Overuse injuries cause chronic pain and inflammation that develops over time and can become debilitating if left untreated. Overuse injuries caused by repetitive strain and stress are also common, so if you’re living with a niggling ache or pain, don’t let it get any worse. Ephraim Dickinson, MD, and Brieana Brady, PA-C at Urgently Ortho in San Francisco are experienced practitioners specializing in musculoskeletal injuries. Dr. Dickinson and the team provide out-of-hours and at-home services for both acute and chronic orthopedic conditions, so call them today or book an appointment online.
What are repetitive stress injuries?
Overuse injuries are caused by repeating the same movement so often that the tissues in that part of your body become irritated and inflamed. The repetitive movements cause pain or aching in the affected area, and if the tissues don’t have time to heal, can lead to chronic pain conditions.
Overuse injuries are common in people who play sports regularly or who have to carry out the same actions repeatedly during their working day. Typical overuse injuries include:
What causes repetitive stress injuries?
There are several factors that contribute to the development of an overuse injury. It could be that you’ve been trying to do too much too soon before you’re physically strong enough. You should always start slow and build up fitness gradually to avoid sprains and strains as well as overuse injuries.
If you’re a devoted sports or exercise enthusiast, you might not be giving yourself time for rest and recuperation between sessions. Some people find it hard to take a break from exercising, training, or participating in their chosen sport, but rest is an essential component of building up fitness safely and effectively.
Sometimes people lack the knowledge to manage their training, using poor techniques that overstress their bodies and fail to pace themselves correctly. Using a coach or personal trainer helps prevent these issues from causing injuries.
As the name suggests, overuse injuries are typically a result of putting a repeated strain on the same muscles, tendons, or ligaments, so if you don’t vary your exercise or training regime, you could end up with an overuse injury.
The equipment you use also has a bearing on the likelihood you’ll develop an overuse injury. Wearing the incorrect footwear when you’re running, for example, could lead to shin splints; using equipment that isn’t a good fit for your body, such as golf clubs that are too long or short puts increased strain on your muscles and soft tissues.
What treatments are available for repetitive stress injuries?
Rest is essential so that you give the inflamed tissues time to heal. Cold applied to the affected area reduces inflammation and pain, and over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications can also help.
More serious injuries could require physical therapy, or in the case of a stress fracture, you might need a splint or cast to immobilize the bone. Dr. Dickinson and the Urgently Ortho team provide expert services and support for all orthopedic overuse injuries, so call them today or book an appointment online.
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