Adequate preparation as well as appropriate rest and recovery from sport and activity can help prevent overuse injuries from occurring. However with every good intention an overuse injury is easily sustain and is a common type of injury we see here in our Physiotherapy practice.
To fully understand the nature of the overuse injury, how to treat it and prevent it from happening again we must take a look at some background information about this common condition.
What is an overuse injury?
As a result of our sport or activity we can sustain one of two types of injuries - acute or overuse types.
This type of injury can be characterised by the sudden onset of a ‘sharp’ pain with the potential for the sudden loss of function, usually as a result of a traumatic event. Some examples of acute injuries would be sprains of the ankle, dislocation of the shoulder, bone fractures, etc.
This type of injury is quite different from the acute injury in that the presence of pain and in some cases inflammation too can be totally absent. Instead of the sudden onset of pain and dysfunction there are numerous and repetitive micro traumas that occur to the muscles, tendons, joints and bones. These micro traumas are subtle and if frequent enough they will eventually lead to pain and dysfunction due to the eventual breakdown of the affected body part.