamin D into your diet, and adhere to strict form while training.
  • Bursitis: A bursa is a fluid filled sac present in a joint that prevents the ends of bone from rubbing against each other. Repeated stresses on the joint can cause inflammation of the bursa resulting in pain and reduced joint mobility. To avoid bursitis, it is important to identify and correct poor biomechanics, improve muscle strength with specific exercises, and work on improving your flexibility.
  • Tendonitis: Gradual wear and tear of your tendons that occurs with age may be exacerbated with overuse. Once injured, a tendon can take a long time to heal because of very poor blood supply. Ease up on activities that cause tendon pain, try different exercises that are less stressful, and don’t forget to stretch after a workout as this helps with stimulate tendon repair.

NewportCare Medical Group is a comprehensive specialty group located in Newport Beach, California specializing in advanced non-surgical and surgical treatments for a wide range of orthopedic conditions.

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