Athletes put their bodies to the test day after day, and sometimes the result isn’t too comfortable. Whether you are a dedicated athlete participating in high-level events, or you are someone who is doing their best to stay in shape and keep active, the bottom line is that injuries can happen to you.
While you might believe that it is the elite athlete who is putting in hours day and night to reach the height of their strength and ability, the average person is actually at the highest risk for experiencing an overuse injury. The reason for this partially comes down to preparation, but also technique during exercise.
Overuse injuries don’t just happen in one moment. Instead, they develop gradually over time. At first you may notice nothing more than a twitch, then a slight discomfort, and before too long it may develop into a deep and severe pain that could actually sit you from your activity for a while. It is important to contact your orthopedic doctor early on to alleviate any long-term or severe discomfort.
The Five Most Common Overuse Injuries
Here is a quick run-down of the five most common types of overuse injuries:
- Runner’s knee. Medically known at patellofemoral pain, runner’s knee is the most highly diagnosed condition at sports clinics nationwide. The primary symptoms include a burning pain in between the knee cap and thigh bone. The best way to deal with runners knee is wearing proper footwear and ensuring that you have a proper gait when running.
- Achilles tendinitis. This is a severe pain in the back of the ankle, at the tendon that attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone. This is a slow-healing injury and will require some support from special insoles. This is another injury especially common among runners.
- ITBS. Medically known as Iliotibial band syndrome, this is another injury that affects runners, but also commonly affects cyclists and weightlifters. ITBS is the most common injury to cause lateral pain. The Iliotibial band runs from the hip to just below the knee. Another slow-healing injury, this injury may require a special kind of shoe to support balance and alleviate pain.
- Shin splints. This is the common name for the medical condition known as medial tibial stress syndrome. It affects the front of the calves (the shins) and causes a series of small tendinitis and stress fractures. Runners often develop shin splints when their shoes are not offering enough padding and their shins are absorbing too great of shock.
- Plantar fasciitis. A common foot injury, this is known to affect athletes from the high school level all the way to the professionals. This is the inflammation of a thick fibrous tissue in the part of the foot called the plantar fascia.
Knowing what the most common overuse injuries are can help you be prepared. The trick to managing an overuse injury best is to identify it early and take precautions. This will help alleviate the development of more severe pain and can prevent you from missing out from valuable time at the gym. If you are experiencing any pain and believe you may have an injury as a result of overuse or injury, contact your Jacksonville orthopedicspecialists at Southeast Orthopedics.Return to Blog