Preventing Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries. They can stop you in your tracks and prevent you from moving your body the way you want to. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to mitigate your chances of developing an overuse injury. Read along to find out some general rules you can follow to stay healthy.

Gradual Increases

One of the most common ways people can experience an overuse injury is by taking on too much too fast. It’s all too easy to get in over your head with a new type of exercise or activity. Doing too much of an unfamiliar exercise in a short timeframe puts a lot of stress on the body, in ways it is not adapted to yet. To avoid this, you should always gradually build up your intensity in and time spent on a new activity.

Adequate rest time is an important practice here as well. Your body needs time to recover from hard work, particularly when it is not used to a certain type of work. When you start out with something new, it’s always smart to err on the side of caution and incorporate plenty of rest between workouts. Over time, as your body adapts, you may be able to adjust the amount of rest you take.

Develop Good Form to Prevent Overuse Injuries

Improper form is another way that overuse injuries can occur. If you are moving your body in an inefficient and improper way, it’s easy to overload specific muscles, tendons, and joints. Just like you should gradually build up your workload for a new exercise, you should slowly develop proper form right from the beginning. This way, as you practice more you will develop sustainable movement and help prevent chronic issues from arising.

Get the Right Gear

Depending on the activities you enjoy, you may need more or less specialized equipment to stay healthy. In general, though, the right gear can be a significant factor in your chance of developing an overuse injury. For instance, if you take up cycling and ride on a bike frame that’s too small for a while, you may develop a sore back, knees, and ankles, among other things. Or, if you’re taking up walking or running but do not have well-fitting supportive shoes, you might develop joint pain. Make sure you get the right fit for your activities- it can make a huge difference.

Cross-training is Your Friend

Regularly doing different types of activity that work different parts of your body is key to prevent overuse injuries. Variety is a powerful tool to help you both stay active and healthy. For example, if you love to run, you could consider cross-training with some cycling, core work, weightlifting, and climbing, just to name a few options. It can be tempting to simply put in more time with what you are really focused on. However, that can be a recipe for an overuse injury. When you cross-train, your body uses different muscle groups and is less likely to overload any one area.

If you are injured and you are concerned that you may have an overuse injury, you should seek diagnosis and treatment from a qualified medical professional like Dr. Stacie Grossfeld. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Grossfeld, call Orthopaedic Specialists at 502-212-2663 today.